Ahh… springtime. Another year has come and gone, and along with that freshly cut grass smell and iced coffee, the season welcomes back draft speculation and off-season workouts for the NFL. The New York Giants have now officially dodged the chatter of a potential trade for Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, and it is once again time to get serious about whom to expect on the 2019 roster.
Russell Wilson Speculation: Should We Trust Anything the New York Giants Say?
Starting with the big guns. Or cannons, I guess. Eli Manning seems to think the Giants will be acquiring a new young quarterback this year, according to a report from ESPN that came out on Monday. While the Seahawks extending of Wilson supports his prediction, this does not mean that the Giants will be drafting a quarterback.
Let me repeat that for those of you in the 300s… this does not mean that the Giants will be drafting a quarterback.
Josh Rosen may be said to be the Arizona Cardinals’ starter this season, but it’s all but a done deal that the Cards will be drafting NFL-ready Kyler Murray with their first overall pick this season. We all know the dangers of starting a rookie quarterback. But if Murray is their guy, why wouldn’t they ditch Rosen in favor of some draft capital. The current offer to the Cardinals is believed to be a second-round pick, which the Giants carry the highest of. And after last season’s devastation, Arizona could definitely make good use of it.
ESPN’s Dianna Russini has reason to believe, after her time at the Combine, that prospect Dwayne Haskins won’t be Big Blue’s first-round selection. Haskins, whose heavy feet ran slower than Manning in his 40-yard dash, is definitely an apt and capable quarterback, but in a league so heavy with mobile quarterbacks, it’s definitely a red flag.
Haskins arguably has the most benefits of the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, despite his lack of college starts. Drew Lock is another promising prospect, what with all his accuracy and consistency (Ooh! Ahh!). Still, should the Giants want to draft a quarterback in round one, it should happen with their pick from the Cleveland Browns, as that sixth overall pick should really be reserved for a pass rusher (we’ll get to that next). At pick 17, Daniel Jones should be easy to acquire. He worked under David Cutcliffe in his time at Duke, who coached both Peyton Manning and Eli.
Have we given Kyle Lauletta a fair shot?
— LWOS New York Giants (@LWOS_NYGiants) April 16, 2019
Eli may be right: the Giants may very well acquire a young talent this year. But will it be in the draft? Will it be Rosen?
- The Giants will trade for Russell Wilson and secure their future for another few years. Shushed.
- The Giants will trade for Josh Rosen. Still speculative.
- The Giants plan to groom Kyle Lauletta for the job. (pretty much) Shushed.
- The Giants will draft their “quarterback of the future.” Still speculative.
Pass Rush Problems
Let’s see how many more of the Giants’ issues I can tackle before this article converts us all to Browns fans.
It’s no secret that East Rutherford has sacked quite a few members of their defense this off-season. Too many. And there are some definite holes to fill at edge rush, interior, and defensive back.
Josh Allen should be our first draft selection this year if he’s available. Do I need to say that again? How are y’all doing in those back, top rows? His sheer floatability between man-to-man and pass rush makes him an invaluable asset to any team that is able to draft him, and if the Giants have the opportunity, it would be absolutely savagery should they forego him. Because the teams ahead of selection six have a similar need, it’s unlikely, but a girl can (if little else in the Year of Our Lord 2019), dream.
If we must survive without him, let’s just SAY the G-Men reserve one of their first round picks to fill one of these bounteous holes. The first round projections this year in the defensive category all read slightly unconventional in various ways, regarding position traits. Take Ed Oliver, for instance. The Houston defensive tackle, whose 6’2″, 287-pound frame is definitely not normal on NFL standards. Still, his athleticism is beyond rare for his years and experience. He’d make a fine fit on a team like the Giants. Devin Bush is another little guy who proved productive in his time at Michigan, posting 11 passes defended in his last two seasons. If we’ve learned anything from the Seahawks in the last year, it’s that size is overrated anyways; just look at rookie Poona Ford!
But at edge, we need the big guns, and Brian Burns could be the guy. Many defenses will pass on the former Seminole because of his spindly frame, but his speed, stride, and overall mobility will give him definite starter opportunity, and a chance to grow into a formidable professional.
Later in the draft come prospects like defensive tackle Renell Wren, who didn’t have significant production at Arizona State, but has the size, strength, and athleticism to move into a starting role should he show more control and consistency in practices. Tyrel Dodson is another explosive underrated pick in the second half of the draft at the same position—he’s the kind of guy who can be trained to back up particular players and jump in to show off his hustle.
- The Giants will stick with a 3-4 scheme. Shushed.
- B.J. Hill will remain, as the depth chart currently states, the Giants’ starting left defensive end. Still speculative.
As quickly as Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur dispelled all rumors that Odell Beckham Jr. would be on the trading block, he was traded to the Browns. Like I said, y’all, it’s hard to trust anything these guys tell us.
Sterling Shepard has officially signed a $41 million deal, which solidifies his place as a starter with the team for the next while. Golden Tate was also acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles and is projected to appear in the starting lineup as well.
After that, we’ve got Bennie Fowler, Corey Coleman, Evan Engram, and Cody Latimer. Alright, not TOO shabby. But after that… well, let’s just say we need some serious work. There really isn’t a wide receiver worth the sixth overall pick. But it would be smart for the G-Men to use some draft stock in this area. Hakeem Butler of Iowa State makes total sense, as his size will present a huge problem for any short corner who dares to challenge him. In fact, he might also be able to float, with proper coaching, to tight end if needed.
Still, the Giants have more struggle in other areas, so there is a strong likelihood that what we see now is what we’ll get in the forthcoming season.
- The Giants will trade back in an attempt to acquire more stock for receivers. Still speculative.
- The Giants will draft a wide receiver, running back, or tight end with their first pick. Shushed.
Offensive Line Options
Thankfully, this is the lesser worry for Big Blue in the coming draft. The roster at present is sensible at first-string. The goal here should be to find additional backups, such as John Greco, who have proven they can fill in at multiple positions; as well as a formidable left tackle to train under Nate Solder for when his time comes. Greg Little of Ole Miss would be a nice choice. A football legacy (son of Derrick Little, former Tampa Bay Buccaneer) and sharing the same alma mater as Eli, he already has the budding biography of an NFL starter. This supplements his athletic abilities, which are many.
- Jon Halapio might not be ready to start. Shushed.
- Barring injury, the acquisition of offensive linemen in free agency and trades alludes to the possibility that the Giants will not be focusing on that category in the draft. Still speculative.
Last Word on Trusting the Giants
Here’s the bottom line: even the shushed speculations discussed are still not trustworthy. We all saw what happened with Odell. We’ve seen the Giants extend a contract and re-sign players who were later cut or traded. We’ve witnessed so much speculation, like that surrounding Wilson, that never materialized. At this point, nothing can be expected of this organization heading into the draft, let alone the upcoming season.
The key should be to draft the best players available, even if it’s not at a position of severe need. It’s no secret that there most likely won’t be a victory parade in New York next season. Now, the goal should be finding the talent of the future; rebuilding the team with strengths bountiful to deliver in championships to come.
For all the latest on the 2019 NFL Draft, check out LWOPF’s Draft Headquarters!