Team Giants


Special Report

Sent: 04-27-2024

Dave Klein was the Giants' beat writer for The Star-Ledger from 1961 to 1995.
He is the author of 26 books and he was one of only three sportswriters to have covered all the Super Bowls until the past few. Dave has allowed TEAM GIANTS to reprint some of his articles.


By Dave Klein
For the Giants, the 2024 draft ended with the sixth round, and here they are:
1 - Wide Receiver Malik Nabers, LSU
2 - Safety Tyler Nubin, Minnesota
3 - Cornerback Andru Phillips, Kentucky
4 - Tight end Theo Johnson, Penn State
5 - Running back Tyrone Tracy, Purdue
6 - Linebacker Darius Muasau, UCLA

And no, you aren't missing anything, nor are your eyes deceiving you. There is not an offensive lineman to be found, despite the fact that many thought this was the prime area of need for the team.

Well, apparently general manager Joe Schoen didn't think that was the case, nor did he receive any prompting from his buddy from Buffalo, head coach Brian Daboll.

Nabers should have an immediate impact on the Giants' offense. He is 6-0 and 200, ran the yard dash in 4.35 seconds and is considered an immediate starter, which is good news for embattled quarterback Daniel Jones.

Nubin also fills a need, although one not quite as desperate as the wide receiver group. He is 6-1 and 220, was a second team All-America choice and in his 2023 season he had five interceptions, 53 solo tackles and a sack. He should become a starter in his first season.

To his credit, he led all safeties in college football last season with a 90.1 coverage rating, meaning only 9.9 of the receivers he covered actually caught the pass thrown to them.

After those two, however, questions emerge. Phillips, 5-10 and 190, may well view his rookie season from the bench with occasional visits to the field in special formation circumstances.

Schoen took time to meet with the media after the final pick was called in, and the first impression was that the draft went almost exactly the way he wanted it to go.

'Yeah, I think where we are right now, coming into the off-season, between what we did in free agency, the draft today, the trade for Brian Burns ... it's all good. Again, we always have room to grow and always have room to improve. I say it all the time, we don't play until September, so there's still time for us to acquire players, the final cutdown, whatever it may be.
'I like the group that we have right now and I'm excited to get the rookies in here, assimilate them into our culture, get on the grass, practice and then as we observe and evaluate the players as we're going through it, if we still have needs, there will probably be some vets released over the next couple weeks, as well.
'There's always going to be a time and a place where you can add more players. We'll see where we are now, and as we go through the competition period and training camp, if there are other areas we need to fill, we'll try to do that.'

Nowhere during his session did he mention the fact that no offensive lineman was drafted, nor did those doing the questioning. Perhaps Schoen is counting on experienced veteran free agents to show up, or maybe he's confident that the group he has in hand will somehow improve.

Coupled with the drafting of Tracy (5-11, 210) in the fifth round was the signing as a free agent of another running back, Dante Miller, who played at Columbia University and then South Carolina. Miller, 5-9 and 200, has run an astounding 4.27 in the 40, and was declared ineligible for this draft because of a snafu in the South Carolina administrative office.

He did, however, participate in the school's Pro Day, where he attracted the attention of Schoen and his staff. With the signing of Saquon Barkley by the Eagles (and a decision is expected soon on whether Philly violated protocol in his negotiations) the Giants did need a running back.

Johnson, a towering 6-6 and 260 pounds, might be the beneficiary of Darren Waller's uncertain future. He isn't sure whether he wants to retire or not, and if he does the only player in Johnson's way would be Daniel Bellinger, in his fourth NFL season.

So in the final analysis, was this a successful draft for the Giants? Yeah, as long as they find those big guys to block for the running backs and protect the quarterback.

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