New York Giants could land ‘slam dunk’ at 5th overall with a little bit of luck

ikem ekwonu, giants

The New York Giants need to hit a home run with the 5th and 7th overall picks in the 2022 NFL draft. Under new leadership and management, there is a glimmer of hope and light at the end of the tunnel, with Dave Gettleman parting ways and leaving a disaster behind.

New general manager Joe Schoen has been open to any moves the team might make this off-season, whether it be trading up or down in the NFL draft. However, we can make an educated guess that the Giants will be looking to add more draft capital and piece together the foundation of a rebuilt.

Establishing an offensive line is of the most importance, meaning one of their first-round picks should be allocated toward the position, and one player stands out as a potentially elite prospect.

NFL Analyst Daniel Jeremiah stated on Friday that if NC State standout Ikem Ekwonu slips to the 5th overall spot, he’d be a “slam dunk” for the Giants:

“They’re going to value physicality. Joe’s [new GM Joe Schoen] big on that. Joe’s really big on character and makeup, competitive, toughness,” Jeremiah said. “I think Ekwonu would be a slam dunk if he got to them. I don’t know that he’s gonna get there but if he did I think that would be one they’d probably just turn in the card.”

Physicality and intangible traits are two variables that Shane loves in players. He stated during his introductory press conference that you often miss on the person, not the player.

The Draft Network noted Ekwonu’s “devastating power” in their draft profile:

His tenacity, size, devastating power at the point of attack, and football intelligence position him well to become an entrenched starter in the NFL. The toughness and physicality of his NFL team will immediately be improved with his addition. Ekwonu took a notable step forward in 2021 but he does have room to grow when it comes to weight distribution, taking away inside pass rush moves, and occasionally being too aggressive, which leads to blocks not being sustained long enough.

Ekwonu is one of the best run blockers in the draft class, but he is still a more than adequate pass-protecting tackle. He projects as a starting left tackle in the NFL as a universal scheme fit, but the Giants would move him to the right side, opposite Andrew Thomas.

Solidifying two book-end tackles is exactly what the Giants need to help Daniel Jones reach his potential and spark development. Unless Jones can experience a bit of time in the pocket next year, they will be right back to square one with his growth, and they can’t afford for him to plateau.