A participant in the NFL draft since the inaugural selection gathering in 1936, the Giants did not take a lineman for the first time in team history this weekend. However, offensive line was a priority going into the draft, a source tells Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, and Jack Conklin was a top-two choice on the Giants’ board before he went No. 8 to the Titans.
“There were discussions here or there,” Giants VP of player evaluation Marc Ross told media, including Vacchiano. “But nobody at the time who was the highest-ranked player on our board, or close to that.”
After cutting Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz prior to the start of free agency, the Giants spent wildly to upgrade their defense but have left their offensive front unchanged. Marshall Newhouse and John Jerry remain atop the depth chart at right tackle and right guard, respectively. Ben McAdoo told media after the draft the right side of the Giants’ line is far from settled.
Here’s the latest from the NFC coming out of draft weekend.
- A hybrid linebacker/safety at USC, Su’a Cravens will begin his career with Washington at safety, Stephen Czarda writes for the team’s website. The 20-year-old Cravens started his career as a true freshman in 2013 as a strong safety before moving to an outside linebacker/safety hybrid role in the ensuing two seasons in Los Angeles. He compiled 10.5 career sacks and nine interceptions in three seasons.
- Thanks to former teammate Laremy Tunsil‘s unfortunate Thursday night, Robert Nkemdiche‘s name didn’t come up much during Round 1 until the Cardinals took the polarizing Ole Miss defensive lineman at No. 29. The Cardinals did their due diligence on the former No. 1 overall recruit, meeting with him on four occasions, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic writes.
- Drafting for need has become a somewhat of a frowned-upon phrase in modern drafting, but the Cardinals were pleased their picks filled some of their depth chart’s key voids, Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 reports (TwitLonger link). “This is not always the goal, because we said we were going to trust our board,” GM Steve Keim said, “but we filled needs with players we’re excited about. That’s not always the case when you walk away from the draft.” After Nkemdiche in the first and a second-round pick that went toward fortifying their pass rush in the Chandler Jones trade, Arizona selected two corners — Brandon Williams and Harlon Miller — and after losing Ted Larsen in the offseason selected a center in Evan Boehm.
- Under new GM Bob Quinn, the Lions are expected to give UDFAs base salary guarantees, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports (on Twitter). This is a tactic the Lions haven’t used in the recent past, although Quinn’s former organization, the Patriots, as Birkett writes, do so often. Although the Lions haven’t unveiled their UDFA contingent yet, offensive lineman Chase Farris is expected to be among them. Birkett reports (via Twitter) the Ohio State product will have $10K of his base salary guaranteed in addition to a $10K signing bonus.
- The Vikings are expected to place Mackensie Alexander behind Captain Munnerlyn at slot corner, Matt Vensel of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Vensel offers that Alexander’s selection — the Vikings’ third cornerback taken in the top two rounds in the past four years, joining Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes — could bring about an end to Munnerlyn’s tenure in Minnesota after 2016. Munnerlyn was the Vikings’ top corner in 2015, according to Pro Football Focus. The 28-year-old corner is entering the final season of a three-year contract.