The New York Giants have a new definition of can’t-miss prospect.
Whomever they select in the first round of the NFL Draft on April 28 can’t miss plugging a hole. The weaknesses are so massive on this team, especially the offense, that New Jersey bettors have a unique challenge predicting how the Giants use their coveted draft package.
Big Blue has the fifth and seventh picks in the draft, a rare commodity on any draft night.
Some mock drafts project the Giants taking one offensive and one defensive player.
Others have them stockpiling future picks by taking a player in the five spot and using the seven slot to trade back and collect more picks for the future.
Betting On The New York Giants’ Draft
The Giants pick fifth. Here are five observations about the draft:
This is how FanDuel Sportsbook assesses the situation:
- Offensive lineman +125
- Defensive lineman +250
- Cornerback +340
- Safety +850
- Linebacker +1000
- Quarterback +2000
These are the individual frontrunners for pick five according to FanDuel:
- Evan Neal (Alabama) +250
- Ikem Ekwonu (N.C. State) +300
- Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati) +350
- Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon) +400
- Travon Walker (Georgia) +700
- Charles Cross (Mississippi State) +1000
The NJ sportsbook has an interesting section connecting pick five and seven in a parlay for bettors. It pays well if gamblers can predict who the Giants take at each slot.
If Neal is selected at No. 5, for example, he’s coupled with a host of other players at the No. 7 pick, with a parlay payout ranging from +600 to +2300.
The bet is void if the Giants trade their seventh pick. And believe it or not, there’s talk of that.
This is an interesting puzzle because low quarterback interest in the draft means that the Jacksonville Jaguars, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, or New York Jets could select one of the players the Giants want in the first four picks.
The stockpile strategy
Collecting draft picks has become an unofficial draft-night pastime. Build up some chits, have a bank of future selections to go with a good first-round pick, and you can never be faulted for mishandling the draft.
The Giants did that last year, as a countermove, to get two first-round picks here.
The Philadelphia Eagles, at No. 12, had made a stunning deal with the on-the-clock Dallas Cowboys, who had the 10th slot. That enabled Philadelphia to leap-frog the No. 11 Giants and snatch DeVonta Smith with the 10th pick.
Rather than pout, the Giants traded back to 20 with the Chicago Bears, who used the 11th pick to get quarterback Justin Fields. The Giants selected Kadarius Toney in the new spot and gained a first-round pick in return.
So here they are, with two. And if ever a team needed two players, on offense, it’s the Giants.
Giants Must Look Offense
The Giants had the lowest point total in the NFC again last year.
Being the lowest scoring team in the entire conference is difficult to do once. But twice in a row? That’s a remarkable underachievement. But that’s where the Giants stand.
Consider this anemic output:
They scored 258 points last year, lowest in the entire NFC. They were only ahead of one team in the entire NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Their point total was 22 fewer than the previous season, despite having the advantage of an additional game.
The Cowboys, with 530, more than doubled them. Ouch.
The Giants had six games last year in which they scored fewer than 10 points, including five of the last six. That’s how a team gets to 4-13 and how coach Joe Judge was fired.
Last year was even more discouraging because of raised expectations.
Big Blue had drafted speedster Toney with their first pick. He scored no touchdowns.
They signed highly-regarded receiver Kenny Golladay in the offseason. No touchdowns.
Golladay and Toney combined for 941 receiving yards. That’s just a little more than Smith, who had 916 yards for the Eagles, to go along with five touchdowns.
The G-Men also picked up Kyle Rudolph, a Pro Bowl tight end. He only managed one touchdown.
Inside the New York Giants’ NFL Draft
The Giants may have to covet offensive line help. Bettors must decide if they take two offensive players, one offense, one defense, or one offense and a trade down.
“The Giants are going to be looking offensive line and probably defensive end,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJGS. “They have built some pretty good teams off of defensive ends over the years.”
“Because this is not a quarterback draft, the offensive line is going to be important to a team, try to open up some holes for the running backs and try to fill in a missing piece. The Giants have a real opportunity to improve their team.”
He added, “Their evaluations on these guys are very important. This is where real good analysis of these guys comes in.”
This draft becomes more position-oriented with the absence of high-profile QBs.
“Malik Willis (Liberty) is probably the first quarterback taken and perhaps the sixth person to go in the draft, but after that, I can’t even tell you when the next quarterback would go,” Avello said.
“You may not see another quarterback go in the first round.”
The first QB taken is still a good betting crapshoot, with Willis -135 at DraftKings and Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh) at +130.
The Carolina Panthers were initially expected to take a quarterback with the sixth selection. But they may instead wind up with Baker Mayfield, the shocked and disgruntled Cleveland Browns quarterback, who saw his team trade for Deshaun Watson in late March.
Mayfield is expected to go somewhere, soon. If that’s Carolina, who knows when a signal caller may be taken.
Other QB-draft candidates include the Texans. They have two first-round picks and could take a flier on one as a quarterback.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, at 20, definitely need a signal caller to replace the retired Ben Roethlisberger. Mayfield would actually be a better fit for them, but we’ll see. Local sentiment would also endorse Pickett, if he’s there.
In-Game Betting The NFL Draft
DraftKings has placed more content up this year over last, when it introduced in-game wagering for the draft. That’s a tricky, and significant technical development.
When the first selection is made, for instance, the book will put up adjusted odds on the third pick. This is an interesting assessment tool for bettors regarding how the new prices match up with their expectations.
Nobody knows that better than Giants backers with the DeVonta Smith saga last year.
Ultimately, all drafts go in a direction Avello dubs “sideways”, by which expectations don’t match selections.
The Cincinnati Bengals, drafting where the Giants are now, made a critically-important decision last year. As the draft board expected them to take lineman Penei Sewell, they instead took wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who had a monster season.
Sewell fell to the Lions at seven and made little impact.
And from that point, the uncertainty was on.
(AP Photo/Derick Hingle)