The New York Giants entered Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft with several needs after addressing offensive tackle, edge rusher, and receiver in the first two days. They started off the 4th round with San Diego State tight end Daniel Bellinger, but they quickly shifted to a different approach, injecting more talent into the defensive side.
The first linebacker off the board for the Giants was Micah McFadden in the 5th round, serving as a scheme-specific acquisition for Wink Martindale’s defense. McFadden is a blitz-heavy linebacker out of Indiana who is built with a strong muscular frame and served as a team captain for two years, showcasing his intangible traits.
However, with the third pick in the 6th round, the Giants’ last pick of the draft, they landed Darrian Beavers out of Cincinnati. Beavers is a 6’4″, 237-pound linebacker who might be one of their more underrated picks of the entire class.
Beavers finished the 2021 season with 74 total tackles and 325 coverage snaps. Over his entire collegiate career, Beavers never allowed a touchdown in coverage, giving him some stock in pass defense. The Cinci defenseman is also capable of rushing off the edge on occasion, enjoying some success in 1v1 battles. That’s another asset he can bring to the Giants.
Physically, Beavers hosts a long frame with great measurable’s and has sufficient athleticism to become a potential starter at the next level. He may not be the fastest player, running a 4.70 40-yard dash, which ranks in the 44th percentile, but his other metrics stand out. He was above average with his vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone, and 20-yard shuttle.
Clearly, Beavers has solid athletic traits, which could translate to the NFL if coached properly. He may not be considered a coverage linebacker by nature, but he is more than sufficient compared to what the Giants had in the past. He’s capable of shedding blocks and helping support in run defense but won’t be a liability in coverage, whereas Tae Crowder was nearly useless in that category last year.
Beavers’ biggest downfall is his tackling, missing 17 tackles last season over 903 snaps. However, that is a fixable issue with better fundamentals and form, something the Giants will likely iron out at the next level.
Beavers is a bit more of a well-rounded linebacker compared to McFadden, who serves a far more aggressive purpose in a blitz-heavy scheme. However, with a year of development in a good system, Beavers could become a starter.