The Giants.com staff debates the Giants moves in free agency and team needs in the 2018 NFL Draft:
The Jets trading into the top three in the draft makes it more likely the Giants trade down.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -
But only if the Giants do not intend to pick a quarterback. If the Giants love a quarterback that is there at two, they will select that player and not trade down regardless of the Jets. If the Giants do not pick a quarterback second overall, then the Jets trade makes it more likely the Giants trade down because they are the only team that might make their pick available before the Jets target a quarterback at three. If a team (Broncos, Bills, Cardinals) have a quarterback they love and the Browns do not select them with the first overall pick they will try very hard to get that player. They might be willing to give up more than they were previously since the Jets now pick third, and the Giants are their only potential trading partner that can help them achieve their objective. Swapping picks with the Broncos at five is the sweet spot since the Giants will likely get to choose between two of Bradley Chubb, Saquon Barkley, and Quenton Nelson.
DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - The whole will-they-or-won't-they conversation about trading the second overall pick comes down to whether top decision-makers believe their future franchise quarterback is in this class, plain and simple. And by now, I think they know in their gut if they do or do not. So what is happening around them now doesn't change that verdict.
LANCE MEDOW: Fiction - Just because the Jets moved up from number six to third overall, in a likely move to take a quarterback, doesn't mean the Giants will follow the lead of the Colts. I think that trade increased the value of the second overall pick and provided New York with more options but, at the end of the day, if Dave Gettleman believes there's a player on the board, at number two, that can have a significant impact on the franchise, for years to come, he'll take that player, regardless of all the movement, in the draft order, behind the Giants. Remember, this is what Gettleman said at the Scouting Combine in February when he was asked about trading down: "If someone makes me an offer I can't refuse, would I move back? It depends upon who is there. Again, if there is a guy that is worthy enough of being the second pick of a draft and what we are basically saying if we answer that question to the affirmative, you are drafting what you think is going to be a Hall of Fame player. You can't get too cute about the whole thing."
The Giants need to find three new starters in the draft for 2018.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - The Giants are still filling holes on the roster, and adding players in the draft will certainly help. Dave Gettleman's work during free agency have left few glaring holes that the Giants will be desperate to fill in the draft, which will give him the freedom to pick the best available player even if they do not start right away. That being said, the Giants hold so many valuable picks that they should be able to find three starters. With savvy Jason Pierre-Paul trade to acquire an extra third round pick (and clear space in the future to resign their own players) gave the Giants three picks in the top 70. There should be starting caliber players available at every one of those spots, and it will be the front office's job to pick the right guys. I would be surprised if three players drafted this year didn't start at some point in 2018 (unless they pick quarterback second overall – then all bets are off!)
DAN SALOMONE: Fact - When your first four picks are Nos. 2, 34, 66 and 69, I don't think that's a major stretch – not to mention Dave Gettleman has a knack for finding some gems in the later rounds and undrafted ranks. If the last few weeks have taught us anything, it's that Gettleman is making fundamental changes to the Giants' roster. The team is going to look very different in 2018.
LANCE MEDOW: Fiction - The Giants need to find good players and solid contributors in the upcoming draft for 2018. I think it's absolutely ridiculous to go into a draft saying you need 'x' amount of starters when the draft isn't just about one season but the big picture as well. Case in point, when you look back at 2017, while Evan Engram and Dalvin Tomlinson pretty much started from day one, Wayne Gallman's role grew progressively over the course of the season, Avery Moss had two starts, Adam Bisnowaty recorded one and Davis Webb saw no regular season action. You can't look at the draft through the lens of solely producing all starters right from the beginning of the season. You want sustainable return, not just a quick flash.
The position group with the most questions right now is the secondary.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact - It helps to bring in players that know your coordinator's system, but I would not consider it a major game changer unless that player is also good on the field. Kareem Martin certainly qualifies. He is a versatile player that can rush standing up, or with his hand in the dirt at defensive end or tackle in nickel situations. He also sets the edge very well in the run game. He can even cover when asked. Josh Mauro was a situational player in Arizona that should help as a run stopper in base defense and on special teams. Both of their scheme knowledge will help, but what they do on the field will be more important. Coaches coach and players play.
DAN SALOMONE: Fiction - The signings of Jonathan Stewart, Kareem Martin, Josh Mauro and Teddy Williams would be pretty big coincidences if having familiar faces didn't matter. When coaches are trying to install new schemes and establish a culture, it helps to bring in players they know they can depend on. Beyond that, coordinators get hired away from other teams because they had success there. Naturally, that means there were some pretty good players there as well.
LANCE MEDOW: Fact - It never hurts to add players that have familiarity with the schemes your coaches will be implementing during the course of offseason workouts because they essentially serve as additional coaches. On defense, linebacker, Kareem Martin, and, defensive end, Josh Mauro, will help, new defensive coordinator, James Bettcher, put his stamp on that unit and the same can be said for, running back, Jonathan Stewart, who has experience working with Mike Shula. Don't overlook new wide receiver/kick returner Cody Latimer as well as tight end Rhett Ellison. Latimer has been with new Giants wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert for the last four years in Denver and Ellison crossed paths with Pat Shurmur for one season in Minnesota. Do all these connections guarantee success on the field? No, but they certainly don't hurt and provide a nice platform to build off of moving forward.
Bringing in players from coordinators' former teams makes a major difference.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -With the release of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Giants are missing what in the modern day NFL is a virtual starting position: their fifth defensive back. Janoris Jenkins is their stalwart at one cornerback spot, and Eli Apple, despite his issues last year, is the presumptive starter at the other. Landon Collins and Darian Thompson (who could face competition) are returning as last year's starting safeties, but who is the nickel back? The second group that came to mind here is the offensive line, but I think I know who the five starters are right now in Nate Solder – Patrick Omameh – Brett Jones – John Jerry – Ereck Flowers. There are more questions in the secondary.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -It's amazing how much can change from season to season in the NFL. One year, the secondary is one of the best units in the league and even gets its own nickname. The next, it allows 32 passing touchdowns, the most in the league and more than double than what it gave up in 2016. With that said, I'm still going with the offensive line. There are some new pieces with more to come, but the question is how will they all come together? The Giants' success depends on them.
LANCE MEDOW: Fact -To be even more specific, I would say cornerback. Given the Giants parted ways with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the competition for the third corner spot is wide open. Janoris Jenkins is coming off a season-ending injury and Eli Apple is looking for a bounce-back campaign in 2018. New York added three free agents in Curtis Riley, B.W. Webb and Teddy Williams, but the latter two haven't played in a regular season game since 2016 and Riley mainly contributed on special teams, in the last two seasons, with the Titans. There are certainly options at that position but several come with questions given either previous injuries or limited sample size.
Giants.com looks at all the signings, re-signings, and trades from this offseason.