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10 NFL Draft prospects Giants should be watching at 2022 Senior Bowl

Kenny Pickett/Devin Lloyd/Jermaine Johnson Treated Image

Kenny Pickett/Devin Lloyd/Jermaine Johnson Treated Image

Giants GM Joe Schoen is already in Mobile, Ala. to start scouting some of the NFL Draft prospects set to be available in April.

Reese’s Senior Bowl has been practicing all week to lead up to the game on Saturday. Two 55-man rosters, coached by the Jets and Detroit Lions, have been invited to showcase their skills in front of every scout in the league. This is the first stage of NFL Draft scouting, and it’s crucial for many players to cement their spot in one of the seven rounds in just a couple months.

Schoen and his crew have nine picks in the draft, five of which are in the top three rounds, so they’ve certainly been doing their due diligence all week. But the Senior Bowl itself can definitely give a player or two some extra spotlight to land on their draft big board.

Here’s who the Giants, and their fans, should be watching this Saturday…

Pickett has been one of the more spotlighted players this week and for good reason. There’s a chance the Heisman finalist could be the first quarterback off the draft board, and we can’t rule the Giants out on making that call.

Of course, Schoen, head coach Brian Daboll, and even co-owner John Mara seemed to indicated that Daniel Jones was their guy in Year 4. But the reality is, if Jones doesn’t work out, there is no one behind him.

So that’s why the Giants will be looking at these quarterbacks thoroughly, and Pickett — a player with a solid arm and quick feet — could be what Daboll wants to see.

Utah LB Devin Lloyd

The Giants could be in the linebacker market if they release Blake Martinez to save some cap, as he comes off a torn ACL. Lloyd was a demon to the PAC12 over his four years as a Ute, totaling 15.5 sacks, 43 tackles for loss, and 256 total tackles.

In his senior season, though, Lloyd went off with seven sacks, 22 tackles for loss, four interceptions, and one forced fumble. That production and this game could cement a first-round selection for the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder.

Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning

Penning doesn’t come from a Power Five school, but the Giants should be intrigued by what he will showcase. Penning stands at 6-foot-7 and has been a rock at left tackle for NIU the last three seasons. He’s a tank in the run game, and Schoen said he needs to help Saquon Barkley as well as Jones.

While O-line will be an emphasis this week, Penning may be at the top of the list in terms of getting eyes up close to watch him work.

Minnesota OT Daniel Faalele

There’s big. There’s even very large. And then there’s Faalele — all 6-foot-9 of him on the offensive line.

Can he be agile and have good footwork against quicker edge rushers? That’s the biggest question this week and it’ll show in the game. Faalele is so intriguing because he would be the biggest NFL player the second he touches a Week 1 field — if that turns out to be the case.

Florida State EDGE Jermaine Johnson

The Giants need edge pressure, right? Johnson does that. He had 11.5 sacks this past season for the Seminoles with 17.5 tackles for loss and 70 combined tackles. Johnson also forced two fumbles and had a touchdown from his lone fumble recovery. Quickness is the name of his game and the Giants need that.

Central Michigan OT Bernhard Raimann

At 6-foot-8, Raimann is actually pretty nimble. He excels in the pass block game and that right tackle spot is up for grabs. Some view him as a work in progress, though, so the Giants will definitely have him on their radar and will be careful with his draft stock.

National offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann of Central Michigan (76) works with a coach during National practice for the 2022 Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium.

National offensive lineman Bernhard Raimann of Central Michigan (76) works with a coach during National practice for the 2022 Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium.

Cincinnati EDGE Myjai Sanders

The Bearcats’ defense received tons of praise this season, and was the main reason why they ended up as the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff. Sanders was a big reason for that success.

The 6-foot-5, 258-pounder uses his length and strength to get into the backfield. It led to 2.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss with 41 total tackles in 14 games. He had seven sacks in 2020 and four in 2019 as well.

Coastal Carolina TE Isaiah Likely

The Giants are likely (no pun intended) to lose Evan Engram to free agency. He’s a luxury they can’t afford. So, if Schoen wants someone with his same skill set on the roster, Likely could be that guy.

He’s 6-foot-4, 240 pounds and completely broke out in his senior year. He had 12 touchdowns and 912 yards on 59 receptions in 13 games. That’s insane production that earned him this invite. He’s expected to show off his speed at the position, and he could be tried out at wide receiver, too, because of it.

Georgia RB James Cook

When your brother is All-Pro back Dalvin Cook, it’s kinda hard to live up to those kinds of expectations. But Cook did well for himself with the Bulldogs in this championship season, totaling 1,000 yards from scrimmage with 11 scores.

Senior Bowl practice will likely see some wideout reps for Cook because he is so solid with his hands. At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, he isn’t ideal running back size, but his route-running and elusive abilities with the ball in his hands could make him a solid slot/halfback combo player whom Daboll may want to try out in his scheme. Think Isaiah McKenzie with the Buffalo Bills.

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