NFL Teams Biggest Needs by Draft Order
A brand-new article series! NFL writer Logan Lepiscopo brings a series that will entitle every NFL team’s biggest offseason need heading into free agency and the NFL draft. Each article will consist of two teams going in draft order. This article will be the New York Giants and the Carolina Panthers. If a team has multiple first round picks the team that originally owned that pick will be covered, to avoid repetitiveness and ensure all 32 teams are covered. Every article will continue to have a mock draft done via. thedraftnetwork.com.mock-drafts. *Mind you these mock drafts are being done while the combine is going on so some players will move up and down afterwards.*
New York Giants: Offensive Line
The New York Giants offensive line already was not good in 2021, and now the Giants have three starters that are going to be free agents this offseason (Nate Solder, Billy Price, and Will Hernandez). Not to mention that the Giants interior offensive line was ranked last in pass blocking. Though the defensive side of the ball could use some help with some more poor rankings they received in 2021. The linebacker group being the third lowest ranked in the league, and the edge rushers… fourth lowest. Though the Giants are fortunate to have two top 10 picks in the draft, salary cap is a huge problem with franchise tags and free agency flying into their rearview mirror. Any players being cut would result in a tremendous amount of cap hit, so trading for more picks or getting rid of some overpaid players via trade (Kenny Golladay) would be in the best interest of the Giants. Without further ado here is what I think would be the best mock draft for the New York Giants.
RD-1-Pick 5- OT-Ikem Ekonwu- N.C. St.
RD-1-Pick 7- Edge-George Karlafitis- Purdue
RD-2-Pick 36- LB-Christian Harris- Alabama
RD-3-Pick 67-G/T-Darian Kinnard-Kentucky
RD-3-Pick 81- TE-Jalen Wydermyer- Texas A&M
RD-4- Pick 110- WR-Jalen Tolbert- South Alabama
RD-5- Pick 146- S- Bryan Cook- Cincinnati
RD-5-Pick 172- CB-Josh Thompson- Texas
RD 6- Pick 180- QB-Brock Purdy- Iowa St.
Top player hitting free agency: Nate Solder
Cap space: $ -7.96M
Carolina Panthers: Quarterback
The Panthers biggest need to most is obviously the quarterback position, and if there is a team that would likely trade down to get that QB it would be the Panthers. Not only would picking a QB at number six be a reach but trading back would give the Panthers more draft picks because after that number six pick they would not select again for 100 picks. Only holding six picks in the draft is not ideal for a team that is in the rebuilding phase, for my mock drafts I stay away from using trades, but I am confident that the Panthers will trade out of this number six pick. Along with a quarterback offensive line is the 1b need for the Panthers, barring McCaffrey getting traded he will need a strong offensive line to help protect him from reinjuries. Then quite obviously the front seven of this team needs to be restricted, more specifically looking at the linebackers and defensive tackles. Cornerback could be an area to research as well with Stephon Gilmore and Donte Jackson set to hit the free agency market. Now of course what you were waiting for, my early 2022 mock draft for the Carolina Panthers.
RD-1-Pick 6- OT-Charles Cross- Mississippi St.
RD-4-Pick 106- LB-Quay Walker- Georgia
RD-5-Pick 143- DL-John Ridgeway- Arkansas
RD-5-Pick 148- C/G-Cole Strange- Chattanooga
RD-6-Pick 198- CB-Matt Hankins- Iowa
RD-7-Pick 244- S-Bubba Bolden- Miami,Fla
Top player hitting free agency: Hasson Reddick
Cap space: $10.11M