Giants could miss out on top offensive tackle prospects with 5th overall pick

charles cross, giants

The New York Giants have featured one of the league’s worst offensive lines over the past few seasons, presenting a significant need in the trenches during the 2022 NFL draft. After spending a full season with Nate Solder at right tackle, the Giants are looking for an upgrade, but one with a cost-controlled contract they can develop to fit their scheme.

Big Blue features the 5th, and 7th picks in April, presenting a great opportunity for them to land a top tackle prospect. The three names that could be available are Evan Neal out of Alabama, Ikem Ekwonu out of NC State, and Charles Cross from Mississippi State.

These three players offer the Giants the best opportunity to plug the right tackle spot, despite all three being projected as left tackles in the NFL. In fact, only Neal played RT at the collegiate level, but considering he’s coming from Alabama and stands at a whopping 6’6″ and 360 pounds, there’s a good chance he’s the top player off the board by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Giants sit behind Jacksonville, Detroit, Houston, and the Jets. Three of those four teams need offensive line support, putting the Giants in a peculiar position. There’s reason to believe the Giants could miss out on the top three options before GM Joe Schoen even has a chance.

That would be the worst-case scenario, but teams would have to pass on several phenomenal players, settling for tackles who might not be graded as high at the top of the first round. With Kayvon Thibodeaux seeing a decrease in stock, there’s a chance he could slip past the top four selections, presenting the Giants with an interesting decision. In fact, if three offensive tackles are off the board by the time the 5th selection comes around, the Giants will almost be guaranteed a shot at Thibodeaux, one of the best pass rushers in the class.

However, their need on the offensive side far outweighs their need for a pass rusher. After Neal, Ekwonu, and Cross are off the board, the next tier of tackles settles at Trevor Penning from Northern Iowa. Petting isn’t projected to be a top 15 pick, so the Giants could theoretically trade back and still land the next best option. The preferred scenario is they have a shot at Ekwonu and Cross, who present drastically different players but would offer the Giants phenomenal value with tremendous upside.

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