Will Hernandez. (Photo: Getty Images)

There was a lot riding on the 2018 NFL Draft for the New York Giants, a franchise attempting to pull off a speedy rebuild after a dreadful 3-13 season earned them the No. 2 overall pick of the selection process. 

But new general manager Dave Gettleman's ability to keep his priorities somewhat shrouded in mystery had many wondering if the Giants would have been able to get the pieces needed to start adding both skill and depth to a roster devoid of both at many positions. 

They were able to do just that with their six picks as Metro New York sports editor Joe Pantorno along with columnist and insider Kristian Dyer grade how Big Blue did over their big weekend:



Round 1, Pick 2: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Kristian Dyer: The play here was to trade back and accumulate picks but no one was biting; Barkley is the best football player in the draft and instantly helps the league’s worst rushing offense. No. Brainer. Grade: A

Joe Pantorno: Even with Eli Manning's possible successor sitting there for the taking in USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen or Wyoming's Josh Allen, the Giants went with the best-overall prospect in the draft class with the mercurial Barkley, who will bring star power to a backfield that has struggled for most of the decade. GRADE: A+


Round 2, Pick 34: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP

Kristian Dyer: The guard is a first round talent that finally addresses serious needs along the offensive line. GRADE: A-

Joe Pantorno: In order for Manning to perform in his age 37 season and Barkley to comfortably acclimate to the NFL, the Giants needed to improve on their offensive line. They did just that with Hernandez, a massive inside presence with a mean streak. GRADE: A


Round 3, Pick 66: Lorenzo Carter, EDGE, Georgia

Kristian Dyer: A bit of an enigma at Georgia with sporadic production, Carter is a pass rusher who figures an outside linebacker in the 3-4. GRADE: B-


Joe Pantorno: Carter showed that he has a high ceiling after a productive senior season, though it is somewhat of a risky pick given his inconsistencies at Georgia. Regardless, he'll bring outside pass-rushing support in James Bettcher's new defense. GRADE: B-


Round 3, Pick 69: B.J. Hill, DT, NC State

Kristian Dyer: A big body, Hill understands gap assignments well and took on multiple blockers at North Carolina State. GRADE: C+


Joe Pantorno: Hill is a nice choice to bolster the interior of the defensive line, but he could be a work in progress due to questions surrounding his strength and athleticism. GRADE: C-


Round 4, Pick 108: Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond

Kristian Dyer: A good-sized quarterback, Lauletta lacks arm strength and threw some bad picks at Richmond but could develop into a solid quarterback. GRADE: B-

Joe Pantorno: Lauletta was one of the best quarterbacks in FCS and if he works on his anticipation to make up for his lack of arm strength, the Giants might have something here. GRADE: B


Round 5, Pick 139: R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami

Kristian Dyer: Had solid production as a two-year starter at Miami; adds good depth to the defensive line. Grade: C


Joe Pantorno: Where there is an explosive first step and plenty of athleticism, there isn't a lot of strength. That could lead the Giants to try him out at defensive end, which makes him a bit of a wildcard. GRADE: C+


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