Moeller: Giants Take the Presumed Route, While Jets Take A Slightly Different One

Address the offensive line. Address the secondary. Look for a sleeper as a pass rusher.

Those were the two cries from the Giants’ and Jets’ camps for the NFL draft.

Yet, Giants’ GM Dave Gettleman is on a shorter leash than new Jets’ GM Joe Douglas. Gettleman has to improve his “batting average,” while Thomas has to show the worth of his convictions.

Through the first two days, the Giants have followed suit and the Jets’ path was a bit skewered.

Both teams took the offensive tackle they needed with their first overall picks, and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton both will be anchors for Big Blue and Gang Green respectively.

The Giants resisted the temptation to take Clemson’s all –everything defensive phenom Isaiah Simmons, who would have instantly turned their defense a click higher.

Gettleman stuck to his promise of a few years ago of the “hog mollie” mentality and took the 6-5, 320-pound behemoth.

He then took another step to secure the secondary in the second round by drafting Alabama safety/cornerback Xaiver McKinney, who was believed to be a late first round pick. McKinney joins a crowded secondary and will have a great shot to be a starter on opening day. They later tapped UCLA cornerback Darnay Holmes, who also can be penciled in as an immediate  impact player.

Gettleman later added 6-6, 313-pound Matt Peart from UConn, but he is regarded as a project. They added Oregon guard 6-4, 310-pound Shane Lemieux, who supposedly can make to move to center.

Both Peart and Lemieux both received high pre-draft grades.

Over the final three rounds of the first seven, the Giants went the linebacker route, likely in search of a possible edge rusher with three adequate picks and adding to a crowded corral at the position.

As for Douglas, he swung his first draft cue in the second round when he dealt the 48th pick to Seattle for their pick (59th) and their 110th pick.

He did add the much-anticipated wide receiver with Baylor’s Derrick Mims, who also was an anticipated first-round due to his breakaway speed. Douglas then drafted UCLA safety Ashtyn Davis, who will also help with his return ability.

From there, Douglas shifted gears. He then grabbed Florida defensive end Jabari Zuniga, whose production as a passrusher slipped due to injuries last season. He stayed in the Sunshine State and selected Florida compacted 5-10, 216-pound running back Lamical Perine, who bullied his way to 30 touchdowns over four years. With Bilal Powell remained unsigned, Perine is welcomed depth there as a possible fullback and blocker.

Before Perine chose, Douglas again showed some moxey by trading the 101st pick to New England for two fourth-round picks and a sixth-round pick in 2021.

They ended the second day with some head-scratching moves by taking Florida International quarterback James Morgan, a 23-year-old Green Bay native who began at Bowling Green, whose raw skills still could help him develop into NFL ready sooner than later. They also went an obscure road by taking UNC-Charlotte tackle 6-5, 308-pound Cameron Clark, who will bring another body up front, and Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall could be a real sleeper in the fifth round. Their last pick was Texas A&M punter Braden Mann, but the Jets still need the answer at kicker.






About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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