Apparently in the NFL, it’s never too early to reassess team moves.
The New York Giants look slightly different in Gary Davenport’s 2022 NFL re-draft for Bleacher Report, losing their top pick but addressing another area of need. The top 10 sees one switch, as the Houston Texans opt for Sauce Gardner with the third overall pick instead of Derek Stingley Jr, their original pick.
Davenport’s reasoning for the change of cornerbacks is Stingley being limited during OTAs as he recovers from Lisfranc surgery. As a result, the Jets, who selected Gardner with the fourth pick instead opt for Kayvon Thibodeaux in Davenport’s re-draft.
He goes on to predict the Giants selecting Evan Neal at five instead of the seventh pick as they originally did and picking up the aforementioned Stingley with their second of two top 10 picks.
In his reasoning for the selection, Davenport explains, “Stingley’s injury issues and up-and-down collegiate career are genuine concerns. But his ceiling is as high as any player in this draft class.”
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Selecting Neal at five doesn’t greatly alter the Giants, as maintaining the offensive lineman on the team in this re-draft would seem pivotal. The 21-year-old has been playing as the team’s starting right tackle since the first day of OTAs and is expected to hold that position once the season gets underway.
Fellow Giants offensive lineman Mark Glowinski raved about Neal during OTAs, calling him a “dominant” player. “As long as he gets his hands on guys,” Glowinski added, “that’s the end of the story”
Neal played three seasons for the Alabama Crimson Tide, being named a team captain for the 2021 campaign. He was selected First-Team All-SEC last season, as well as being named a consensus All-American. He started 40 games during his tenure and was a 2020 CFP National Champion following Alabama’s victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Stingley Jr. Would’ve Replaced Pro Bowler
If the Giants would’ve selected Stingley seventh overall as Gary Davenport suggests, the LSU product would’ve arrived at a team in need of a cornerback just like him.
Prior to the draft, the team was heavily scouting Stingley, with defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson personally attending his school workout. In the final days before the draft, he continued to be linked to the team, but of course, they went in another direction.
In Davenport’s piece, he justifies the selection with good reasoning.
“They were at least entertaining the idea of moving on from veteran cornerback James Bradberry when the draft rolled around. But the G-Men couldn’t find a dance partner willing to take on the veteran corner’s salary, and eventually, they just released the 28-year-old. Bradberry is now in Philadelphia, and while his release afforded the Giants cap relief, his departure also left them with a sizable hole in the defensive backfield. That’s where LSU corner Derek Stingley Jr. comes in.”
Stingley as Bradberry’s replacement would’ve been a natural fit and a good way to alleviate fan concerns in the aftermath of losing out on Thibodeaux.
Thibodeaux on Projected All-Rookie Team
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter recently made his All-Rookie Team projections and New York’s top pick is included.
Featured as one of three first-round selections at his position, Kayvon Thibodeaux is named alongside some of the top players in the NFL by Reuter.
Reuter says of Thibodeaux, “It will not be a shock if Thibodeaux racks up double-digit sacks as a rookie like former top-10 picks Josh Allen, Joey Bosa, and Von Miller did in Year 1. That’s certainly his stated goal in 2022. The Giants will give him every opportunity to use his length and strength on the edge across from last year’s second-round pick, Azeez Olujari.”