The New York Giants held two picks in the seventh round of this year’s NFL Draft and, rather than trading them away, they decided to use both selections. It is rare that rookies drafted that late are able to step in and make an immediate impact. In fact, oftentimes, seventh-round picks find themselves on the waiver wire at the end of the summer. But this does not seem likely for the Giants’ pair of seventh-round selections.
Big Blue has seemingly uncovered two gems in the final round of this year’s draft, selecting DL Jordon Riley and S Gervarrius Owens. Both Riley and Owens have stood out all summer, appearing to be locked into the final 53-man roster and potential impact players as early as 2023.
Bolstering the Giants’ run-defense unit
Riley, the first of the two seventh-round selections, had a stellar preseason campaign. Selected 243rd overall in this year’s draft out of Oregon, Riley did not look the part of a player who nearly went undrafted.
This preseason, Riley has had moments where he looks like an NFL veteran, like his fourth-down tackle-for-loss against the Carolina Panthers in Week 2. Riley has been disruptive in the running game, making clutch stops and plugging gaps to allow the team’s linebackers to make plays.
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Riley has received high praise from his Giants teammates and coaches. The rookie is joining a loaded defensive line group headlined by Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Wiliams and led by DL coach Andre Patterson. If he were to develop in any situation, it would be the one he is in with New York.
“I think he’s in the perfect spot [to grow] right now with where he is at with the veterans he has in that room and with Dre (defensive line coach Andre Patterson) and B-Cox (assistant defensive line coach Bryan Cox).”Wink Martindale on Jordon Riley’s development
Another depth piece in the Giants’ secondary
The Giants’ final pick in the 2023 NFL Draft was Owens, a four-year starting safety at Houston who has been showing up all over the film this preseason. Owens suffered a hamstring injury during the final preseason game against the Jets, however, he had been turning in another solid performance beforehand.
Owens had five tackles and one quarterback hit against the Jets. Just a week prior he tied for a team-high seven tackles against the Panthers and got a pass breakup in the contest. In the first game of the preseason, Owens had two tackles and one pass breakup that was nearly an interception.
Throughout the summer, Owens has been a standout performer at training camp. Despite being selected in the seventh round, Owens had a fourth-round draft projection and has quickly surpassed expectations of a late-round pick. New York has a crowded defensive backfield but, if he can get and stay healthy, Owens’ coverage abilities could earn him playing time as a rookie.