Fact or Fiction: Toughest stretch of the schedule

New York Giants 2019 Schedule

The toughest stretch on the Giants schedule is from November 24th to December 9th.

John Schmeelk: Fact - I like to identify tough stretches in the schedule in quarters, but there isn’t really a four-game stretch that doesn’t include a soft landing spot. The Giants play at Chicago on November 24, home versus Green Bay on December 1 and at Philadelphia on Monday night, Dec. 9. The stretch includes two road games against playoff teams and another versus Aaron Rodgers. The trio of games comes right after the bye week and will go a long way toward determining any potential playoff push for the Giants.

Lance Medow: Fact: During that stretch, the Giants visit the Bears, host the Packers and then collide with the Eagles for the first time in Philadelphia. When you take into consideration the three quarterbacks (Mitchell Trubisky, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz) they’ll be facing, the fact that the Bears and Eagles both have solid defenses and that all three games will be in cold weather environments, it’s hard to make a stronger case for a different three-game stretch. That’s why it doesn’t hurt that the Giants will be coming off their bye before they tackle the first of those three contests.

Paul Dottino: Fiction: I prefer to interpret "toughest" as the "most challenging" stretch - and it would have to be the first three weeks of the schedule. It's safe to assume the Giants will be opening the season with significant changes to a defense that struggled last year. And if there's one thing we know about multiple changes on defense - it's that it takes time to get in sync. Not only will this rebuilt unit need to quickly develop chemistry as the players learn their assignments, defensive coordinator James Bettcher - who runs a complex multiple scheme - is going to have to gain trust in his players/lineup combinations to execute properly. Therefore, the Giants' biggest challenge is more about how the defense handles its own business out of the gate against the Cowboys, Bills and Buccaneers than it is about the potential difficulty of the schedule.

The Giants will select 12 players in the 2019 NFL Draft

John Schmeelk: Fiction: Dave Gettleman said on Thursday he would not want to draft someone who wouldn’t make the team, and it is hard to believe 12 rookies (not even counting undrafted rookies) would be on the final 53-man roster. The Giants have to wait 58 picks from #37 to #95 between their second and third round selections. The draft is particularly strong in that area, and I would suspect the Giants move some of their later round picks to either acquire an additional pick in that range, or move up from 95. I also think it is possible, especially if they do not select a quarterback, for the Giants to trade picks this season to acquire draft capital in 2020.

Lance Medow: Fiction: When GM Dave Gettleman spoke with the media Thursday during his pre-draft press conference, he addressed this very subject and said, “…having 12 picks is crazy. One of the things I have talked about is that you don’t want to draft a player that you are going to cut. Every guy you draft, there is a reason you are drafting him and a reason that he should make your club.” Based on those comments, I don’t think the Giants will select 12 players. I think they’ll package a few picks to move up in the draft because it’s hard to believe 12 players from the same class (technically 13 if you include Sam Beal in that group) will make the roster.

Paul Dottino: Fiction - It would be very hard for me to imagine the Giants using all 12 of their picks. In fact, this would be the first time the franchise has used 12 selections in the draft since 1992, the last year the NFL used a 12-round system. Since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, the Giants' record for picks in one draft is 18 choices in both 1972 and 1974.

As I always expected, GM Dave Gettleman got back into the third round in the recent Odell Beckham Jr. trade with the Browns, a year after he forfeited his third-rounder to take Sam Beal in the supplemental draft. But this still leaves the general manager sitting it out between picks 37 and 95. It's hard to believe he will go without a selection for 58 spots when he's already stated that this is the deepest four-round batch of talent he has graded in his career. I figure he will attempt to jump into that void (or maybe even higher) with some combination of picks - he has two in the fourth, three in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh.

The first four picks in the Giants draft will be split evenly between offense and defense.

John Schmeelk: Fiction: I do not say this with a ton of confidence because I think it is very possible that the Giants could select a quarterback and an offensive tackle in the first two days of the draft, with the other two selections being on the defensive side of the ball. When all is said and done, however, I believe there’s a better chance three of the first four players off the board are on the defensive side. The Giants have needs for multiple pass rushers, multiple defensive backs and more depth at linebacker and on the defensive line.

Lance Medow: Fiction: I think three of the four picks will be defense. When GM Dave Gettleman addressed the media during Thursday’s pre-draft press conference, he indicated there’s a lot of depth in the secondary, at wide receiver and at offensive tackle. Gettleman actually said he thinks all three positions are “thick”, meaning there’s substance up and down the draft. Notice the one position that he didn’t mention was defensive line/pass rusher, yet that still remains a big need for the team. If the Giants don’t believe there’s as much substance at that position compared to others, it wouldn’t surprise me if they focus on those spots early to target the top caliber players.

Paul Dottino: Fiction: Given the heavy allotment of quality defensive prospects in this draft and the Giants' needs on defense? Well, they are in an enviable position where the odds are very high that value will meet need in the early rounds - and they will wind up with three defensive players in their first four picks. However, I could foresee the Giants identifying a "sleeper" quarterback on the second day that may entice them to make a deal and move up into the late second round or early third round - and that likely would even out the selections at two players apiece.

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks unveiled the third edition of his position rankings for the 2019 NFL Draft.

At least one of the teams selecting 1st through 5th will trade their pick before the Giants select in the first round.

John Schmeelk: Fiction: It would be a real upset if no trades are made ahead of the Giants, given how much movement there often is at the top of the draft. Whether the Cardinals decide to draft Kyler Murray or not will be a significant factor. If they don’t, I think it becomes more likely that a team behind them (or the Cardinals themselves) trade down in an attempt to bring in a big haul for their pick. I don’t think any of the other quarterbacks will garner enough interest for a trade up. Keep an eye on the Redskins, who have been known to make bold moves.

Lance Medow: Fact: In each of the last three drafts, there’s been at least one trade in the top five, so why bet against the trend. Perhaps this group of quarterbacks doesn’t excite the league as much as last year, but all it takes is one team to really like a signal caller. On top of that, you can’t overlook the fact that three of the teams (Niners, Jets, Raiders) picking in the top five appear to be set at quarterback, which means they’re all easily candidates to move down and gain additional picks.

Paul Dottino: Fact: It's just too tempting to suggest that the Raiders - under colorful and sometimes enigmatic head coach Jon Gruden - will make a deal with the fourth overall pick. One logical possibility would be for them to deal with the Redskins (No. 15) - coached by Gruden’s brother, Jay - to allow Washington access to a quarterback (more than likely Dwayne Haskins).

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