Selecting quality players in the NFL Draft is the most important task of an NFL general manager.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fact -Drafting and developing outstanding players is the only way to build a consistent winning team in the NFL. It's virtually impossible to be a successful franchise if you draft poorly.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -Every good NFL team was built through the draft. Each team's Director of College Scouting is more hands on than the GM when it comes to the draft, but it's the man on top that has the final say. Those seven decisions not only affect each team for the upcoming season but for years after. The draft also presents GM's a chance to trade up, down or even add trade picks for already established players. There is nothing more important.
DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -I think it really depends on the state of the organization. If there has been dysfunction and a franchise is trying to turn the ship around, then yes, the draft is the most important avenue to methodically do so. In a stable franchise, there won't be many reaches or head-scratchers on draft day because you can assume they have a sound college scouting department. So the most important job of the general manager becomes contracts and finding the right pieces to maintain that standard.
Aside from special teams, quarterback is the only position that would surprise you to see the Giants take in the first round.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction -After selecting David Wilson last year, I would be shocked if the Giants chose a running back in the first round Thursday night. After that, nothing would surprise me.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -I would be downright shocked to see the Giants take either a running back or a wide receiver in the first round of the draft. With Cruz, Nicks, and Randle all having top talent, and no running backs earning a first round grade according to most draft experts, either one of those positions would surprise me at 19.
DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -Any of the offensive skill positions would surprise me. Even though in the NFL depth can quickly disappear, the Giants have a solid stock of wide receivers and running backs – and obviously are set at quarterback. Plus, I don't think the talent will be there at No. 19 to warrant a first-round pick on one of those positions.
David Wilson and Rueben Randle will combine for at least 16 total touchdowns in 2013.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction -They're both very talented players, but I think their numbers will be lower because the Giants have many other players – Andre Brown, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz among them – who will also score. The offense will spread the scoring wealth.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -This might be the best fact or fiction question in the last month. I think both players have big seasons for the Giants but I believe 16 touchdowns are on the high end for a couple of reasons. First, guys like Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and even Brandon Myers will be more likely targets in the red zone than a third receiver like Randle. Second, I don't believe David Wilson will be getting the goal line carries for the Giants.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -I'm sold on both these players having big second seasons. Last year they combined for nine, and I think that number can double. Wilson can score in multiple phases – rushing, returning and receiving – and Randle will only improve with another season. Yes, there are others who will share the ball, and Andre Brown will get the goal line touches. But what I like about last year's top draft picks was their ability to stay on the field and be healthy for all 16 weeks.
The most intriguing game on the Giants' schedule is the 2013 Manning Bowl between the Giants and Broncos. (CLICK TO VIEW SCHEDULE)
MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction -That's a good choice, but I like the December 1 prime time meeting against the Redskins in Washington. After three months of sparring with others, they will meet for the first time in a prime time game that should have huge ramifications for the NFC East title race and postseason eligibility.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -It will be the biggest media story, but not the most intriguing for me. The Manning brothers are never even on the field at the same time, so the only thing truly intriguing is that it is a game between two of the better team from each conference. I'm more intrigued by what Andy Reed will do with the Chiefs and what Chip Kelly will do with the Eagles.
DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -I'm circling Week 10 against Oakland. It's a 1 p.m. home game coming off the bye and the Giants' first game in the month of November. The numbers will be flying all week on how the Giants do in that month as well as coming off the break. It may not be primetime, but let's see if they can handle it as playoff races begin to tighten.
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