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Fact or Fiction: Biggest key to hitting on a draft pick


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

The biggest takeaway from Joe Schoen's pre-draft press conference was the "surprisingly" high number of teams who have inquired about moving up to No. 6.

John Schmeelk: Fact – I wasn't really surprised by anything Joe Schoen said to be totally honest with you. I suppose this would rank as one of the biggest takeaways, but quarterback-needy have to be prepared to trade up at any time to grab one.

Dan Salomone: Fact – My ears certainly perked up when he said, "I didn't think I'd have as much activity at six from people behind me as we've gotten. So those are options too as we look at, if we go back, how far back do we want to go?" General managers never say anything they don't want out there with a week to go.

Lance Medow: Fact – No other item comes close to that revelation. When it comes to a pre-draft presser, you're always looking to hear something that qualifies as new or an interesting tidbit, and this certainly applies. With so much speculation about what the Giants may do and the volume of quarterbacks that could be selected early in the first round, Joe Schoen added more fuel to that by acknowledging teams have already inquired about the sixth overall pick. It also indicates that the Giants may have options once they're on the clock, especially if they're willing to move down to acquire additional assets. You could also throw out what Schoen mentioned about Darren Waller's status as he contemplates retirement, but unlike the draft news, Waller has yet to decide his future, which doesn't change what has already been out there.

Intangibles are more important than tangibles when it comes to hitting on a draft pick.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Intangibles are nice, but if the player isn't big enough or fast enough to play in the NFL, even the smartest and highest character guys are not going to make it. There are thresholds at positions that players have to meet.

Dan Salomone: Fact – The correct answer is both, but this is a chicken-or-the-egg conversation. It's about how much is due to natural talent and how much is the result of hard work and being wired the right way. From my perspective, as I head into my 15th season here, it's the players with more of the latter that ultimately have the best careers.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Yes, intangibles are critical, such as a player's personality and leadership skills. But at the end of the day, you can't make up for what's missing or lacking in the skill on the field. For example, a quarterback's arm strength, ability to read a defense and make good decisions will dictate his trajectory far more than whether he's liked by his teammates and engaging when he stands in front of a room. Football is a physical sport, which involves a specialized skillset and mental fortitude to succeed. Those items are tangible on film and in person.

Players have returned to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for the offseason workout program.

There are multiple teams currently outside of the top 10 who will trade into it.

John Schmeelk: Fact – I believe one of the quarterback-needy teams from 11-13 will trade into the top five for a quarterback. The second spot I would watch for in terms of a trade-back is the Falcons at No. 8. They need a defensive player and can get one if they slide back a few spots. The eighth pick is valuable, so another team can get ahead of the Bears at ninth overall to select perhaps the last remaining of the three top wide receivers on the board.

Dan Salomone: Fact – As we discussed before, Schoen was surprised how many calls he has gotten from teams behind the Giants. If this class is as good as everyone is saying at quarterback and receiver, there will be plenty of eager buyers. That means some offers will be too good to refuse.

Lance Medow: Fiction – If a team outside the top 10 is going to move up, it's likely to grab a quarterback. If there's an early run at that position, it could very well decrease the chances of movement because if multiple trades are to be orchestrated, that would mean several teams are high on four to five different signal-callers, which is unlikely. I also wouldn't overlook that the teams currently slotted to pick seventh through 10th don't need quarterbacks as the Titans (Will Levis), Falcons (Kirk Cousin), Bears (will likely take Caleb Williams with the first overall pick) and Jets (Aaron Rodgers), respectively, all have someone in place entering 2024. The reason that's important info is if you're outside the top 10 and need a quarterback, one could very well fall to you if there's still a few on the board entering the seventh selection. While I can see one trade happening, I'm not sold on multiple transactions.

In honor of Matt Citak's wedding this weekend, the best partnership in Giants history was Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin is probably the proper answer, here but I am going to go with Phil Simms and Bill Parcells because it was so volatile. Both men were stubborn and had tempers, which made their exchanges on the sideline classic. Parcells also stuck with Simms despite early injuries and putting other players ahead of him. Sometimes the best partnerships have some conflict in them, which is why I like Parcells and Simms.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Just look back at Tom Coughlin's final press conference. It's easy to get jaded when it comes to professional sports, but it's those relationships that lead to getting rings.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning formed a strong partnership in their 12 seasons together and won a pair of Super Bowls, but there's also another coach-player duo that claimed a pair of Lombardi Trophies during their decade together. That's Bill Parcells and Lawrence Taylor. Parcells allowed LT to be himself and provided him the flexibility to flourish, which is a huge component in helping Taylor become one of the most dominant players in NFL history. Keep in mind, Parcells served as LT's defensive coordinator for the first two seasons (1981-82) before taking over as head coach, so Bill's fingerprints are all over the early stages of Taylor's development and emergence as a disruptive force.


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