Originally published at footballtakes.com by Spencer Davis

Who should the New York Giants draft in the first round?

The New York Giants have been struggling in case you didn’t notice. Since winning the Superbowl in 2011 the Giants have made the playoffs just one time, and lost in the wild card that year. The Giants also are reportedly looking to trade their 1st round pick from last year’s draft, Kadarius Toney.

The Giants went 1-7 in their last 8 games to end the season with a 4-13 record, tied for the third worst win percentage in the league last season (23.5%). They were 1-5 against the NFC east and lost by a total of 55 points in their four games against Dallas and Washington. 

The good news for Giants fans is that the G-men have two top 10 draft picks this year. Pick number 5 and pick number 7 in the first round both belong to New York, so I’m going to go through what makes the most sense for the team to do with their early picks. I’ll discuss trade options, draft options, and who is the best fit for this team.

To trade or not to trade, that is the question.

The Giants are sitting on a goldmine with the 5th and 7th overall picks in this year’s draft. Based off of my NFL Mock Draft, I am expecting the Giants to hold on to both of these picks. The draft this year isn’t great, but there’s a lot of depth in the defensive ends, offensive lineman, and secondary defenders this year.

For New York to give up the 5th or 7th pick, I believe they’d have to be offered a deal they literally cannot refuse. A major star or extremely respected player would have to be included for New York to pass up on these picks. There are rumours that the Giants are going to trade last year’s first round pick, so why would they trade away this year’s picks too?

Pick no. 5

This pick to me is a lot more interesting than the seventh. Depending on who the Texans and Jets take in front of them, the Giants have a chance to steal a high quality player on either side of the ball.

I am expecting the Texans to draft Ikem Ekwonu, a phenomenal offensive lineman from N.C State. Both the Texans and Giants need similar things on both sides of the ball, so I expect the Giants to grab whoever the Texans don’t.

So if the Texans snag Ekwonu at #3, that should leave Kayvon Thibodeaux, one of the country’s best pass rushers, to be grabbed by the Giants at number 5. Thibodeaux is 6’5” 260 pounds and moves off the line incredibly quickly. He would be an amazing addition to any defense in the NFL.

If the Texans instead choose Thibodeaux at #3, I think the Giants will take Ekwonu to help protect Daniel Jones. The Giants also could use a receiver, but it doesn’t make sense for them to commit to a receiver this early in the draft.

Pick no. 7

The Giants have had a rough time defending the pass, especially on the road the past few seasons. Here to help with that is Ahmad ‘Sauce’ Gardner. Gardner is widely regarded as the most skilled, most athletic, and best primed secondary defender in this year’s draft.

Assuming Gardner isn’t taken in the top 6, he is the obvious choice for New York to take. The Giants were bottom half of the league in pass yards allowed for the past three years and need a defense that can make stops and force turnovers. I believe using these first two draft picks on Kayvon Thibodeaux and Ahmad Gardner immediately put the Giants defense a few  steps above what they were last season.

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