Spring has sprung, and Giants360 spent the first two day of it moving snow. But when spring is in the air, Giants fans fancies turn to the NFL draft and many of the questions submitted for today’s second Giants360 mailbag pertain to the April 30th to May 2nd event. We’ve started our analysis at Giants360 headquarters and will be looking at the Giants remaining needs over the next 5 weeks. But today, we interact with with our followers, the life blood of the Giants360 family. You ask, we answer.
Alshon (@AlshonJordan23) asks: What would you think Landon Collins fit would be in Spags Defense scheme? He has the frame of a linebacker but can blitz and is a good tackler.
Giants360: Collins is viewed as a box safety and would play that role in Spagnuolo’s scheme, supporting the run, covering tight ends down the middle of the field, and blitzing often. A big part of the reason I don’t see the Giants taking Collins in the first round is Nat Berhe. He is also a box safety and the coaching staff is said to be high in him. The hole in the Giants lineup is at free safety, the center fielder, a role Collins does not fit.
Alshon (@AlshonJordan23) asks: Who is the better pick at offensive tackle, Andrus Peat or Ereck Flowers?
Giants360: If those are my only two choices, I’d take Peat. He has the most potential of all offensive tackles, but has technique issues, and his motivation has also been called into question. Peat has the size (6’7″, 313 lbs), speed (5.18), and bloodlines (His father, Todd, is a 6 year NFL veteran) to succeed in the NFL. With some polishing in his technique, he could become a fixture a left tackle for 10 years, allowing the Giants to move Will Beatty elsewhere on the line. But the motivation questions make him a bust risk that may cause some teams to pass on him. Dedication to football is an attribute scouts look for to avoid a flame out, similar to the sudden Chris Borland retirement this week that’s left the Forty-Niners linebacker situation a complete mess.
Flowers is heavier than Peat, at 6’6″, 329 pounds, and was the strongest lineman at the combine, with 37 reps in the bench press. He has a good 2014 season despite playing through a torn meniscus, and it’s that knee injury that raises red flags for me. I like his reputation for having a mean streak, and if the Giants medical staff finds him to be healthy, he could be the lineman to push Justin Pugh inside to guard, where I think he will thrive. But given the medical caution, I’d go with Peat.
David Goliath (@GoliathDave) asks: Why aren’t the Giants doing more to sure up the offensive line? It was their biggest weakness the past two year.
Giants360: Geoff Schwartz return from injury will provide the biggest boost to the line than any of the free agents currently available. Brett Jones signing, the Canadian Football League’s consensus top offensive lineman, is still young at 23, added another potential starter, and could be a steal if he assimilates to the American style of play. Marshall Newhouse and John Jerry were added through free agency in two moves that underwhelmed me. Neither is what I’d consider quality depth. Either Tom Coughlin believes Jones is the answer at guard and Pugh will stay at right tackle, or another lineman will be added at pick 9. They have taken steps to improve the line, and we need to wait until after the draft to draw our conclusions.
James P (@Premo74) asks: What are the chances of a playoff run this year?
Giants360: To quote Crocodile Dundee, “Better than average.” The Giants offense is one player away from being complete – an offensive lineman. The defense still has some holes, but the signings of Kenrick Ellis and George Selvie filled two of the four that were glaring going into the week, making it very possible to bring in the remaining players, a free safety and outside linebacker, in the draft. What is most encouraging is the poor off season both Philadelphia and Dallas are having. Chip Kelly is deconstructing the Eagles. No team that turns over it’s roster that much in one year is competitive. Dallas let DeMarco Murray get away and plans to replace him with a broken down Darren McFadden and a rookie draft pick. But the biggest mistake was re-signing the wrong right tackle. Jermey Parnell is younger, more talented, and less injury prone than Doug Free. Jerry Jones made another decision with his heart and it will come back to bite him in his derriere.
M.J. Rico (@MichaelJRico) asks: Where is the pass rush coming from? Should have signed Greg Hardy.
Giants360: John Mara would never have signed off on bringing in Hardy. The Cowboys are dealing with some backlash from signing him, with Dallas mayor Mike Rawlings calling the signing, “A shot in the gut.” Rawlings called the Cowboys to discuss his concerns when the signing was announced. The most scathing rebuke came from long time Dallas/Fort Worth broadcaster Dale Hanson, who said, “Greg Hardy’s jersey is being sold at the Cowboys online pro show now. You could get one for your sister or daughter and then explain to her that Hardy beats up women, but we’re cheering for him now because he’s really good on game day, and game day is all that matters to me. Your daughter will understand.”
All eyes will be on Roger Goodell, yet again, when he meets with Hardy about his removal from the Commissioner’s exempt list. The NFL is suing for access to the court records from Hardy’s overturned assault conviction. When Adrian Peterson was initially reinstated by the Vikings last September, Radisson, who sponsors the Vikings press conferences, threatened to pull it’s sponsorship, and Anheuser-Busch, brewers of Budweiser, and one the NFL’s biggest game day sponsors, also rattled their sponsorship sabres. If these or other big corporations make more noise, Hardy may not see the field, as money drive NFL decisions. Mara wanted no part of that mess. Hardy was never a realistic possibility for the Giants.
