Big Ben Draft Special: The Pressure is on the Jets and Giants in a Make or Break Year

BEN-WHITNEY, Meet-The-Matts, Dave Gettleman, Joe Douglas, EJ Manuel, Daniel-Jones, Sam-Darnold, Google, Jets, Giants, NFL Draft

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The draft is almost here and the pressure is on the two denizens of Metlife Stadium. Both have an epic opportunity to screw their franchises for decades. Can the New York Jets and New York Giants both pull it off or will one of them stumble into enough decent picks to field a competent squad in 2021 and beyond? I’m here to break it down for you.

Jeopardy Joe

The Jets punted on Sam Darnold, tanked the Tank for Trevor, and now seem set on taking Zach Wilson. I was in favor of getting rid of Darnold, but now that I see what the Niners gave up for the #3 pick, I’m not so sure. Add the picks the Dolphins got for that pick to the plethora of picks the J-E-T-S already have, and the corpse of Al Davis could have built a solid team around Sam.

Instead, they’re rolling the dice on the ultimate Boom or Bust guy in Wilson. Even if they hit with all the other picks it will still be a failed draft if Wilson blows the bunny. And that’s more likely to happen than not, based on recent first round QBs. Sam was the devil they knew, at least.

Is this the Jets new QB or the kid who cleans my gutters?

The Jets addressed the WR position in free agency but otherwise have several of the same needs as the Giants; pass rush, O-line, CB… Joe Douglas has ten picks to fill holes including another first rounder. If Joe gets it right, and Wilson is more Josh Allen than EJ Manuel, and Saleh can make it work, the Jets could find themselves on the upswing.

Gettleman’s Gambit

If you’re a GM on the hot seat you probably would have done what Dave Gettleman did. The Giants were in cap hell going into the off season but he restructured a bunch of contracts to kick the pain down the road and make room to bring a few big name free agents. He’s hitched up with Danny’s Wagon and will use the draft to try to strengthen the offense around him.

It’s likely the Giants take, in some order, an Edge, O-lineman, CB, RB, DT, and WR, if they don’t trade back for more picks. And what they do in the first round will dictate how the rest of the cards fall.


The Giants could look edge in first round, as that is clearly their biggest need. But the consensus seems to be that none are worthy of #11 so they should trade down if they want to take an edge. But Gettleman never trades down and it would depend on a team really wanting to move up, which Gettleman said didn’t happen last year. So they reached for Andrew Thomas, just like they reached for Eli Apple, Ereck Flowers, and others before him. Don’t be surprised if they stay put and reach for an edge.

The Ghost of Past Busts


The line is a place I’d be looking if they really want to help Jones but supposedly they feel pretty good about the one they have. I’m not sure why. Maybe Gettleman knows something we don’t or maybe he doesn’t want to go to the O-ine well again in round 1 after taking three lineman last year. If Slater from Northwestern is there they should take him. But supposedly he doesn’t have long enough arms for their liking. Ereck Flowers’ long arms were great at giving guys congratulatory pats on the ass as they passed him.


The best available player could come from this group if one of the ‘Bama WRs fall. They do want to give Jones more weapons so it will be tempting. But after doling out the Gallo-pay-Day, it seems like they have more pressing needs. Even studs like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce can’t help if your QB is running around like the Tazmanian Devil. It would be fun having Waddle or Smith, but they’d better find a legit blocker later. There is receiver depth so they can look to address the position later.

If this guy can stay healthy, the weapons are there


This could be another spot with good value if Horn and/or Surtain are available. And as you might have heard, “in today’s pass heavy NFL you can never have too many cornerbacks.” But again, with the big money signing of Adoreé, I don’t think they go CB in round 1. I think they’ll play a lot with three safeties and count on Darnay Holmes to hold down the slot. The secondary should be decent and the best way to help them would be to find someone who can get to the QB. They can grab a CB for depth later.

RB and DT

Look for them to grab a third RB to play behind Saquon and Booker in the later rounds. They’ll also look for a DT to replace Dalvin Tomlinson at some point.

Top Three

The defense should be pretty good so a smart man looking to save his job would target mostly offensive players. But the pass rush is such a glaring hole they have to address that early as well. I think the first three picks will be Edge, O lineman, WR.

That’s my time. What do you think the Jets and Giants should do. Come back tomorrow for Angry Adoree (no accent mark) 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 Ben Whitney 402 Articles
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.