Big Ben Tuesday: NY Giants Get Players, Ignore Big Needs. How About Jets?


PHILLY, PA: The New York Giants stuck to their tried and true draft strategy of taking the best available player, instead of drafting for need. They seem to have gotten some useful players again this year, but they failed to address weaknesses at O-line and linebacker. I appreciate not reaching for a guy based on need, but these positions will be troublesome next season.

More big WR than TE, this guy will cause some matchup problems

The O-Line
Even my 4-month old daughters knew the Giants had a big need at OL going into this draft. Jerry Reese has earned a little slack, hitting it big recently with guys like Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins. But Ereck Flowers has been a dud to this point and the offensive line was the clear weakness of the team. It may surprise you to learn that I am not an NFL GM or scout, but it seems to me that Reese had to find a way to improve this group, either in the draft or free agency.

It was a weak draft for lineman and only one was off the board when the Giants picked at 23. But they passed and didn’t address the position until the sixth round, with some guy who is unlikely to help this year. It looks like they will go into the season with pretty much the same OL as last year, except DJ Fluker will probably be the RT. Yikes. I know Flowers has been working hard this offseason and he’s still only 22, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Evan Engram looks like a fun weapon, but a luxury. If Eli doesn’t have time to work through his progressions, it doesn’t matter if The Flash is lining up in the slot. Engram can block in space on bubble screens and such, but he’s not a guy that will line up next to the tackle too often. The Giants hope that TE/FB Rhett Ellison and WR Brandon Marshall will add some blocking to the mix. At least they will be able to mix up the formations more this year. They were in 11 personnel (3 WRs) almost exclusively last season.

We know The Flash can run, but drops have been an issue.

Eli’s Successor
Supposedly Ben McAdoo wanted to take QB David Webb in the 2nd Round, but the Giants ended up getting him in the third. And coupled with the coach’s criticism of Eli’s play this offseason, it almost seems like he’s trying to push Eli out the door. Webb seems to be in a great spot, as he’ll be able to apprentice under the durable Eli for a few years. I reckon this will turn out to be a good pick, but I can’t help but wish they took someone who can help now.

No LBs Again
I thought the Giants were going to take Vanderbilt LB Zack Cunningham with their second pick. This was a guy who they liked, and had been linked to them in the first round. But instead they passed on him a second time and went with DT Dalvin Tomlinson. Had Jonathan Hankins stayed put, maybe the Giants would have taken Cunningham, but they haven’t drafted an early round LB since the days of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. They only have one LB signed passed this year, so this could have been a mistake. They haven’t had a sideline to sideline stud LB in a while. This is a position the Giants seem comfortable addressing via free agency on the cheap. Reuben Foster is another highly regarded player they passed up.

I had this poster as a kid.

What Could Have Been
What if the Giants took the best tackle available in the first – Ryan Ramczyk or Cam Robinson, then Cunningham in the second, and then took a DT in the third? Montravious Adams, a DT most teams had ranked higher than Tomlinson, was still on the board. This seems to me like a group that could’ve helped now on a team that has ambitions of contending.

How About the Jets?
I’ll just say that it was obviously wise to take a safety with their first two picks. They didn’t have any other needs.  Not one. This was a complete team other than safety, so kudos to Jets’ brass. NFL GM hopefuls, get your resumes ready. Mike Maccagnan is not long for his town.

How did you like the Giants’ draft? Come back tomorrow for our one man wrecking crew, Angry Ward. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.


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About the Author ()

Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.

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