Two offensive tackles will be taken before the Giants at No. 5
John Schmeelk: Fiction – With the way the winds seem to be blowing in the 2022 NFL Draft, it would be surprising if two offensive tackles are off the board when the Giants select fifth overall. One is likely to be gone – either Evan Neal or Ickey Ekwonu – and the Texans are the team most likely to select one while the other three teams go with defense. The Jets and Texans have defensive-minded head coaches. The Lions have two pretty good tackles, and the Jaguars have younger players at those positions, too. Hot take: There is a better chance no offensive tackles are taken in the top four than two.
Dan Solomon: Fiction – Between the top-tier defensive prospects and the ever-present possibility of a team grabbing a quarterback earlier than people think, it would be a bit of a surprise to have two offensive linemen taken in the first four. One is the most likely outcome.
Lance Medow: Fiction – A few of the teams picking in the top four could use an offensive tackle, you shouldn’t expect two to be off the board before the Giants are on the clock. It’s possible none are selected but in all likelihood at least one will be taken – either North Carolina State’s Ikem Ekwonu or Evan Neal of Alabama.
Matt Citak: Fiction – Two tackles in the first four picks would be an awful break for the Giants, but it’s unlikely to happen. It’s more than likely that one of Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu will be taken before the Giants go on the clock at No. 5. But both? Although it is possible, there seems to be a better chance that three edge rushers get selected in the first four picks, or two edge rushers and either Kyle Hamilton or Ahmad Gardner will go.
The chance the Giants draft to defend at No. 5 is greater than people think
John Schmeelk: Fact – A defensive player at a premium position (edge rusher and cornerback) may be the top-rated player on the Giants board when they select fifth overall. There’s also a chance all three offensive tackles are still on the board and they feel comfortable with two of them, and are happy to select whichever one is left on the board with the seventh overall pick. But it is more likely than not the Giants do not mess around – and select an offensive tackle with the fifth pick, especially since the Panthers are likely to pick an offensive tackle if they do not pick a quarterback. There’s also a chance the Giants trade the seventh pick, which would make selecting an offensive tackle at five overall imperative.
Dan Solomon: Fiction – Gauged off mock drafts, people seem fairly split on whether the team goes offense or defense at No. 5. Plus, no side of the ball is off the table for a new regime trying to turn things around after five consecutive seasons with double -digit losses.
Lance Medow: Fact – The 2022 draft isn’t just about this upcoming season, but also the years that follow, especially when you’re investing a Top-5 pick in a player. He could potentially be under your control for five years, thanks to the team fifth-year option on first-round picks. On top of that, the Giants could use an impactful player on defense as much as offense and there will certainly be a handful available at No. 5.
Matt Citak: Fact – In an ideal world, the Giants select one of the top two offensive tackles at No. 5 to pair with Andrew Thomas as the franchise’s tackles for years to come. However, the team still has several needs to address on the defensive side of the ball, including EDGE, CB, LB and S. If Neal and Ekwonu are both gone, they might decide to grab one of the top edge rushers at No. 5 Another possibility is that each of the first four picks all defenders, whether it be four edge rushers or two/three edge guys and Gardner and/or Hamilton, allowing the Giants to wait until No. 7 to select an OT knowing one of the top guys will still be there. We also can’t rule out the Giants waiting until No. 36 to select a tackle, as Joe Schoen has stated several times that you can build a strong O-line without using first-round picks.
There is more uncertainty with this draft than most years
John Schmeelk: Fact – We don’t even know who the first pick is. Whenever there aren’t quarterbacks stacked on top of a draft board things become more unpredictable. We also don’t know who the top player will be at the two strongest positions at the top of the draft: defensive line and offensive line. Is Neal or Ekwonu the top offensive tackle? Is Hutchinson the best defensive linemen or would a team value Kayvon Thibodeaux or Travon Walker more? These are questions we usually have answers to this late in the draft process. We don’t this year.
Dan Solomon: Fiction – There will never be certainty in any draft, no matter how you slice it. Sure, this year doesn’t have a clear-cut No. 1 pick like Trevor Lawrence, but whenever you have 32 different teams with unique needs and evaluations, no one can predict what will happen when it comes down to the very moment clubs need to submit the draft card. Now, do that 262 times.
Lance Medow: Fiction – There’s uncertainty surrounding every draft because there’s always rumors and speculation that don’t hold much substance – this year is no different. In addition to that trend, last year for example, there was much uncertainty regarding where the quarterbacks would land (especially after the top three were taken) and you can include the entire signal caller class under that label this year. There’s also never been one first-round mock draft that is 100% accurate – you can go fact once this happens.
Matt Citak: Fiction – Of course, the top of the draft can play out in a variety of ways, especially with the Giants holding two of the first seven picks. Most mock drafts combination have the Giants connected to some of the top edge rushers, offensive tackles and cornerbacks. With only four teams selecting before the Giants’ first pick, it is easier than most years to be able to predict who might still be available for the Giants at both of their picks.