The New York Giants had a legendary first three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft – Here’s why

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants had a phenomenal start to the 2020 NFL Draft, here’s a look into their picks!

Going into the draft, there were plenty of rumors indicating the Giants could select an offensive tackle, trade back, land Isaiah Simmons, or even pick Derrick Brown, Auburn interior defender. Fast forward past the rumors, and Andrew Thomas was Big Blue’s glorious choice, and what he presents extends beyond our first glance.

Thomas is not only a foundational left tackle with elite traits, but the positional value he holds opens up the Giants’ salary cap for the future. He will essentially be on a rookie deal for five years, taking millions of dollars off the cap and giving the Giants freedom to sign elite pass rushers and other luxury additions to aid in reaching the playoffs.

What does Thomas bring to the team?

The former Georgia Bulldog left tackle is a force in the run game and thinkers down in pass protection. His mauler hands and core strength make it incredibly difficult for pass rushers to beat him on bull rush moves. His ability to mirror rushes and stand his ground makes him a quality pick and injection into the tackle spot. He is bit heavy-legged in getting to the second level, but when he does, there’s no stopping him from punishing defenders attempting to make the tackle.

One of my favorite aspects regarding Thomas is his desire for work. You will never see him standing still waiting for the play to unfold — he’s always trying to land a hit and help his team in every way possible.

In the second round, Big Blue secured Xavier McKinney, the No. 1 rated corner in the draft class. The Alabama product falling to the second wrote the story for the Giants, who saw him as an immediate improvement at free safety and a player who can move around the defense to feature in different roles. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham loves his safety blitzes, and McKinney can be utilized well in his scheme. Expect to see plenty of three-safety looks in 2020 with Jabrill Peppers, McKinney, and Julian Love. This grouping will move around the defense as Peppers and Love can both interchange in FS and SS roles.

McKinney, though, is one of the best tacklers at the position out of the draft, and his game-speed is far more impressive than his dismal 40-yard dash time from the NFL Combine. Expect to see him flying around the field and acting as a ball-hawk/blitzer in specific sets—another fantastic selection by Gettleman and Co. in the second round.

However, in the third round, the Giants landed Matt Peart, who has the potential to be a starting-level tackle in the NFL. This has to be the most underrated selection of the entire class, based solely on his physical traits and ability to jump to the second level in a hurry. Coming out of UConn undoubtedly comes with its developmental set-backs, but Marc Colombo can work his magic with a player like Peart.

If Peart can develop into the Giants’ starting right tackle for the future, this draft could be one for the history books.

 

 

Grading the New York Giants’ 2020 NFL Draft after day 2

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas

Taking a look at each New York Giants draft pick and giving them a grade after day 2:

The Giants are one team that has enjoyed a successful 220 NFL draft up to this point. They have fixed several holes of absolute need and incorporated positional value into their decisions. Dave Gettleman and new head coach Joe Judge have knocked it out of the park this year, landing a hopeful franchise left tackle in Andrew Thomas, a versatile safety in Xavier McKinney, and a high upside, developmental tackle in Matt Peart.

Let’s take a look at each player and give them a singular grade after day two of the NFL draft.

1.) Andrew Thomas

Thomas was highly regarded as one of the best left tackle prospects in the NFL draft, considering his strength and ability to hunker down in pass protection. He has one of the highest floors of any prospect, and he can be a pure franchise protector for Daniel Jones’s blindside.

Locking down that spot and adding positional value will help the Giants keep future cap-hits down and have available money for elite pass rushers and playmakers. If you take a look at the Dallas Cowboys, solidifying their offensive line and allocating a first-round pick toward the defense last season has allowed them to double-dip at wide receiver with CeeDee Lamb.

In an ideal world, the Giants will also have that luxury after investing heavily in the offensive line and hopefully finalizing its revolution once and for all. This draft pick was fantastic and deserving of a high-grade, simply based on the fact that he is a plug and play left tackle and will only get better over time.

Grade: A-

2.) Xavier McKinney

McKinney is a versatile and adaptable safety that somehow slipped to the second round for the Giants. At number 36, Gettleman and Judge locked down a position that has plagued the secondary in recent years.

No more Antoine Bethea or Curtis Riley missing tackles and causing issues in coverage. McKinney is not only a quality player, but he is one of the hardest-hitting free safeties in the draft class.

He enters the league with glowing reviews from Alabama coach Nick Saban. Saban and Judge have a personal connection, which is where that recommendation comes into play. Xavier can play all over the defense — free safety, in the slot, in the box, and even rush the passer on specific sets. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham should have a fantastic time utilizing him and moving him around the field to keep offenses on their toes.

Grade: A

3.) Matt Peart

Many believe Peart is one of the best selections for the Giants up to this point, simply based on his potential. As a third-round pick, there is still plenty of room for development, and he brings a solid foundation to the team. He can still add size, but he was the highest grade player at the Senior Bowl and was reportedly graded higher than any other center on the Giants’ draft board.

He will come in and begin the developmental phase of his game, which will hopefully see him take over at right tackle in 2021. This all but writes the script for Nate Solder and his future with the organization.

If Peart does pan out, the Giants will have walked away with two starting tackles for the foreseeable future. Factor in their rookie deals and the Giants’ cap health will be strong down the road.

Grade: A-

New York Giants select OT Matt Peart with the 99th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

New York Giants, Matt Peart

With the 99th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the New York Giants select Matt Peart, offensive tackle, out of UCONN.

Matt Peart is a solid right tackle who stands in at 6 feet 7 inches and weighs 318 pounds. He is a four-year starter who grew up in the Bronx after moving to the United States from Jamaica. One of Peart’s strengths is his long arms, listed at 36 5/8”.

Peart is a little raw but a great offensive tackle prospect with a high developmental ceiling. According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Peart has nimble feet with the ability to mirror once he latches in and tons of athletic potential to work within his pass sets.

This is not an instant-impact selection for the Giants, but Peart is a potential starter down the road. He has time to learn and develop behind Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming this year and could take over at right tackle in a few short seasons. He needs to add some play-strength and refine his skill set, but working closely with offensive line coach Marc Colombo bodes well for Matthew Peart’s NFL future.