We did a YouTube session with Dima Raitzin on the NY Giants outlook heading into the 2017 season. Without stealing too much thunder (lol) from the discussion, we review needs and how that shapes the outlook.
At the end of the discussion, Dima asks for my Top 3 drafting priorities in Round 1. After mentioning a TE or LB, I was pressed for a 3rd position. My answer was telling, considering this piece from the NY Post on Ed McCaffrey’s son Christian McCaffrey… “anything but Running Back.” Christian McCaffrey could go to the Hall of Fame. Ezekiel Elliott can go to the Hall of Fame. It does not matter. The goal is winning a Super Bowl. The Giants do not have the run blocking (or the pass protection in a passing league) to warrant this direction. It puts the cart ahead of the horse. The reason why OBJ is often frustrated (along with his immaturity) is because his OL fails him and the team. So you want to fix this with another “toy?”
People do not like it when I refer to these selections as toys. All the guys who touch the ball more than 5x per game are the toys. The major pass catchers. The starting RBs. These guys mug for the camera when they collect the TD. They are the toys. The Giants already made a great move getting a wonderful compliment to OBJ in Brandon Marshall. They have their quota of toys. Eli Manning has more than enough targets in this Offense. Paul Perkins is more than adequate in space, and he will develop into a nice pass catching “toy” for Eli and McAdoo to play with. Shepard enters his 2nd season, which could be a breakout year if not for ALL THE OTHER TOYS like Perkins, OBJ and Marshall whom Eli already has to get the ball to. So why do we do need ANOTHER toy? The answer is no. And certainly not a RB. If he were available at 23, and someone wants this lock Hall of Famer, trade down! There is an interesting stat:Just a reminder to the Giants faithful that it is a lot more than just a simple anomaly that Jerry Reese has NEVER traded down in 10 drafts. We are talking ~70 drafting decisions. He’s traded up. We applauded the trade up on Draft Day 2 of 2015 to grab Collins, because it was value and need. In 10 years to never trade down is more than unusual. It is a character flaw because Reese does not have enough self-respect and humility to think that in 70 times making a selection he has not ounce felt that he could make out better with someone’s offer to pick higher. Given that statistically GMs overpay for the right to choose, logically one would want to trade DOWN more often than not. Knowing that your selection has only a 53% chance of being better than the next player chosen AT THAT POSITION (let alone the next pick or handful of picks!), it should tell you that trading down represents value.
Schwartz calls McCaffrey “a do-everything running back who would keep coach Ben McAdoo up at night, devising new and inventive ways to get the ball in his soft yet vice-grip hands.” A toy. So let me get this straight- when they draft the Jonathan Ogdens and Joe Thomases of the world, the McAdoos wouldn’t be kept up at night dreaming of ways to use those slabs of beef, so we don’t like that? Maybe the line of scrimmage is less glamorous, but if Reese had drafted Cordy Glenn in 2012 as our Left Tackle instead of toy RB David Wilson, we wouldn’t be here right now. Maybe it is better to get a full night’s sleep peacefully knowing that your QB is upright and can get the ball to the toys. The only “toy” I’d allow in Round 1 would be a monster blocking TE (who also runs great routes with great hands… it is Round 1, right?!).
The Draft is coming up. In the next few days leading up to Thursday we should have some pre-draft coverage from our analyst Wonder, who has been previously sidelined with an illness. It is going to be a busy week. There is no greater hope that springs eternal than the NFL Draft. Three years ago the Giants got OBJ. Two years ago the Giants got Landon Collins. These two guys are playmakers who put a title within reach. Rookies see a lot of time in today’s NFL. It helps put teams over the top. So the Draft is more important than ever.