The 2017 NFL Draft has came and went, and the New York Giants have six new freshman players. The team had various needs (tight end, defensive tackle, offensive line, kicker, linebacker), and some of these were addressed better than others. Here’s Overtime’s report card review of the 2017 New York Giants Draft Class.
1. Evan Engram, Tight End, Ole Miss
The Giants’ first pick of the draft was one of their most surprising. Despite there being offensive tackles and linebackers available at pick 23, the Giants chose to fill a different hole in their roster, choosing tight end Evan Engram out of Ole Miss. The Giants have needed a playmaking tight end ever since Jeremy Shockey was traded in 2008, and Big Blue may have gotten their man with the drafting of Engram.
Engram has the body and athleticism of a slot receiver. He isn’t the largest tight end at 6’3”, 234 lbs, but Engram makes up for that with blazing speed. Engram ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, the best of any tight end by a long shot, and comparable to many speedy wide receivers, such as Victor Cruz (4.47).
Engram isn’t as much of a traditional power tight end, but he is more of a futuristic, pass-catching tight end. Similar to Jordan Reed of the Redskins or even wideout Mike Evans of the Buccaneers, Engram is the threat up the seam the Giants have sorely missed for the last decade. He will be a matchup nightmare, and should become one of Eli Manning’s favorite targets in short time.
Some pundits thought that the 23rd pick could be a little high for Engram, who isn’t a great blocker, but he fit the Giants’ needs perfectly. I see no problems with this pick from the Giants’ standpoint, and it shouldn’t be long before Engram is catching touchdown passes at MetLife Stadium for the Giants faithful.
2. Dalvin Tomlinson, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
The Giants lost valuable DT Jonathan Hankins to the Indianapolis Colts this offseason, but the Giants were quick to find a replacement in big Dalvin Tomlinson out of Alabama. Tomlinson is a plugger at 6’3”, 310 lbs, but he is far from being a one-dimensional run-stuffer. Tomlinson won a National Championship in 2015, and developed as a pass-rusher over his tenure in Alabama.
There is more to Tomlinson than meets the eye. An academic star, Tomlinson was a captain for the Crimson Tide and has exceptional character. Always quick with a smile, Tomlinson should be a natural fit with veteran Damon “Snacks” Harrison in the D-Line room.
The Giants may not want Tomlinson to be a starter right out of the gate, but by at least the midway point of the season, expect Tomlinson to be taking on a much larger role. The Giants have a long lineage of great defensive linemen, and it looks like Tomlinson could be just what the Giants needed.
3. Davis Webb, Quarterback, California
Arguably a bigger shock than picking Engram in the first round, the Giants selected lanky quarterback Davis Webb in the third round. While Webb has the pedigree of a winner and could have future starter’s potential, I’m not too sure that this was the correct pick for the Giants at this time.
For one, Eli Manning still has three more years left on his contract and is showing no alarming signs of slowing down. Given that rookie contracts are set at four years each, it is likely that Webb will not see the field as a starter until at least his third year. There shouldn’t be any rush to replace Manning at this point in time.
At the same time though, the Giants do need to find a successor down the road for Manning. In that respect, Webb looks like he could be a fit. He has good arm strength and came from a very pass-heavy offense at Cal. He has a long way to go, but Webb could be the Giants’ next starting quarterback under the right circumstances.
However, the Giants already went down this road with Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse four years ago, and that was undoubtedly a waste of a pick. Would the Giants have been better served to have taken an offensive lineman or a linebacker with this pick? Only time will tell, but Webb does seem like the kind of quarterback the Giants would like to develop. Let’s revisit this pick in a few years.
4. Wayne Gallman, Running Back, Clemson
It is no secret that the Giants needed to acquire a power running back, and they got their man in Wayne Gallman out of Clemson. Gallman played a large role for Clemson in their run to a National Championship, scoring 17 touchdowns this season and 30 over the last two years.
Gallman is far from a speed demon, but the Giants needed a player like him desperately. A 6’0”, 210 lb. bruiser, Gallman is the closest thing to a Brandon Jacobs or LaGarrette Blount type of player. The Giants made a similar pick three years ago in the disappointing Andre Williams, but Gallman should be an excellent compliment to Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen. Nothing not to like here.
5. Avery Moss, Defensive End, Youngstown State
You can never have too many defensive ends, and the Giants added another one to their team with the selection of Avery Moss in the fifth round out of Youngstown State. Moss began his college career at Nebraska, but was kicked off of campus for an indecent exposure charge. Moss spent a year away, where he claims to have gotten a new lease on life. He was given a second chance at Youngstown, where he stayed out of trouble and produced on the football field.
Moss will be a developmental pick whose role will expand as time goes by. From the onset of training camp though, Moss could have a chance to surpass underwhelming backup DEs Kerry Wynn, Romeo Okwara, and Owa Odighizuwa on the depth chart. The Giants don’t usually select players with character concerns, so they must really be high on Moss’s potential.
6. Adam Bisnowaty, Offensive Tackle, Pittsburgh
The Giants had sixth and seventh round picks at their disposal, but elected to trade them both to move up and draft offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty out of Pittsburgh in the sixth round to end their draft. Bisnowaty was a four-year starter at Pitt, and has said he is comfortable playing either tackle or moving inside to guard if need be.
Sixth round picks are often crapshoots, but the Giants traded up to ensure that they got Bisnowaty. Scouting reports indicate that he has a lot to work on, but any type of production that can be acquired from a Day 3 pick can be considered a success. Given those low expectations, there’s a chance that Bisnowaty could surprise in later years.
Overall, I am happy with the Giants’ 2017 Draft Class. It would have been nice to have drafted a linebacker, a kicker, and an offensive lineman earlier in the draft, but the Giants took the best available players in their eyes. Engram, Tomlinson, and Gallman all have a chance to contribute immediately, and the rest could pay dividends in a few years.