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Mailbag: 5-man fronts, where Giants stand at CB


Ramon in Georgia: Do you see Graham's defensive schemes helping Lorenzo Carter become a better edge rusher?

John Schmeelk: I don't think scheme has much to do with whether Carter will take that next step as an edge rusher. It has far more to do with his individual improvement with strength, technique and properly working his angles.

Tashia in New York: Should we limit the usage of the tight end, and only play them in "12 personnel" or are there different ways to take advantage of mismatches in other personnel packages?

John Schmeelk: I expect Evan Engram to get the majority of his snaps in "11 personnel" as the only tight end on the field. Any time Engram is lined up on a linebacker, and even against some safeties, it is a mismatch.

Phil in New Jersey: Since the Giants best talent and depth is in the defensive line, do you think they could surprise teams with a 5-man front if the situation calls for it? I have seen the Giants and Vikings do it in the past.

John Schmeelk: If the Giants play an odd-man front on base downs, which is standard for a 3-4 defense, they will be technically playing a "five-man front." Two of those players, however, will probably be from the edge rusher group that includes Markus Golden, Lorenzo Carter, Kyler Fackrell, and Oshane Ximines. In short-yardage and goal line situations, I would not be surprised if we saw bigger players like Leonard Williams and BJ Hill, for example, line up as outside rushers in a five-man front.

View photos of the Giants' active roster as it currently stands.

Tyler in Georgia: With DeAndre Baker on the exempt list and Sam Beal opting out, where does the team stand at the cornerback position?

John Schmeelk: After James Bradberry, there will be a lot of competition. A combination of Dravon Askew-Henry, Darnay Holmes, Grant Haley, Corey Ballentine, Montre Hartage, Prince Smith, Christian Angulo and Jarren Williams will compete inside and outside at cornerback. It is one of the more open competitions I have ever seen at training camp. All of these young players will have a chance to step up and show what they can do.

Irving in New York: Given the fact that the NFL has changed the rules to not allow the defense to touch the quarterback or receivers, how can the Giants compete without a dominant pass rush?

John Schmeelk: A lot of analytics indicate defensive backfield play has a bigger impact on the opponent's passing game than a pass rush. If you can cover man-to-man in the secondary, there are ways to scheme a pass rush with blitzes. The better question is whether the secondary can cover well enough to allow Patrick Graham to send extra players after the quarterback?

Randy in Washington: Which would be the better measure of success for the Giants, more wins versus divisional opponents, development of young players or would they be tied together?

John Schmeelk: They are certainly tied together. If the team's young players develop and improve, more wins will follow. In order to win more games, that development is essential.

Ryan in Connecticut: Will the Giants have a 1,000-yard receiver in 2020? If yes, who has the best chance?

John Schmeelk: Darius Slayton is the team's big-play wide receiver, but he will probably have fewer receptions than Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. I'm not sure any receiver gets to 1,000 yards, but I think three (or maybe four if Evan Engram is included in the conversation) finish with more than 800 yards. Of the four, I think Golden Tate has the best chance to get to 1,000.


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