New York Giants forced to settle in new PFF 2022 mock draft

New York Giants

The New York Giants have two high picks in the 2022 draft, but they may not get the top prospects they’re looking for. That’s because there’s a good chance of the Giants looking for an upgrade at some of the most in-demand positions in football: offensive tackle, and edge rusher. The top prospects this year might fly off the board quickly, and that’s the scenario that the latest Pro Football Focus mock draft projects.

According to PFF, by the time the Giants pick, they won’t have a shot at either top tackle Evan Neal or one of the two top pass rushers in this class.

Pick No. 5: New York Giants: OT Ikem Ekwonu, N.C. State

At 6-foot-4 and 320 pounds, Ekwonu has guard-tackle versatility but earned a legitimate shot to start his NFL career at offensive tackle after his spectacular 2021 campaign at left tackle with the Wolfpack. He earned a 91.6 overall grade and 93.8 run-blocking grade across more than 800 offensive snaps this season, the latter of which ranks sixth among all single-season marks for Power Five tackles since 2014. He’s a true road grader in the run game with improved polish and footwork in pass protection. A player with his kind of skill set shouldn’t fall past the first 10 picks in the draft.

With that being said, the selection that PFF does project for the Giants isn’t one to scoff at either. Given the team’s absence of right tackle talent, Ikem Ekwonwu is still a player that would come in as an immediate starter. With that being said, the Giants’ record drafting for the offensive line will probably have some fans nervous if they end up with anyone but a player like Neal or Tyler Linderbaum, who are both considered near-locks to succeed at their respective positions.

Pick No. 7: New York Giants (via Chicago): EDGE George Karlaftis, Purdue

Karlaftis will get tagged as just a lunchpail type with a high motor in a lot of lazy analysis this draft season, but he’s so much more than that. The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder was extremely productive for Purdue this season and should surprise with his athletic testing at the combine.

Karlaftis, another Feldman Freaks List member, reportedly recorded a 10-foot-1 broad jump, 37.5-inch vertical and 4.69-second 40-yard dash at just over 270 pounds this offseason. Boilermakers head coach Jeff Brohm also raved about Karlaftis’ efforts on and off the field in a Tailgate interview before the season.

The Giants are projected to target Purdue’s George Karlaftis with their second pick. The decision is owing to the fact that this mock draft has Aidan Hutchinson and Kayvon Thibodeaux going first and second overall, leaving the Giants to settle if they want to acquire a new pass rusher from this class.

Karlaftis is definitely a less flashy prospect than one of the top two edge rushers, but that’s not a reason to feel entirely bad if he does end up being the only top option on the board for the Giants. According to The Draft Network, he may be the top power rusher in this year’s class. And given the heavy reliance on a couple of players for sacks last year, it’s hard to complain about an addition like that.

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