NFL Draft best available players for New York Giants: Andrew Booth, Nakobe Dean

The Giants make a pair of picks in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday – Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux at no. 5-Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal at no. 7. Those picks addressed two big needs, but general manager Joe Schoen has plenty of work remaining.

The Giants have seven more picks, including three on Friday night: a second-round pick (No. 36) and two third-round picks (Nos. 67 and 81). They have four extra picks on Saturday.

Here’s a look at some potential targets at each pick:

Second round (No. 36)

1. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson: The Giants were expected to target two of three positions in the first round: Offensive tackle, edge rusher and cornerback. They went with the tackle and edge rusher, so that leaves the cornerback as a major hole that needs to be filled on Day 2. Booth has man coverage skills that fit defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale’s system. Washington’s Kyler Gordon is another potential cornerback target in the second round.

2. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia: The Linebacker is an underrated need for the Giants, as they have Blake Martinez in his final year of contract coming off a torn ACL and a bunch of fringe NFL players. There’s a group of linebackers that could fill that need in the second round, with Dean’s playmaking ability making him a strong fit. Alabama’s Christian Harris could also be a second-round target.

3. Logan Hall, DL, Houston: The Giants took the Thibodeaux in the first round, but their pass rush still needed help. The versatile hall would aid in that department. The 6-foot-6, 283-pounder can line up in a variety of positions, which is a trait coveted by Martindale.

4. Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan: There were whispers that the Giants could take on a wide receiver in the first round. That obviously didn’t happen, but it wouldn’t be a shock if they address the position early on Day 2. Moore broke out with 95 catches for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.

5. David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan: This would be a wild-card pick, but it was worth considering. Ojabo was seen as a first-round talent before tearing his Achilles at Michigan’s pro day. Even if Ojabo misses his rookie season, the Giants have to consider adding value to an elite talent at a premium position at this stage of the draft.

There is an even greater potential wild card: quarterback. Pitt’s Kenny Pickett was the only QB pick in the first round. It would have been a surprise if the Giants drafted a quarterback, but the surplus at the position could have made the 36th pick more attractive in a trade.


Georgia running back James Cook could have a 2 day option for the Giants. (David Rosenblum / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Third round (Nos. 67, 81)

1. Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia: The Giants are completely revamping their tight ends room. They have a few veteran stopgaps, but they need a long-term solution. The 6-7, 253-pound Woods would be an ideal fit.

2. Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati: The Giants are bound to add a wide receiver at some point in the draft. The middle rounds could be a sweet spot if they don’t take one earlier, and a prospect like the 6-3, 211-pound Pierce would represent if the receivers room gets shaken up.

3. James Cook, RB, Georgia: The Bills took running backs in the third round of consecutive drafts when Schoen was his assistant GM. That trend could continue with the Giants as they prepare for life after Saquon Barkley. Cook’s dynamic playmaking ability fits with what coach Brian Daboll sees in a running back.

4. Nick Cross, S, Maryland: The Giants only have two safeties on the roster, so they need to make an addition in the draft. Cross has the versatility to play in different spots in the secondary and he could grow into a solid complement to Xavier McKinney.

5. Luke Fortner, C / G, Kentucky: Even after taking Neal in the first round, the Giants need to beef up their interior of the line. Fortner could push for a starting guard job as a rookie develops into a long-term starting center.

Fourth round (No. 112)

1. Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State: If the Giants don’t take a tight end on Day 2, it looks like they’ll target one early on Day 3. The 6-7, 252-pound Kolar would be able to step in immediately as a rotational player. General Chat Chat Lounge

2. Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State: The Bills frequently used Day 3 picks on wide receivers during Schoen’s time in Buffalo. Schoen will hope Shakir could become the next Gabriel Davis, a fourth-round pick in 2020 with significant potential.

3. Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M: Like with the tight end, the Giants figure to take a running back on Day 3 if they don’t grab one earlier. They need to upgrade their depth this season while keeping an eye on the future. Spiller has the traits to develop into a three-down back.

4. John Ridgeway, DT, Arkansas: The Giants exercised Dexter Lawrence’s fifth-year option for 2023, while Leonard Williams could have a capsistancy next offseason. Even if both of those players are retained, the Giants need to bolster their defensive line. The 6-5, 321-pound Ridgeway could develop into a long-term nose tackle.

5. JoJo Domann, LB, Nebraska: Domann has the athleticism Martindale covets in linebackers. The 6-1, 228-pounder could complement the more physical Martinez inside.

Fifth (Nos. 147, 173) and sixth (No. 182) rounds

1. Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State: There are no perfect prospects at this part of the draft, so teams are looking for players with traits that can be developed or a skill set that will translate to the NFL. The 6-2, 197-pound Watson has the size and length of Martindale’s schemes.

2. Zach Thom, C / T, Wake Forest: The Giants figure to keep throwing darts at the offensive line to build depth. The 6-4, 304-pound Thom has the versatility to serve as a backup tackle while potentially developing into a starting center.

3. Percy Butler, Safety, Louisiana: The 6-foot, 194-pound Butler ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash at the combine. That speed should make him an immediate special teams contributor with traits that can be developed at safety.

4. Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State: Strong’s skill set fits in well with an outside zone run scheme, which is expected to be deployed by Daboll. Strong could have a rotational back with the potential to grow into a third-down back role.

5. Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Maryland: Okonkwo’s 4.52-second 40-yard dash was the fastest among tight ends at the combine. The 6-3, 238-pounder could fill the H-back role in Daboll’s offense.

(Top photo of Andrew Booth Jr.: Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images)

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