QUARANTINE, CT – We’re about three and a half weeks from the first relevant sporting event in eons; The NFL Draft. For our New York Giants, Dave Gettleman needs to crush it this time around if he wants to keep his job. Nine wins in two seasons is not going to get it done. The Jints filled some holes in free agency, but there is work to do. Will Gettles be able to complete a Hail Mary or will this draft be another four yard check down on third and twelve?
In two drafts Gettleman has basically built a deep and unspectacular D-line and added a few other useful pieces here and there. But his legacy will come down to the development of Mr. Daniel Jones and this draft will be about helping him succeed. Oh yeah, they also have a terrible defense to fix.
Free Agents Additions
The Giants overpaid for CB James Bradberry, a good but not great corner. But what were they supposed to do, start the season with Deandre Baker as the top CB?
They also overpaid for MLB Blake Martinez, but the cupboard is bare there as well. Martinez makes a lot of tackles, but he’s not the best athlete. He’s the next man up in a long Giants’ line of decent run defending middle linebackers who are lacking in elite speed and the ability to cover anyone.
Watch Mostert’s second TD vs the Packers starting at about the 1:10 mark of this video. Martinez is unblocked and has a clear path to the ball carrier for a no gain stuff. But he isn’t quite fast enough and doesn’t have the athleticism to get it done. Touchdown.
He’s an upgrade over Alec Ogletree but he also comes from a team who thought he was expendable. When asked about Martinez after the season, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said “Blake Martinez is up and I think we’re going to have to take a long look at this inside linebacker thing, make sure we’re squared away there.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
The Giants also signed OLB Kyler Fackrell from the Packers, hoping to find some sacks on the cheap, like they did last year with Markus Golden. And they had some decent depth signings in T Cameron Fleming, QB Colt McCoy, RB Dion Lewis, and TE Levine Toilolo.
But they still don’t have anything close to a proven pass rusher. Or a decent right tackle. A center. A free safety. Or a real playmaker on the defensive side of the ball at all. There are a lot of ways they can go.
They seem to be sitting in prime position to trade down at four. The Dolphins and Chargers are right behind them and both will want to move up and get their QB of the future. Ideally, the Giants could move back just a few spots and still get a top player while picking up additional picks.
But there’s a problem – the Lions. They don’t need a QB either and have plenty of other needs. So if Burrow and Young go and the Detroit trades back with either San Diego or Miami, the other team won’t have a reason to trade up with the Giants. The Giants aren’t taking a QB so they might as well stay put. The only way the Giants spot can be in play is if another team like the Patriots gets involved. Or if Washington decides Haskins is not their guy.
Whether the Giants stay at four or not, I hope they take Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons. They guy runs a 4.39 (faster than their new #1 CB Bradstreet) and flies around making plays. He was a safety before being converted to LB so he can drop into coverage on TEs, RBs, and some slot receivers. When was the last time the Giants had someone who could do any of that stuff?
There are four stud tackles in this draft and it makes plenty of sense for the Giants to take one. They can start him on the left and move Solder across or give the rookie a year on the right side. But there doesn’t seem to be any consensus as to which one is the best. I’ve seen all four go to the Giants in various mock drafts. The last time they were in a similar position, they took Ereck Flowers.
By signing Martinez, it seems like the Giants might be thinking tackle. But they shouldn’t reach if they don’t love one. If Simmons is available, they should not let him pass. The Giants desperately need a playmaker on defense.
The counter-argument is that the draft isn’t too deep in offensive lineman after the top guys come off the board. If they take one early, they’ll have to get lucky. And the young QB could use a little more time.
But maybe they can find some line help in the later rounds. They’re not going to find an impact defensive player.
Gettleman can’t afford many drops in this one. And we have a lot of work to do to get through the next three and a half weeks with our sanity intact. Hang tough my people. If we can make it to the draft this thing will start to turn. Make it to the draft.