It’s no secret that the New York Giants are a putrid excuse of a football team this season. Their season effectively ended over Columbus Day weekend when Odell Beckham went down with a fractured ankle against the San Diego—excuse me, Los Angeles Chargers. The ultimate story with the 2017 Giants was ineptitude in both the front office and on the sidelines with the head coach. Coupled with that are an offense that can’t sustain more than two drives a game, a defense that shows up half the time and disappears the other half, and a porous special team. My preseason prediction aged well…
After the blowout loss to the Rams, major alarm bells were going off within Giants Nation. That loss was one of the many major catalysts for firing McAdoo and Reese. It also exposed some of the serious issues with personnel on the team. Quarterback? Running back? Offensive line? Linebacker? Corner? All of these positions could use a boost going forward.
But that’s what the draft is for.
The Giants will almost certainly be picking inside the top 5 in 2018. There’s a lot of things the organization could do here, some surprising, some not so surprising.
Moving on from Eli Manning and Taking a QB
Let me start by saying that I love Eli Manning. Eli Manning saved my life not once but twice; having to put up with all of New England if the Giants lost those games would have been murder. But, he pulled two of the greatest throws of all time out of his back pocket and won two enormous upsets. He’s a first-class citizen, always shows up to work, is the embodiment of what it means to be a New York Giant, and much more. I would name my first-born child Elisha in his honor. You get the point.
But it’s time to move on.
Eli isn’t getting any younger or better. His performance in the Washington game cements this; he was missing throws that just should’ve been hit. Granted, he doesn’t have much of a line, and is getting whacked around like a piñata back there. However, with the modern game, you need to be mobile and able to flush out of the pocket and make throws on the run if necessary. Eli’s problem is he just can’t do that, and it costs the Giants dearly. Fortunately, the solution lies with two young quarterbacks in the Los Angeles area.
Darnold has been linked to the Giants since October. He’s got good size for an NFL QB, at 6’4″ 225 lbs. Playing under a decently-big spotlight at USC would make grooming Darnold for the New York media an easier task than most players. Scouts adore his decision making and mental capability in the pocket—it’s these two traits that make Darnold such an enticing potential selection.
The only major knock on Darnold is his unorthodox throwing motion. Hearing that makes me immediately think of Tim Tebow. Even so, there is so much to like about Darnold that this flaw can be overlooked. If the Giants go down the QB path, Darnold is the most likely choice, because…
Josh Rosen Should Go First Overall to the Browns
Rosen is the best quarterback available in the eyes of many here. He can make all the throws, has good mobility in the pocket, can face elite competition, etc. There’s some reports that he is a bit of a jerk, and that could do his rep some harm. But, bottom line, he is the most talented of the bunch. If he can clean up his act a bit, he will be elite. But as we’ve seen, just talent won’t cut it sometimes.
However, with all of that being said, it’s unlikely the Giants are even in a position to select Rosen. Then again, the Browns are picking before them, and if we’ve seen anything with the Browns before, they could completely whiff here…
Not Taking a QB
Wait…what? The Giants would seriously pass on Rosen or Darnold for an immobile quarterback going on 38?
Yes. And the idea isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem.
If the Giants don’t take a QB with their draft pick, then they will stick to the current plan of grooming Davis Webb into being the starter. There’s a lot the Giants like with Webb, and not just management. Players on the defensive side of the ball seem to really like what Webb brings to the table.
Keeping Webb seems to be a safe bet here. The Giants wouldn’t want to totally waste his shot by not giving him a chance. However, the thought against that would be that the talent pool in the upcoming draft is so high that you’d be an idiot to not take a QB.
Say they stick with Webb, there’s basically two choices here. Running back, and offensive line.
For the first time in a decade, the Giants might have a chance to pick a franchise running back. For as long as I can remember, they’ve lacked one. They’ve lacked a Le’Veon Bell, an Ezekiel Elliott, a David Johnson, since Tiki Barber. Now, they can change that by taking Saquon Barkley.
Barkley is fast, Barkley is shifty, Barkley is powerful, and Barkley has all the right tools to be a great runner in the NFL. His numbers are great, and his leadership intangibles are highly touted as well; he’d fit right in to an NFL locker room. Frankly, I’m warming up to the idea of Webb at QB and Barkley as running back. Darkwa and Gallman are good, but Barkley is just too good to pass up here if they have the chance.
Mike McGlinchey/Orlando Brown
The Giants have been in dire need of help on the offensive line since 2013. It’s 2018. It’s been far too long. There’s two pieces I legitimately like (Richburg + Pugh), and everyone else is a hack. Especially at the tackle position. There hasn’t been as much attention paid to Ereck Flowers on account of the quarterback drama along with just madness within the organization. He still needs to go. Fortunately, with a high draft spot, if they so choose, the Giants can take any lineman of their choice.
The best one available would be T Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame. The line at ND was rated among the best in college football this past season, and a lot of that is due to his play. He’s got great size, plays physically, and has fundamentally sound skills, something that Flowers does not have.
Say they choose not to take McGlinchey, then the next man up would be T Orlando Brown out of Oklahoma. Brown is also a very good-sized NFL tackle, and is coming from a good program that lit the league up in offensive production. While he is rated slightly lower than McGlinchey, Brown would be a solid pick. However, the Giants likely won’t be forced to pick him.
So Who Should the Giants Pick?
If you asked me, I would say take Darnold because Rosen will be gone. You just can’t pass up the talent there, and you go forward with a good receiving attack, Gallman/Darkwa as your backs, and load up on linemen in free agency and rounds 2-7. No matter what happens, the Giants should end up with a big franchise building block for years to come at the end of this draft. At this point, it’s just a question of who they want at quarterback. Will it be Darnold or Rosen, or will it be Davis Webb, with an accompanying cast of Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, and Odell Beckham? Now that Jerry Reese is gone, they might even end up with a high pick who actually plays well too!
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