The New York Giants have several big holes to fill in the 2022 NFL draft, one of them being the right tackle spot left by Nate Solder, one of the team’s most inconsistent players last season.
Funny enough, the Giants will be paying Solder $4 million in a void year. He will hit free agency and likely retire.
With offensive tackle a major need for a Big Blue, they look to the top three options in the draft, two of which are knocked out early in ESPN analyst Jordan Reid’s mock.
Pick for No. 5: Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
Analysis: “Andrew Thomas, the No. 4 pick in the 2020 draft, has turned into the left tackle the Giants envisioned, but they still need help across multiple spots along the offensive line. Newly hired general manager Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll seem to be on the same page with wanting to set up quarterback Daniel Jones for success. That could mean adding a right tackle opposite Thomas in order to keep Jones clean in the pocket.”
After losing out on Neal and Ekwonu to the Jaguars and Jets, Cross becomes the next best option. At 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds, Cross offers a great pass blocking tackle that needs to work on his run blocking. Cross’s primary issue is the lack of strength of the point of attack, but he has plenty of time to increase his power and aggressiveness in the running game.
However, the Giants desperately need a solid pass protector right out of college, and Cross can offer them just that with Daniel Jones under center and needing a major bolster in the trenches.
Next up on the docket, Reid has the Giants taking Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton with the 7th overall pick.
It is possible that the Giants utilize the 7th pick to trade back, but Hamilton is the best player on the board and Reid’s top-ranked prospect in the draft class.
Pick for No. 7: Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
Analysis: “Hamilton is my top-ranked prospect in this draft, and although safety isn’t a premium position or an immediate need for the Giants (though Jabrill Peppers is set to become a free agent), taking the best available prospect is the way to go here. The Giants already have some talent in the secondary with James Bradberry and Xavier McKinney, but Hamilton is an X factor who could unlock everyone on the back end because of his versatility. This could be seen as a luxury pick for Schoen, but Hamilton is that good.”
As Reid hits on, Hamilton is a luxury pick, but he is unequivocally talented and would bring elite capabilities to a defense that already has a few key defensive backs to work with. Hamilton has unbelievable closing speed for his size, run-stopping agility and speed from the safety position, and the awareness to put his body in place to make plays in coverage.
I understand the positional value argument but Kyle Hamilton is unbelievable. Derwin James like safety versatility that can transform everything you want to do on the defensive side of the football.
The complete package at the safety position. pic.twitter.com/3aCZgInyKR
— Derrick (@Steelers_DB) February 6, 2022
Pairing him with Adoree Jackson, Xavier McKinney, and James Bradberry if the Giants don’t cut or trade him would offer them a quality secondary on paper. However, a scheme shift is set with Patrick Graham making the move to Las Vegas, joining former colleague Josh McDaniels.
If the Giants want to trade Logan Ryan or move on from his contract after the 2022 season, Hamilton can easily replicate his production in the defensive backfield. With elite football IQ and stellar fundamentals, Hamilton has All-Pro quality, something you can’t pass on if available. The Giants made that same decision passing over Micah Parsons and Rashawn Slater in last year’s draft class.