Oddsmakers Saying New York Giants, Jets Will Draft These Players
The NFL season may have ended in mid-February, but the chaos that comes with the NFL offseason is still in full-swing. The marquee event of every offseason is the NFL Draft, and that occasion is right around the corner.
Unlike their brethren up north in Buffalo, the New York Giants and New York Jets still have a great deal of work to do in order to elevate themselves into championship consideration. The Giants are going through a re-build with new GM Joe Schoen, while the Jets are just exiting a re-build of their own.
With both franchises still building their respective foundations, each NFL Draft cycle is crucial. When it comes to this year's draft, these are the players Las Vegas believes will be headed to Metlife Stadium this fall.
New York Giants' First Round Draft Odds
Entering the first round of the 2022 Draft, the Giants have two picks in the Top 10, with picks No. 5 and No. 7 belonging to New York. The Giants earned the 5th pick themselves with their horrible 2021 season, but gained the 7th pick through a trade that allowed Chicago to select Justin Fields a season ago.
Here is what Vegas believes New York will do at No. 5...
- Charles Cross (tackle, Mississippi State): +300
- Ikem Ekwonu (tackle, NC State): +400
- Evan Neal (tackle, Alabama): +450
- Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner (corner, Cincinnati): +550
- Kayvon Thibodeaux (defensive end, Oregon): +750
- Travon Walker (edge rusher, Georgia): +850
- The Field: +450
Take a look at the top three options on this list. They're ALL offensive tackles. Cross, Ekwonu and Neal are all elite-level offensive linemen, and as more mock drafts continue to come out, it seems clearer and clearer that the Giants will select an offensive lineman with the No. 5 overall pick.
That's the right decision, given how bad their line has been. If Thibodeaux is still on the draft board at No. 5, I take him, and draft a lineman with their No. 7 selection. The same concept goes for Aidan Hutchinson from Michigan, though he's almost guaranteed to be off-the-board by now.
If Thibodeaux and Hutchinson are gone, the Giants should take one of those offensive linemen at No. 5, and trade their 7th pick to a team looking to move up.
My pick for the Giants' No. 5 selection: Ikem Ekwonu
New York Jets' First Round Draft Odds
Meanwhile, the New York Jets have two of the other Top 10 picks in this year's NFL Draft. They earned the No. 4 pick, one spot ahead of the Giants, and gained the 10th pick from their trade with Seattle that sent safety Jamal Adams out of town.
Here is what Vegas believes New York will do at No. 4...
- Kayvon Thibodeaux (defensive end, Oregon): +350
- Ikem Ekwonu (tackle, NC State): +450
- Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner (corner, Cincinnati): +450
- Derek Stingley (corner, LSU): +500
- Evan Neal (tackle, Alabama): +575
- Drake London (wide receiver, USC): +900
- Kyle Hamilton (safety, Notre Dame): +900
- The Field: +950
Thibodeaux leads the pack for the New York Jets, and he would be an outstanding addition to the team's defense. The Jets allowed the most yards per game of any defense in the NFL, 13 more yards per game than the next-worst team. They also allowed the most points-per-game of any team, two points more than Detroit.
So, I'm ruling out every offensive player for their No. 4 pick.
The team added safety Jordan Whitehead, and cornerback DJ Reed, in free agency this season, showing a commitment to strengthening their secondary ahead of the 2022 season. The team was within the bottom eight teams in the league in quarterback hurries, pressures and sacks in 2022, and was tied for third-worst in interceptions, as well.
Defense is the biggest need, and it is a defender who I think they'll take.
My pick for the Jets' No. 4 selection: Kayvon Thibodeaux
Bonus selection: S Kyle Hamilton (if available at No. 10)