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5 issues New York Giants must attack in 2023 NFL Draft

New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen has been aggressive this offseason improving the roster via free agency and making a blockbuster trade to acquire tight end, Darren Waller. But the team still has several holes that they need to fill if they’re going to improve on their 9-7-1 record from a season ago.

Fortunately, New York has 10 draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, which kicks off on Thursday night. There’s still wide speculation on which direction Schoen will go with the 25th overall pick in the event. However, the organization has to make the most of their various picks this month to upgrade an already improving roster.

With that in mind, here are the areas that the New York Giants must address during the three days of this year’s NFL Draft.

New York Giants must find two interior offensive linemen

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It’s without question the biggest area of concern for the team is the interior offensive line. This unit would often lose the battle of the line of scrimmage last season, and now they have to replace Jon Feliciano and Nick Gates who left via free agency.

It’s imperative that Schoen drafts a center and guard prior to Day 3 of the draft. Minnesota center John Michael Schmitz who is considered the best center in this draft has been mentioned as a possibility for Big Blue with the 25th overall pick, but they can also grab Ohio State center Luke Wypler in Round 2, or Steve Availa from TCU who has played every position on the line except for left tackle.

When the draft ends on Saturday, Schoen has to have two viable options at center and guard that can be Week 1 starters.

Discover a starting-caliber cornerback

Acquiring one of the best corners has to be a priority for Schoen. As of right now the only corner on the roster that has shown they can compete against the top receivers in this league is Adoree’ Jackson, and he has a history of injuries.

This is why Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr as well as Deonte Banks of Maryland are viewed as possibilities in Round 1. South Carolina’s Cam Smith could be an option if he’s still on the board in Round 2, and Kyu Blue Kelly from Stanford and TCU’s Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson should be on Schoen’s radar in later rounds.

Giants must locate an explosive wide receiver

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Big plays from the passing game have been sorely missing from New York’s offense for a long time. Despite the addition of Parris Campbell and resigning Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Isaiah Hodgins, the team is still without a true number-one wideout.

They desperately need a receiver that can create separation and is great at running after the catch. USC’s Jordan Addison who visited the team earlier this month would seem to be the perfect pick at 25 if Schoen chooses to go in that direction. If Schoen decides to wait one round before grabbing a wideout, there’s a chance that Tennessee’s Cedric Tillman will be on the board at pick number 57. If not for an ankle injury last year, Tillman would have been projected as a first-round pick.

Find some answers for issues at inside linebacker

Signing free agent Bobby Okereke will surely help New York’s run defense that finished 27th last season, but the team needs to add depth to go along with Micah McFadden, Darrian Beavers, and Jarrad Davis who the team brought back on a one-year deal.

There are other positions that Schoen should address in the first three rounds, but he needs to find another inside linebacker that can make an immediate impact for the defense as well as special teams.

New York needs to snag a running back in the late rounds

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Saquon Barkley’s contract situation has dominated the headlines in recent weeks as he’s unhappy that he got the franchise tag, and the team doesn’t seem willing to negotiate a new deal at this time.

Barkley didn’t appear at a voluntary workout last week and he may decide to hold out from other offseason activities, but you can expect number 26 to be on the field when the season begins. However, there is a strong possibility that 2023 will be his last season with the team.

As a general manager, you always have to have the future in mind and that’s why if late in the draft there’s a running back he has high on his board he needs to take him. Matt Breida is expected to be Barkley’s primary backup this year, but he will be a free agent after the season.

Due to his injury history, Minnesota’s Mohamed Ibrahim should be available in the late rounds for Schoen to grab. Despite his injury concerns, you can’t overlook the three 1,000 yards seasons he had in college. His upside would be worth the risk to take late in the draft.

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