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New York Giants fans have very little to chat about at the moment. With the unprecedented 18th week of the season upon us and the Giants mired in another dismal finish, fans are turning to — what else? — next season.
That means mock drafts. Way-too-early mock drafts. Currently, the Giants hold the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft as well as the eighth pick, which they got from the Bears via a trade last April.
In their most recent mock draft, here’s who Pro Football Focus believes the Giants should select.
5. NEW YORK GIANTS: EDGE GEORGE KARLAFTIS, PURDUE BOILERMAKERS
Karlaftis, who was born in Athens, Greece, is the “Greek Freak” of college football. He is one of the most powerful defensive ends in the country, and he pairs that strength with arguably the best hand usage in the class and an explosive get-off that makes life tough on opposing offensive tackles.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Boilermaker showed a lot of promise as an underclassman and maximized his full potential as a true junior, as evidenced by his 90.6 pass-rush grade this season.
Hard to argue with this one unless you want an offensive tackle here…but did you see who was playing defensive line for the Giants last week? Dexter Lawrence was out so it was Leonard Williams, Austin Johnson and three guys you probably never heard of.
The Giants could use a T.J. Watt-like presence up front and Karlaftis has some those traits. Of course, he has a long way to go before we compare him to Watt, but this would be a coup if he gets to that level.
8. NEW YORK GIANTS (VIA CHICAGO): C TYLER LINDERBAUM, IOWA HAWKEYES
Linderbaum went from defensive tackle to the best offensive lineman in college football in just two years.
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Iowa product played both sides of the ball in high school and was recruited to play on the interior defensive line, where he logged 18 snaps in his first college season. He then flipped to center for the 2019 campaign, where he started and recorded the fifth-best grade in the FBS at the position (81.7). Linderbaum then claimed the No. 1 spot in 2020 before making history in 2021, closing out his fourth and final year as a Hawkeye by tying for the highest single-season PFF grade from a Power Five center (94.4).
Football teams are still built from the football on out and that means you need a solid center. Linderbaum is just that. The Giants have been tooling around at center for years and it’s time they got serious.
Nick Gates is a great guy but he’ not a natural center and he’s coming off a devastating leg injury. Billy Price has played fairly well for a guy they picked up on the fly but, again, Linderbaum would be an upgrade and the Giants need upgrades.