Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Giants fit something right in Cynthia Freund’s analytics mock draft

With a huge amount of free agency in the rearview mirror, the 2022 NFL Draft is coming into focus, especially for the select teams in the top 10.

The New York Giants, who hold fifth and seventh overall picks, have already replenished their offensive line with the traveling Giants, which should be an upgrade over last year’s one-unit debacle, but will likely be in the form of these. Will use one of the selects to get the correct tackle.

Big Blue also wants to add some firepower to the crowd near him, and this draft class has plenty of studs for him to choose from.

NFL Network analytic expert Cynthia Frelund believes the Giants will do the same at the end of the month on the draft.

Round 1, Pick No. 5: Ikem Ekwonu, OL North Carolina State

Here’s another duplicate pick from Mock 1.0, specifically with the Giants front office telling us they’re not buying Saxon Barkley. Ekwonu had 18 big time blocks in the run game, seven more than the next closest Power Five offensive lineman, according to Pro Football Focus.

Ikwonu could be the highest rated player on the Giants board due to his versatility. He can play any position on the line but he wants to play the right tackle. The addition of Ikwonu gives the Giants a solid bookend to tackle Andrew Thomas and complete a nearly complete rebuild of the offensive line.

Round 1, Pick No. 7: Kywan Thibodaux, Edge Oregon

After posting just 34 sacks last season (ranked 22), the Giants could pounce on the high-upside pass rusher outside Oregon.

Thibodaux piqued the Giants’ interest in the NFL Combine this off-season, and he went from No. 5 to No. 7 in most mocks. But with Carolina selected sixth overall and expected if Thibodaux makes it he will take on a quarterback or offensive lineman. To it five, he will make it to seven. The Giants save Thibodaux for No. 7 to stop the Panthers from stealing Ikwonu.

This draft, like many other combinations, will advance veterans from both sides of football. In an off-season where they are ‘starting from scratch’, it’s a great start.

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