To answer the first part of your question, Jason Pierre-Paul, Robert Ayers, Damontre Moore, Kerry Wynn, and one of the Giants top three draft picks will provide the pass rush. The defensive line rotation is coming together.
Andy Cahill (@Andy_E_Cahill) asks: If Amari Cooper is still available at pick nine, do you take him over a lineman?
Giants360: Although tempting, no, I take an offensive lineman, all things being equal. A big, nasty, road grading lineman is the last piece missing from the Giants offense, and the team has good depth at wide receiver with Odell Beckham; Rueben Randle; Marcus Harris, who caught everything throw his way last summer before getting hurt; Dwayne Harris, underutilized in Dallas, but given a contract indicating he will be a weapon for the Giants; Corey Washington, the preseason sensation who has another year of seasoning; and, of course, Victor Cruz, assuming he bounces back from his torn patellar tendon. That said, Cooper is the second highest rated player in the 2015 on the nfl.com. If the Giants rank him similarly, value could trump need. I’ve yet to see how my draft guru, Nolan Narwocki ranks Cooper. His book, my draft bible, is not available until about two weeks before the draft.
Ernie Schneider (@SchneiderErnie) asks: Do you think Spags will put a lot more blitz packages in the defensive scheme? And do you think we’ll ever get a safety?
Giants360: Spagnuolo learned at the feet of the late Jim Johnson, Eagles defensive coordinator under Andy Reid and master of the blitz. His history as a defensive coordinator includes dialing up blitzes in key situations, as demonstrated during his first stint with the Giants, and a leopard rarely changes it’s spots. Expect much more blitzing in 2015. As far as adding a safety or two to the defense, I guarantee it will happen eventually, and will be shocked if one of the additions is not Stevie Brown. Another will be added through the draft. A creative solution is also possible, as explored by Giants360 in our article Internal Solutions.
Gary Baumann (@Baumann5) asks: What is your prediction for the two starting safeties on week 1:
Giants360: Nat Berhe and Stevie Brown.
Mike Labelle (@mikelabelle5577) asks: If the Cleveland Browns offer their 12th and 19th overall picks for the Giants 9th overall, do you make the trade?
Giants360: In a heartbeat. Moving down three spots would allow the Giants to pick up an offensive lineman and a linebacker or pass rusher in the first round, bringing in two possible impact players. Whether or not Jerry Reese makes that trade will depend on the Giants value board and if there is a player rated so highly above the others that moving down will cause the team to miss out on another potential superstar, like Beckham.
Aaron Bouchey (@TheUmpAB) asks: Are the Giants waiting for Dashon Goldson?
Giants360: I certainly hope not. Goldston was 2nd to last among the 87 safeties ranked by Pro Football Focus. While some of his struggles could be blamed on failure to adapt to Lovie Smith’s Tampa 2 scheme, that low a ranking is a clear indicator that his best days are behind him.
Roger Dana Fox (@RDanaFox) asks: When do we get to see Corey Washington?
Giants360: We’ll get some glimpses in Organized Team Activities in May and June Mini Camp, but our first real look won’t come until Training Camp opens in late July. Washington is an intriguing prospect, having burst onto the scene in preseason with 4 touchdowns in 5 games. The Giants were afraid to expose him to waivers because of his success, but the rookie was so raw, he didn’t even know the entire route tree in September. He was practice squad appropriate in 2014, but his success forced the team to keep him on the active roster. With a full year of seasoning, it will be exciting to see how he’s grown and if he’s ready to line up opposite starters. Often lost in his success is the level of opposition he faced, which were opponents third string defenders and below. The coaching staff did not think Washington was ready to face even second team cornerbacks last summer, but dominating against lower level opposition is a sign that he will develop into a contributor.
The Real Rainman (@raygt40) asks: Who is your favorite Giant of all time?
Giants360: Tough question, but I’d have to say George Martin. He was at the end of his career as I was become aware of the NFL, and one of my most vivid memories is Martin rumbling down the Giants Stadium sideline with a John Elway interception during the magical 1986 season, while my Uncle Bob pounded on my shoulder and yelling “George Martin” over and over in my ear, until he scored. I was also fortunate enough to meet Mr. Martin once and shake his hand. He is a tall, soft spoken, impressive man, and very kind to fans. My final Martin memory is from about a decade ago when I was selected to participate in a local radio station (WFAN) Giants trivia contest before a Saturday game against Kansas City. Being rather brash, I said I could “Guess that Giant” in one clue. Once I heard 11th round draft pick in 1975, I knew the answer. Thank you, George, for the memories, and the iPod mini.
That’s our mailbag for this week. Thank you to all who submitted questions. Interacting with fans is part of the core missions of Giants360 in our drive to keep football season alive 365 days a year. We are making plans to kick thing into high gear with some talented new writers on the site, and having some longer term discussions for other exciting changes to bring you innovative Giants themed content.
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