Reader Mailbag: Countdown to the Draft Edition

A look at the latest topics on the minds of Giants fans.

With less than two weeks to go before the annual NFL draft, let’s see what’s on the minds of Giants fans.

From Ryan G:

Will the Giants draft CB, possibly in the later rounds? If so, any idea who they might fancy?

Ryan, I do think the Giants will draft a cornerback on Day 3. I don’t know who they are looking at, but a guy I like in the sixth round for them is Jalen Myrick of Minnesota.

Myrick projects as a slot cornerback and has good coverage skills against the level of competition he faced, so he was someone who kind of jumped out at me when I was going through one of my gazillion mock draft simulations.

From Joe S.:

Does the NFL decide who the Giants play in the preseason?

Joe, my understanding is that the preseason schedule of opponents is partially decided by the league and partially by the teams.

For instance, there’s a reason the Giants play the Jets and Patriots every year. Both are local trips and it’s a matter of convenience as far as logistics. The other two opponents this year, Pittsburgh and the Browns, could be league driven.

For instance, the appeal of playing Pittsburgh is that this might very well be the final time (even though it’s preseason) that an Eli Manning led offense tries to outdo a Ben Roethlisberger led offense (
assuming both quarterbacks play in the game, that is).

From Thomas T.:

How is Darian Thompson’s recovery from IR?

Thomas, thanks for the question. We’ll get a better idea on how those players with season-ending injuries are coming along next Thursday when the media gets its first access to the team.

From Charlie:

My favorite realistic possibilities for first round: Ramczyk, Bolles, Reddick, Cunningham, Njoku, McCaffery, McKinley, Barnett. Who would you add or subtract?

Charlie, I’m not sure Reddick, McKinley and Barnett will make it to No. 23, but of course anything can happen. I personally wouldn’t’ draft a tight end or running back in the first round—both position groups are so deep I think that you can probably get a decent player at each position later in the draft. I’ve had a few draft analysts tell me Cunningham isn’t a first-rounder, so I would maybe put Jarrad Davis or Tyus Bowser in there instead.

I’m also thinking they might wait on taking an offensive tackle and just see what they have in Flowers and Fluker. (I can almost guarantee that when general manager Jerry Reese addresses the media, he’s going to point out how having Fluker is like having an extra first round pick, which to me would indicate that they’re not going first round at offensive tackle.)

I suppose that’s realistic given how the Giants won 11 games last year. As much as I hate night games, whatever the schedule is, it is.

From Evan H.

ESPN’s Giants’ beat writer Jordan Raanan listed 6 players that the Giants seem to have interest in, (based off a select # a fan listed mind you). O.J. Howard topped the list, with Christian McCaffrey second. With Howard all but certain to be gone by 23, and McCaffrey almost as likely, do you think the Giants will hold true to their “stay put” and “best player available” mentalities? Or will they take a deep dive and move up to grab one of them?

Evan, there is always a first time for everything so I don’t want to say no. However, logic would dictate that you don’t move up in the first round unless you have one or two pieces missing from your roster, which I think we can all agree is not the case with the Giants.

Ask yourself this: Would the tight end in this offense, regardless of who it is, have more pass targets than Odell Beckham Jr.? No? Then you don’t trade up. Is McCaffrey capable of being a one-man bell cow like the old days of Tiki Barber, Marshawn Lynch and/or Adrian Peterson? No? Then you don’t move up.

The other reason why I don’t see the Giants moving up in the first round to grab a tight end or running back? This is a deep class at both positions. Again, you never say never, but I would be floored if the Giants move up in the first round for a tight end or running back.

Hey Frank, how’s it going? Thursday’s dinner was homemade chicken bites with different homemade sauces (Buffalo and organic honey mustard) with a tossed salad and my super secret wine vinaigrette.

Regarding your question about Ereck Flowers, I think the simple fact that he is working out at the facility for, what I believe, is the first time since he’s been drafted is a big step in the right direction.

I’d be interested in knowing if his workout came from one of those offensive line schools like O-line Performance Center, but I don’t know if he’d discuss that let alone meet with the media. Regardless, I’m very optimistic about Flowers turning it around this year, but only time will tell.

I don’t know that it’s going to be an offensive player. To be honest, we can debate this until the end of the world and it would still come down to how the board falls, which we won’t know until draft night.

What I can tell you is how I would draft if I were making the call (and base don the gazillion simulations I’ve run). I don’t think I am going to settle for an offensive tackle at No. 23 because it’s not a strong class and, using logic that I wouldn’t be surprised Jerry Reese trots out next week when he meets the media, the Giants could potentially have two first round draft picks (Ereck Flowers and D.J. Fluker) at offensive tackle this year.

I’m also not going to panic and grab a quarterback, not when next year’s class looks much stronger on a quick glance.

And as I said in another response, the tight end and running back classes are deep, so I’m thinking I can get a better value pick on Day 2 and 3 respectively at those positions.

Sure, why not Dennis? Everyone starts the season 0-0 and with the same stats. If the Giants add a few missing pieces—a pass catching tight end and a power running back—and if their offensive lie plays better and their quarterback recaptures whatever mojo he lost last year, then there is no reason I can think of why thy wouldn’t have a top-five offense in 2017.

Andrew, I have a lot of admiration for Garett Bolles. I love his back story and I’m rooting like heck for the guy.

But here’s the issue as far as the Giants are concerned. They have a 36-year-old quarterback whose window is starting to close. Do they REALLY want to plug a rookie offensive tackle in there on Day 1 when they’re trying to win it all? I don’t think that’s necessarily the best use of a first-round pick.

Also, as I said in another response, based on my experience with Jerry Reese and how he thinks, I wouldn’t be shocked if he is thinking that they have two first round picks (Flowers and Fluker) who can fill the tackle position, which in turn would make tackle less pressing from a class that’s already thin to begin with.

We’ll see how it shakes out, but if I’m the Giants, I don’t pick an offensive tackle at No. 23.

From Jeffrey H.

I’ve bled blue for over 50 years, and in that time the Giants have always seemed to build teams based upon players who fit specific roles that match their talents and skills. Giants who have left for larger FA contracts rarely seem to succeed elsewhere because their new teams don’t plug them into similar situations. Why don’t more players stay in successful circumstances? Is it usually just for the money, or a matter of ego and pride? I know it varies, but I’d like your thoughts on this subject.

Jeffrey, players are just like you and me: We go where the money is, even if it means stepping outside of our comfort zone. In the case of professional sports, you have a short window to cash in, and you’re going to get paid win or lose, so why not follow the green? Yes, there are some players (e.g., Brandon Marshall) who reach a point in their career where they just want to win a championship, but those players are usually heading toward the final stretch of their careers.