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Fact or Fiction: Questions facing the Giants

FACT-OR-FICTION

The Giants.com crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

There will be a trade ahead of the Giants in the draft order.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – I don't think there will be a trade in the top 10 this season. I also think there's a good chance there isn't a quarterback taken in the top 10, even with the Seahawks sitting with the ninth pick after trading Russell Wilson. When there aren't top quarterbacks at the top of draft boards, it is hard to find trades that make sense for teams when they have to relinquish so much draft capital to move around in the top 10. I think draft night is quiet from a trade perspective in the early going.

Dan Salomone: Fact – People's memories are short. We seem to go through the same cycle every year. A class will get labeled as light on quarterback, but when late April rolls around, they fly off the board in the top 10. You can't compete without a quarterback, so teams will take chances.

Lance Medow: Fiction – If a team is going to move up into one of the top four spots, that means they're going after a quarterback and I'd be very surprised if that happens based on this year's class. All it takes is one team, but I would argue if you really want a signal-caller, this would be the year to remain patient and, in all likelihood, that quarterback may fall to you. It's no different than what happened with the Patriots last year when they landed Mac Jones with the 15th overall pick. On top of that, the Jaguars, Lions, Texans and Jets could all use help in the trenches and they'll be able to address their offensive and defensive lines with the top four selections.

Matt Citak: Fiction – When trades occur at the top of the draft, it typically is because a team (or teams) want to move up in order to land a top quarterback. We have seen this occur in many drafts in recent years. But in this year's draft class, many analysts believe there are no quarterbacks worthy of a top-five pick. While teams could still make a move up in order to secure a top offensive tackle or edge rusher, these types of deals are less common at the very top of the draft. Barring one or two quarterbacks skyrocketing up draft boards over the next six weeks, chances are the first four picks are made by the Jaguars, Lions, Texans and Jets.

You would be shocked if the Giants drafted anything other than an offensive lineman or edge rusher with the fifth and seventh overall picks.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – I would not be shocked at all if the Giants selected a defensive back with the fifth or seventh overall picks in the draft. Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner could be the first cornerback off the board, and it would not surprise me to see him go in the top seven. The Giants may also end up having a need at cornerback. Is there also a chance the Giants would select Kyle Hamilton with the fifth or seventh pick? He is a safety, but there's a chance he could be the highest player with a pure grade on the board. With that said, an offensive tackle and edge rusher are probably the favorites in the clubhouse right now given the talent at the top of the draft class.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – The Giants, coming off their fifth consecutive season with double-digit losses, have plenty of holes to fill. And with their cap situation heading into free agency, their roster will be largely defined by the draft.

Lance Medow: Fiction – When it comes to the NFL, there's not much that I would classify as shocking material. This league is defined based on the unpredictable given the turnover rate on rosters and overall competitive balance. Although you could easily argue those are the Giants' two biggest needs, the roster will first change through free agency and, based on recent results on the field and injuries, they could use playmakers at various spots beyond the offensive and defensive lines. While I would argue at least one of the two picks should be utilized on an offensive lineman because it's unlikely free agency will address that entire group, they could easily go in several different directions.

Matt Citak: Fiction – A couple weeks ago I probably would have answered with "fact," but things have changed. Depending on what moves Joe Schoen makes in order to clear cap space, cornerback could quickly find its way towards the top of the team's priority list, especially with some talented corners expected to go early in the draft. Kyle Hamilton is another consensus top-three talent who could wind up wearing blue next season, while linebacker may be another position of need for the Giants following free agency. It is also important to note that both Daniel Jeremiah and Todd McShay, two of the most respected draft analysts in the business, have both projected a wide receiver to the Giants in their most recent mock drafts. While OL and EDGE seem like the most likely positions the Giants select in the first round, they are far from the only options.

View photos from the Giants' suite in Indianapolis, where the team is gathered to evaluate the top draft prospects.

The Giants will sign more than two regular starters in free agency.

John Schmeelk: Fact – This is going to be very close, but I am going to go with two. I believe the Giants will sign one offensive lineman that will be a starter and they will sign a tight end that will be a regular starter. There's also a good chance they sign a second offensive lineman or maybe even a linebacker or defensive back. We don't know what the new front office and coaching staff think about the players on the roster, but we also know they will not have much financial flexibility in free agency. It will be a very fine needle to thread.

Dan Salomone: Fact – It's a numbers game in every sense of the term. Among the players set to become free agents are Evan Engram, Will Hernandez, Austin Johnson, Nate Solder, Matt Skura, Jabrill Peppers, and John Ross. On top of that, the team released Kyle Rudolph and Devontae Booker. This team will look vastly different than the 2021 edition based on both the draft and free agency.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Entering free agency, the Giants aren't going to have much flexibility to spend because they have work to do just to get under the cap and that was evident when they made some aggressive moves last offseason. Yes, this is now a different regime and the cap is always fluid, but I think most of the heavy lifting this offseason will have to be done in the draft. And if they're going to find multiple starters, it will be through the combination of that venue and previous draft classes, which are just as crucial, in terms of their development, as the incoming 2022 group.

Matt Citak: Fact – This probably speaks more towards the state of the Giants' roster at the moment than anything else. As of right now, only Andrew Thomas is locked into his starting position on the O-line. While the team will certainly turn to the draft to fill some of those spots, the front office will likely look towards free agency for some as well. Between the offensive line, tight end and linebacker, it seems more than possible that at least three starting spots are filled by players added during free agency.

Center is the most important position for the Giants to shore up heading into the draft and free agency.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – I am going to go with right tackle. Both positions have incumbents (Nick Gates and Matt Peart) with serious injury concerns. Gates' injury is likely the more debilitating one, but offensive tackle will always be a higher priority for me than center. It is easier to find a stopgap player on the interior offensive line than at tackle, where even competent players can become very expensive very quickly. The Giants need to find someone they can slide into right tackle with confidence and hopefully be a foundational player there for a long time.

Dan Salomone: Fact – The center position is about the intangibles as much as the tangibles. He needs to be the emotional and vocal leader of the unit and know the offense inside out like a quarterback. The center position will be critical as Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka install their new system.

Lance Medow: Fiction – We're going with a clean fiction sweep this week. Center is right up there, especially with Nick Gates' status up in the air, but right tackle is a bigger priority. You can't hide offensive linemen in this league because most teams have multiple talented pass rushers and defensive coordinators will game plan accordingly. Even though Andrew Thomas has made strides in his first two years in the league, that's only one half of the equation. The Giants still need a reliable option on the right side. With Nate Solder a free agent and Matt Peart's availability in question due to a torn ACL he suffered in Week 16, that's the position that must be addressed.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Center is surely one of the more important positions the Giants must address before the start of the season, but I do not think it is the most crucial. That honor belongs to right tackle. With the talent seen across the league from the edge rusher position, having two dependable tackles is the key to having a solid offensive line. While Thomas sure looks like the franchise left tackle the Giants had long been searching for, the right side still remains a question mark. It is for this reason that so many draft experts have predicted the Giants select an OT with one of their two top picks.

View the players set to become free agents when the new league year begins March 16.

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