Giants writers play Fact or Fiction to debate the latest Big Blue topics:
The deepest position on the Giants' roster heading into the draft is wide receiver.
John Schmeelk: FACT -My instinct was fiction, but after going through the position, I think wide receiver is the Giants' deepest position. Safety is close with youngsters Andrew Adams, Nat Berhe and Darian Thompson joining Landon Collins, but I like the talent at wide receiver better. Obviously, the stars at the top are unquestionable with Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. Sterling Shepard is an excellent slot guy. Tavarres King showed his speed at the end of last season, and Roger Lewis Jr. has a lot of potential.
Paul Dottino: FICTION - There is no question about the abilities of the receiving trio of Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard, but how much have receivers Nos. 4 through 5 (and maybe No. 6) proven? This question is not about potential, it's about evidence. Guard is the deepest spot - Justin Pugh will start on the left and the Giants have four capable veterans who could play right guard between John Jerry, D.J. Fluker, Bobby Hart and backup center Brett Jones. That's a total of five veterans who could adequately handle the guard spot if asked to do so.
Lance Medow: FACT -The addition of Brandon Marshall in free agency bolstered the wide receiver corps and immediately filled the void left behind by Victor Cruz. As a result of that signing, the Giants essentially have just as much depth at the position as they did in 2016. Odell Beckham, Marshall and Sterling Shepard will be the Giants' top three receivers, and the bench showcases Dwayne Harris, Tavarres King and Roger Lewis, who all have experience in the system. Defensive end and running back belong in the conversation, but the depth at receiver is the best of all the position groups.
Signing Jason Pierre-Paul to a long-term deal means the Giants won't draft a DE.
John Schmeelk: FICTION -You can never have enough pass rushers. It's a cliché because it's true. Olivier Vernon and JPP played far too many snaps last year and more depth is needed behind them. Romeo Okwara showed promise after JPP got hurt, but Owa Odighizuwa dealt with a lot of injuries. Young talent at defensive end is never a bad thing, and Jerry Reese has made it a priority in the past.
Paul Dottino: FICTION - A team can never ever have enough pass rushers. The Giants have two proven sack specialists in defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon. Although the team may be hopeful that Owa Odighizuwa, Romeo Okwara and Kerry Wynn can provide an additional pass rush, those three players have yet to do so on a consistent basis.* *
Lance Medow: FICTION -Given the rate of injury, you can never have enough depth at any position in the NFL. I don't think Jason Pierre-Paul's long-term deal changes the philosophy of the organization heading into the draft. If there's a quality defensive end available when the Giants make a pick, that player will be part of the discussion. Case in point, in late 2005, the team agreed to a long-term contract extension with Osi Umenyiora but the following spring still selected Mathias Kiwanuka in the first round. In 2010, the Giants had Umenyiora, Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck on the roster yet still grabbed JPP in the first round. The team has always valued pass rushers, and I don't see that philosophy changing in the wake of Pierre-Paul's new contract.
UNC has produced the best all-time draft picks for the Giants.
John Schmeelk: FACT -If there was another school with a Hall of Famer and another couple really good players, I would go there because I like volume when it comes to draft picks, but LT takes precedence.
Paul Dottino: FACT -Linebacker Lawrence Taylor. Stop right there. The greatest defensive player in NFL history. Don't go any further. Period. Once a part-time down defensive end with the North Carolina Tar Heels, the UNC coaching staff converted him to stand-up defensive end as a junior - and then the Giants drafted him with the second overall pick in the 1981.
Lance Medow: FACT -Any group that includes Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor is going to be hard to beat. He's one of the most dominant defensive players in NFL history and arguably the greatest Giant of all-time. Throw in Hakeem Nicks, who helped the team win Super Bowl XLVI and highlighted one of the best wide receiver trios (with teammates Victor Cruz, Mario Manningham) in franchise history, and you have some dynamic duo. They combined for three Super Bowl titles and if it weren't for Nicks' injury issues, who knows how much more decorated his resume would be. LSU is a close second with Odell Beckham, Corey Webster and Leonard Marshall, but LT puts UNC over the top.
March Madness is more unpredictable than the NFL postseason.
John Schmeelk: FACT -There's a reason NBA playoff series are seven games long. Basketball is so unpredictable game to game. If a great player gets in foul trouble or just has a bad shooting day (that can happen to anyone), a great team can lose to an inferior one. I love the NFL playoffs more than anything, but it is called March Madness for a reason!
Paul Dottino: FACT - It's no surprise because all you have to do is simple math. There are 67 NCAA Tournament games and only 11 NFL postseason games, which means many more opportunities for upsets in the bracket, and for role players to make big plays in March Madness, than there are in pro football's playoffs and Super Bowl.
Lance Medow: FACT -There's always parity in the NFL, but given the structure of the NCAA Tournament with quick turnarounds that most teams aren't used to other than Ivy League schools, which play their regular season games every Friday and Saturday, the environment calls for more upsets and unpredictable outcomes. This year's tournament isn't the posterchild for that theme, but over the course of history, the results of March Madness have been difficult to predict. Wild Card teams have fared pretty well in the NFL postseason, but since the current playoff format was implemented in 1990, a top seed or number two seed has won the Super Bowl 19 times in 28 seasons, including a top seed in each of the last four seasons.