It’s almost a shame that the 2019 New York Giants draft class will be remembered purely for one guy at the top of the draft, but that comes with the territory when you draft a quarterback in top 10. When it was all said and done, Dave Gettelman put together one of the deepest drafts on the defensive side of the ball of any team in the NFL, but if Daniel Jones isn’t a hit, it will all be for naught.
Using the sixth overall pick on a quarterback as flawed as Jones is not a risk we at PFF would have been willing to take – especially with former Kentucky edge defender Josh Allen on the board. That’s not a wholesale write off of his talents, but rather a risk/reward assessment of them in the top 10. We’d have felt far more comfortable taking Jones on Day 2: he has NFL-level pocket presence and mechanics, but he wasn’t even top 10 in this draft class in adjusted completion percentage. That’s lack of accuracy is worrisome.
From there though, the Giants repeatedly addressed needs on the defensive side of the ball with superb value. Dexter Lawrence at 17 has the rare potential to be a three-down nose tackle. If he stays at his Combine weight of 342 pounds, that’s unlikely, but in his post-draft interview, he vowed to slim down. If that’s the case, the Giants will be getting one of the few players in PFF College history who put up an elite 90.0-plus grade as a true freshman (90.3 on 626 snaps in 2016).
Gettleman and company stayed hot from there, nabbing two of the best cornerback value picks in the entire draft. Georgia corner Deandre Baker went 30th but was 16th overall on our final draft board while Notre Dame’s Julian Love went 108th despite clocking in at 45th on the PFF draft board. Both ran over 4.5s at the combine, but both make up for it with physicality and ball skills. Love had the second-most forced incompletions in the country over the past two seasons (38) while Baker ranked ninth (29). Both could step in and make an impact from Day 1.
Hitting impact players at value positions is the hallmark of any draft we’ll like here at PFF, and the Giants may have gotten another in Old Dominion edge defender Oshane Ximines. Only Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, and Ronheen Bingham had a higher pass-rushing grade over the past two seasons than the Giants’ third-rounder. He’s a tad undersized and may only be a designated pass-rusher to start, but he is exceptional at winning with his hands.
While the Jones pick has been plastered all over the national media, the rest of the Giants draft went a long way towards setting them up for future success. They nabbed multiple PFF favorites at important positions of need and value for a solid draft overall.