With free agency winding down and the Annual League Meetings entering its final day, that means only one thing for the offseason: the 2023 NFL Draft is around the corner. For the New York Giants, the draft presents a massive opportunity to continue building the roster around quarterback Daniel Jones.
At the time of last year’s NFL Draft, the Giants weren’t entirely sure on Jones. But after the dual-threat signal-caller led the team to their first playoff berth since 2016, head coach Brian Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen were sold.
New York feels that they now have their franchise guy.
It’s up to the Giants, who have made some nice moves to date in free agency and the trade market, to keep up the good momentum and build a team that can challenge in the NFC.
With the 25th pick in the NFL Draft, Daboll and the Giants are in a good position to select a difference-maker. Will it be USC’s Jordan Addison? Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba?
Or will New York opt to upgrade the defense instead?
Tiem will tell.
In the meantime, let’s speculate on the three best players the Giants must be looking at with their first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Giants: NFL Draft Prospects To Target
3. Joey Porter Jr (CB, Penn State)
This year’s cornerback class is deep, with multiple players deserving of being selected in the NFL Draft’s first round. Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr is one of those players.
The son of former Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter, the Nittany Lions standout has the NFL pedigree- and the skills- to excel at the next level.
The 6-foot-2, 198-pound corner earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors in 2022 while allowing just 15 receptions all season.
The Penn State star was unable to play in the Rose Bowl due to appendicitis, but he certainly did enough in his college career to prove his worth to NFL teams.
And the Giants should be interested.
While one could argue that strong safety might be a more pressing need on New York’s depth chart, one can never have too many corners, especially in today’s pass-happy NFL.
Porter isn’t as fluid as the other corners in this class, but his pedigree and athletic traits make him worth a look for the Giants.
2. Jaxon Smith-Njigba (WR, Ohio State)
The Giants need to take a look at this year’s class of receivers, which seems to be another fairly strong crop of prospects.
One of the best of the bunch is Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
The talented pass-catcher burst onto the scene for the Buckeyes in 2021 and was the best receiver on team that included NFL pass-catchers and 2022 first round picks Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave.
Smith-Njigba tallied over 1600 receiving yards while setting the Ohio Strate single-game record for most receiving yards with 347 in the 2021 Rose Bowl.
Sadly, 2022 was not as kind to the talented wideout.
He appeared in just three games as he battled a nagging hamstring injury.
The Buckeyes star is now fully healthy- and he proved that at the NFL Scouting Combine, posting the fastest 20-yard shuttle and 3-cone drill times of any prospects.
A wizard in the slot, Smith-Njigba looks like a problem for defenses to cover over the middle of the field.
And Daniel Jones, who will need to take another step forward in 2023, can never have too many strong pass-catching options.
1. Jordan Addison (WR, USC)
Jaxon Smith-Njigba would be the Giants’ number-one NFL Draft target, save for the fact that he may not last until the 25th pick.
But USC’s Jordan Addison, who was a bit smaller and slower than teams and pundits initially thought at the Combine, might fall to New York.
Getting the 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner would certainly not be a bad first round pick for a Giants team that, despite adding plenty of veterans to the wide receiver room this offseason, could still use some more weaponry on the outside for Jones.
Addison, who piled up 2,468 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns over his last two college seasons, is a big-time playmaker who lined up both in the slot and on the outside in his career.
That’s the kind of versatile receiver who could develop into a go-to target for Jones for years to come.
Giants fans are likely already salivating at the prospect of Jones throwing passes to Saquon Barkley, Darren Waller, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Addison, among others.
The USC product, who has drawn comparisons to Stefon Diggs, has the potential to take this New York offense to the next level.
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