New York Giants: Grading Their Entire 2015 NFL Draft Class

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Nov 8, 2014; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns safety Mykkele Thompson (2) tackles West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Clint Trickett (9) during the second half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Texas beat West Virginia 33-16. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Fifth Round, Eighth Pick (144th Overall)

Mykkele Thompson, Safety, Texas

This is arguably the most questionable pick of the draft for the Giants. While it is obvious what the intent was here, some people will question the pick because of where Thompson was ranked. He wasn’t among the 340 players the Giants ranked on their list for draft prospects, but we will have to trust the Giants judgement that they see something in Thompson that others didn’t.

For starters, Thompson fills a clear need. The Giants had only second-year Nat Berhe and third-year Cooper Taylor on the roster with the recently acquired Josh Gordy; adding depth at safety was definitely near, if not the top order of business for the Giants heading into the draft. With Collins in the second round the Giants added an in-the-box safety and with Thompson they are adding someone that has a little more ability in the coverage game.

Thompson has solid size to go along with good versatility, something that is a must with Spagnuolo and the Giants. He can line up as the last line of defense as the centerfield safety, and can also be the coverage man on the slot in the nickel package. He is also effective in run support, giving the Giants a player they can deploy all over the field defensively if they choose to.

Where Thompson will make his hey with the Giants and earn his stripes is on special teams, which may be why the Giants selected him. In college, Thompson was a standout performer on special teams, leading Texas in special team tackles as a true freshman. Special teams play is usually something that translates to the next level, and is what will help Thompson the most if he is to make the Giants roster.

This pick falls right into what was mentioned earlier. While Thompson may be someone people think was a poor pick, with the circumstances faced in this draft Thompson definitely fits into that. He is someone the Giants liked, and instead of taking another player at the safety position that was seemingly ranked better, they took the player they were more comfortable with that they felt would fill a hole on their team and help them out in some capacity. At this point in the draft that is all that matters, as fit and plans to use a player trump potentially higher ranked players.

Grade: C+

Next: Giants Add Wide Receiver Depth In Round 6