With the NFL Draft next week, it’s anybody’s guess as to which area of the team New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen will address with the 25th overall pick.
He’s made some significant upgrades this offseason such as signing free agent linebacker Bobby Okereke and trading for tight end Darren Waller. But there’s still a ton of work that needs to be done in order to turn the team into a contender.
On Monday, as the team reported for the first day of voluntary workouts, head coach Brian Daboll was asked if what they accomplished this offseason will affect their strategy for the draft.
“You know, the draft is a little bit different than free agency. But there’s been a lot of work done to it, and you know, who gets selected and when they get selected. I would say there’s discussions when we had a player at a specific position. Does that lower the need, yeah, but that doesn’t guarantee that you’re not going to draft that player at that position because you don’t need that position. I’d say that’s not the case always.”– Brian Daboll
We’ll find out Daboll and Schoen’s strategy for the draft in a little over a week, but here are the three players they should target with their day one and two selections in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Round 1: 25th overall pick – Jordan Addison, WR USC
The addition of Waller will help bring out the best in Daniel Jones. But if you want your quarterback to reach elite status, you have to get him a playmaker on the outside. Jordan Addison is an exceptional route runner and is tremendous in the open field.
He’s already shown that he can play at a high level in two different systems. In 2021 when he played for the Pittsburgh Panthers, he caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns and was a Consensus All-American, and won the Fred Biletnikoff award which is given to the best collegiate receiver. He would then transfer to USC and had 59 receptions for 875 yards and eight touchdowns.
The 6-foot, 175-pound wideout can line up anywhere on the field and can also be used as a punt returner which is also a need for Big Blue. Addison met with the team recently, and by all accounts, the meeting went well.
Currently, the Giants do not have a true number-one wideout on their roster. Addison has the potential to be their best receiver as a rookie. All of the other young quarterbacks around the league have a young dynamic playmaker on the outside, it’s time Schoen gets one for Jones.
Round 2: 57th overall pick – Steve Avila, IOL TCU
The interior offensive line is a huge concern for Big Blue, especially after the departure of Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates in free agency. So it would make sense for them to grab one of the best and one of the most versatile interior linemen in this draft in Steve Avila.
During his college career, he played every position on the offensive line except for left tackle. As a sophomore, he started six games at center, two at right tackle, and one at right guard. In 2021 he started 11 games at center, and he started all 15 games last season at left guard during the Horned Frogs’ run to the National Championship game.
Avila did not allow a sack last season and earned All-American honors as well as First-Team All-Big 12 honors. The team needs a plug-and-play starter upfront, and Avila would fit this need. With the versatility he brings, it wouldn’t be shocking if Schoen trades up in the draft in order to secure the 6’3 332-pound lineman.
Round 3: 89th overall – Kyu Blue Kelly, CB Stanford
Kelly played four seasons at Stanford and appeared in 37 games where he registered 147 tackles, broke up 23 passes, and had three interceptions. He was named Second-Team All-Pac-12 in 2021 and 2022.
At 6 feet, 191 pounds he has the length to match up against the bigger receivers in the league. He has tremendous ball skills and plays with high energy and is a solid tackler.
Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale needs as many quality corners as he can get in his aggressive man-to-man scheme. Kelly has the potential to be the Week 1 starter on the opposite side of Adoree’ Jackson. New York’s two biggest rivals the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have elite receivers that they’ve had trouble matching up against. That is why it would make sense to take Kelly in the third round to help cover them.
These three players would address the biggest concerns on the roster. If New York is able to draft all three, it will bode well for their chances of improving on their 9-7-1 record from a season ago.