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Evaluating the four best New York Giants draft targets with the 25th pick

The 2023 NFL Draft is just weeks away and there is plenty of speculation about who the New York Giants will draft. Holding the 25th pick, there are a number of directions New York can go.

General manager Joe Schoen has made some nice additions in free agency and via trade such as signing linebacker Bobby Okereke, and trading for tight end Darren Waller. But there are still several holes to fill and positions that need to be upgraded.

Related: New York Giants mock draft 2023

Schoen will likely add a few more pieces in free agency, but he as well as all general managers know, the best way to build a team is through the draft.

Circumstances will change between now and draft day, but for right now we’ll evaluate the top options for the Giants with the 25th pick.

Joe Tippmann, offensive lineman, Wisconsin

Syndication: Journal Sentinel
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New York’s interior offensive line was a major concern last season, and now they have to cope with losing Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates in free agency. With the team in desperate need of an immediate starter, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah projects the Giants to draft Wisconsin center Joe Tippmann.

Related: New York Giants draft picks 2023

The 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman started all 12 games at center for Wisconsin last season and had an impressive showing at the NFL Combine, earning the second-highest athleticism score (77) among draft-eligible centers. Every team in the NFC East has a formidable front seven, which means New York needs a strong and athletic center to open holes for Saquon Barkley and keep Daniel Jones upright might be the best direction to go.

Taking Tippman with the 25th overall pick might be a bit of a reach, but the interior line is the team’s biggest weakness.

Deonte Banks, cornerback, Maryland

NCAA Football: Maryland at Wisconsin
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Aside for Adoree’ Jackson, the Giants are thin at cornerback, and when Jackson missed seven games last year it left a huge void. The way the passing game has evolved in the NFL, you need as many quality corners as possible. This is why Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks would be a good fit in defensive coordinator Wink Martindale’s aggressive scheme.

Banks appeared in 28 games in college and is solid in man-to-man coverage and has good speed and athleticism. At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds he has the size to be matched up with big and physical receivers. Barring any setbacks in training camp, Banks would be a week one starter opposite Jackson, and hopefully, be part of the team’s young core for many seasons to come.

The NFC East is filled with talented receivers such as CeeDee Lamb, A.J. Brown, and Devonta Smith. It’s time for New York to get a young corner that can match up with them.

Jaxon Smith-Njiga, wide receiver, Ohio State

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When Ohio State held its Pro Day last week, Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll were in attendance.  One of the talented players they were scouting was Jaxon Smith Njigba who ran a 4.48 in the 40-yard dash.

Injuries limited him to just three games in 2022, but in 2021, he led the Buckeyes in receptions (95) and receiving yards (1,606). Keep in mind this is a Buckeye team that had two receivers that were drafted in the first round which were Chris Olave, and the 2022 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson.

Smith-Njiga is an exceptional route runner that would be a matchup nightmare for teams to cover him in the slot. For those that feel the team addressed the receiver in signing Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder, keep in mind the only receivers currently on the roster signed beyond the 2023 season are Darius Slayton and Wan’Dale Robinson.

So the team needs playmakers at the receiver position for next season and beyond. The 6-foot-one 200-pound former Buckeye seems to be the right man to fill that need.

Related: New York Giants coach Brian Daboll projects big things for Daniel Jones in 2023

Jordan Addison, wide receiver, USC

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For similar reasons why Njigba could be in the mix for Big Blue with the 25th pick, the same can be said for 6-foot 175-pound Addison. The team currently doesn’t have a true number-one wideout and Addison could fill that void.

He began his college career in 2020 as a freshman for the Pittsburgh Panthers where he had 60 receptions for 666 yards and four touchdowns. Then in his sophomore season was sensational catching 100 passes for 1,593 yards, and 17 touchdowns, and won the Biletnikoff Award given to the nation’s best receiver.

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In May of 2022, he announced he would be transferring to USC where he would finish his collegiate career with 59 receptions for 875 yards and eight touchdowns. Having shown the ability to excel at programs indicates that he should be able to transition to the NFL game as well as any receiver in this year’s draft.

After giving Jones a four-year $160 million contract, it’s time to get him some playmakers on the outside that can maximize his potential.