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Mailbag: Draft strategy; Daniel Jones' 2022 outlook


Mike in Massachusetts: How much do positional salaries play into draft strategy, specifically if there are players with the same first-round grade at difference positions?

John Schmeelk: The average salary at those positions often reflect what teams across the NFL consider the most valuable positions. So, yes, salary would be important because it indicates a position the NFL believes is more important to winning football games. Also, having a player on a rookie contract at a premium position that could cost $20 million a year in free agency also helps in team building. Offensive tackle, edge players, cornerbacks and quarterbacks would be considered those premium positions. Wide receiver is in the mix too, but the draft is so deep at that position every year, one hesitates to include it with the others.

Blaise in Connecticut: Do the Giants have other players, such as Billy Price, on the offensive line besides Andrew Thomas returning or are they going to load up on rookies?

John Schmeelk: It is not a recipe for success for the Giants to trot out Thomas and four rookies. That's why they added veteran starters Jon Feliciano and Mark Glowinski in free agency. And Shane Lemieux and Matt Peart are still on the roster. It's unrealistic for the Giants to use three or four Top-150 picks on offensive linemen and start all of them right away.

Greg in New Jersey: Would you agree that Daniel Jones is the most pressing question for the wounded Giants in 2022? If so, does Jones need the tools necessary in order to objectively be critiqued?

John Schmeelk: This is a reasonable premise. So, spend the majority of this season's picks on the offense – at least two high picks on the line and then grab a tight end and at least two receivers. The team has already added two veteran starting offensive linemen. But don't neglect the defense, especially if there is an obvious fit to help the team improve. The Jones question has to be answered once and for all – it is the most important facet of the upcoming season. The team has receivers Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard (coming off an achilles injury) on the roster and a healthy Saquon Barkley can be utilized in the passing game. All of these things should provide a strong understanding of how good Jones can be.


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