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APC Community Mock Draft: The Giants are on the clock at no. 5

The Giants are on the clock with the 5th pick after the Jets selected Ikem Ekwonu at no. 4.

NCAA Football: Murray State at Cincinnati Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

As the APC community mock draft continues, the New York Jets went with Ikem Ekwonu with the 4th pick in the draft, making this the 3rd year in a row they’ve picked an offensive lineman in the first round. Protecting Zach Wilson and giving him the tools to succeed will be paramount in the Jets’ rebuilding effort and Ekwonu certainly helps there.

The Giants are up next with the 5th pick in the draft, and much like the Texans at number 3, they’re hoping to turn over a new leaf this April. Brian Daboll takes over as head coach while Joe Schoen will look to help the team recover from the Dave Gettleman era. Navigating your team into salary cap hell while picking in the top 5 is not the assessment you want on your report card, so it makes sense that the Giants chose to clean house. As a result, they will need to build through the draft this year.

Offensive tackle is the position most often mocked to New York here, and after shoring up their interior with a few under-the-radar signings, it makes sense. If the Giants don’t end up trading this pick to a QB-needy team, Charles Cross would be a good fit here to pair with Andrew Thomas, who showed improvement in 2021. If the Giants intend to make the Daniel Jones experiment work, having two solid tackles is a great place to start.

On the other side of the ball, James Bradberry looks to be on his way out as the Giants, who are only $6m under the cap, look to save more money. If a trade is in the cards, Ahmad Gardner would be an excellent replacement. New defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale values physicality and Gardner brings it in spades. Finally, Travon Walker would add the dynamic edge rusher the Giants' defense has been lacking for a few years. Pairing him with Leonard Williams and former college teammate Azeez Ojulari would make for a much improved defensive line. Read on for our breakdowns of each player and don’t forget to vote on who you think the Giants will select with the 5th pick.


Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State

Despite having only two years starting at the collegiate level, Cross jumps off the screen with a level of aggression you love to see in a franchise tackle. Cross is lean but he should have no problem adding weight to his 6’5” frame. He may struggle against speed rushers in the NFL but has displayed the ability to recover well using his length and lateral agility. If the Giants are looking for a guy who plays angry and wants to punish anyone near him, Cross will be the pick here. There has been reported interest on the Giants’ end and he would slot in as their right tackle of the future from day 1 if they feel he can make the transition from the left side.

Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

Assuming the inevitable James Bradberry trade happens between now and the draft, Gardner presents a unique opportunity to replace him. At 6’3”, 190 lbs., he is excellent at using his length to jam receivers at the line and shut down a play before it begins. Wink Martindale’s scheme relies on physical corners and Gardner would be an immediate starter in a Giants’ defensive backfield that would be lacking in talent. His vision and ball skills would give the Giants a premium playmaker in the backfield and provide them a plug-and-play replacement for Bradberry from day 1.

Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia

Of this draft’s top 3 edge rushers, Travon Walker may be the freakiest. Posting a 9.99 RAS, Walker is a one-year starter who was a pivotal part of Georgia’s ferocious defense last season, posting 7.5 TFL and 6 sacks. He can play just about anywhere on the line due to his rare athleticism at 272 pounds and is solid against the run, Walker will need to develop his secondary rush moves at the next level, but the focus on one position in the league should help there. The Giants’ already poor pass rush lost Lorenzo Carter, who tallied 5 sacks last season, and replacing him will be high on their to-do list in the draft.


Poll

Who will the Giants select at no. 5?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
    (55 votes)
  • 23%
    Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
    (45 votes)
  • 48%
    Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
    (94 votes)
194 votes total Vote Now

With the Giants’ first selection out of the way, we look to the Panthers with the 6th pick in the draft. Check back later today for that poll and don’t forget to vote on Twitter (@acmepackingco).