The New York Giants finished the 2017 with a 3-13 and have the second overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. What will they do with it?
Coaching played a big role in the Giants’ terrible season, and they have lots of talent, so this draft gives them a chance to add to that.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley will almost definitely be available. He would give the Giants a much needed improvement in a backfield led by Orleans Darkwa, who rushed for 751 yards and five touchdowns in 2017.
The Giants’ offensive line also struggled last year, and now they risk losing Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg, who were both ranked in the top five of free agent offensive lineman by Pro Football Focus.
Tackle Mike McGlinchey and guard Quenton Nelson, both from Notre Dame, are considered the best in this draft class. If Pugh and Richburg both depart, the Giants might be forced to draft an offensive lineman.
But is any offensive lineman in this class worth the number two pick in the draft?
Maybe, but probably not.
If the Giants do decide to draft an offensive lineman, look for them to trade back a few picks. Someone will be willing to give up something for that number two pick, which could set the Giants up to potentially win in 2018, and definitely improve their roster going forward.
Something new the Giants face this offseason is addressing their quarterback situation.
Eli Manning is 37 years old and has two years remaining on his contract, but can opt out and test free agency this offseason, though that looks unlikely.
Manning is above average at best, but he can still play. Ben McAdoo was an idiot for benching him. He will also have the ability to throw the ball to his top four wideouts next year. All of them missed significant time in 2017 due to injuries.
Unless they have loads of faith in Cal product and 2017 third rounder Davis Webb, the Giants should (and likely will) consider drafting a quarterback.
UCLA’s Josh Rosen is widely considered the second best quarterback in the draft, and we know he likes the attention he’s sure to garner in the New York market. However, some personality concerns surround Rosen. Would he be okay with sitting out a year, or maybe even two, behind Manning?
The Kansas City Chiefs took a similar approach in drafting Patrick Mahomes in 2017. They ended up trading Alex Smith to the Redskins with one year on his contract because they believe Mahomes is ready.
The Giants could certainly do the same thing, but if Manning has a season like 2017, teams might hesitate to trade for the aging quarterback.
As of today, Rosen or Barkley look like the best options for the Giants. Of course that can all change once the new league year starts next month.
I’d like to take this time to acknowledge the Giants’ 2003 first round selection, William Joseph. The 11th overall selection out of Miami, he started only 17 of 60 games played and recorded 60 tackles in four seasons with New York. After the Giants cut him in 2008, he appeared in only nine more games, making the total for his career … wait for it … 69.