New York’s NFL teams used to be in the spotlight on draft night. They’ve combined in five of the Top 5 picks in the last four drafts, thanks in large part to some uninspiring regular season finishes. This year, they are doubly front and center.
The Jets and Giants each have two picks in the top ten—the Jets in fourth and tenth, and the Giants in fifth and seventh—giving them excellent opportunities to restock rosters exhausted by years of spotty crafting and permanent rebuilding. Both teams enter the draft with a total of nine selections to meet the needs of the main menu.
It’s unlikely that both teams will use the quarterback’s top pick this year. The Jets drafted Zach Wilson to second overall last year, and the Giants are optimistic about how rookie Daniel Jones will play. Under the leadership of a new coach, Although the team decided not to choose his fifth year option. Away from the middle, the two teams can go in different directions.
At the top of the Jets’ list of needs is a rusher (a constant task to get that privilege), a cornerback and a No. 1 receiver. In pick No. 4, they should be able to land either one of the class’s best sprinters or top-back Ahmed Gardner of Cincinnati. One of this year’s best receivers should be a 10th aircraft choice, too.
Jets general manager Joe Douglas has an additional option in the second round of last year’s deal with quarterback Sam Darnold to the Panthers, giving him four chances in the top 38 picks to add players of basic caliber.
One of the Giants’ most pressing needs is to properly handle termination with left intervention Andrew Thomas, 4th overall pick in 2020. This role could be filled with one of the best competitions available: North Carolina Akim Ikuno, Evan Neal in Alabama or Charles Cross, Mississippi. Like the Jets, the Giants also have needs in the distinct positioning of the edge sneaker and backstrap. If available, Gardner would be a great choice in either 5th or No. 7, and this year’s deep edge rusher class means the Giants should be able to tackle that spot either in the first round or later.
Giants first-year general manager Joe Shuen inherited an inflated salary cap that left him virtually no room for free agency work, but the additional first-round pick — earned when the Giants traded bears in the 2021 draft — was a welcome parting gift from his predecessor Dave Gittleman. .
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