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Fact or Fiction: Guessing Giants' draft plans


In this series, the crew is presented with four statements, and they must decide whether they are fact or fiction.

The Giants will draft more offensive than defensive players this year.

John Schmeelk: Fact - I honestly don't know. It is so difficult to predict what players will be available after the first half of the first round, let alone who the Giants might pick. If I had to guess, the Giants will walk out of this draft with at least one pass rusher, wide receiver, and an offensive lineman. A running back is also possible in the middle rounds, given there are only two on the current roster. Odds are the Giants walk away with more offensive players, but remember that teams pick PLAYERS, not POSITIONS. The draft board might end up dictating opposite results.

Dan Salomone: Fiction - Beginning with No. 11 overall, the Giants currently own six picks. So how about an even three-three split? The Giants went heavy on offense with their additions in free agency, but they also gave a massive contract to one of the best returning defenders in Leonard Williams. Maybe the balancing act continues in the draft.

Lance Medow: Fiction - Last year, the Giants selected seven defensive players and three on offense. Given the team averaged just 17.5 points per game in 2020, it's very easy to think they'll go heavy on offense to improve that number, but they already addressed that side of the ball in free agency. The Giants have six picks in this year's draft so it's very possible they finish with an even split. The 2021 draft class isn't just about improving the team for one season - it's also about the long-term viability of the rookies eventually warranting second contracts.

At least three wide receivers will be taken before the Giants at No. 11.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - I've come to the conclusion that only two wide receivers will be taken before the Giants select at 11th overall. I am convinced that five quarterbacks will go ahead of the Giants. Kyle Pitts and two wide receivers (expect Ja'Marr Chase as one of them) to be gone, which makes eight players. Who will the other two be? I think it will be two of Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, and Patrick Surtain II. In other words, either Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith will be sitting there for the Giants with their 11th pick.

Dan Salomone: Fact - Part of the reason there wasn't much movement at the position in free agency was because of what teams saw coming out of the draft this year. And in today's NFL, receivers can do great things right away.

Lance Medow: Fiction - At this stage, after the Niners traded up to the third spot, it's not a stretch to say the first three picks in the draft will be quarterbacks. After that, you can make a case for the Falcons, Bengals, Dolphins, Lions, Panthers and Broncos to take a wide receiver or offensive weapon. Florida's Kyle Pitts is listed as a tight end, so we'll remove him from the mix and leave LSU's Ja'Marr Chase, Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith and Alabama teammate Jaylen Waddle as the most likely candidates to be selected in the top 10. Given the depth of that position in this year's draft class and the intrigue of Pitts, I'll say two wide receivers will be off the board by the time the Giants make their pick. You have to figure at least one offensive lineman and a defensive player or two also will be off the board.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah updated his ranking of the top 50 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft for the final time before the start of the draft.

The Giants' activity in free agency has been surprising.

John Schmeelk: Fact - I did not think the Giants would be as aggressive as they were in free agency. I wasn't sure they would get one player at the very top of their position group, and then ended up getting two in Kenny Golladay and Adoree Jackson. Getting Leonard Williams (who could count as a third signing) off the franchise tag with a long-term contract was the key to making it happen, as was structuring contracts with graduating cap numbers. This contract strategy was possible because the cap is expected to grow in coming seasons due to newly signed television contracts. The Giants identified free agents in their prime who the team thinks can be core players and signed them. These additions should allow them to compete for a division title this season.

Dan Salomone: Fiction - The Giants' top brass was clear from the day the 2020 season ended that playmakers were needed. So, what did they do? They went out and hauled in stars such as Kenny Golladay and Kyle Rudolph. "My feeling whenever we go into a free agency period – and I tell our people this – I don't care how much money we spend or how much cash we spend," Giants president John Mara said. "Just make sure it's the right guys that we're bringing into the building."

Lance Medow: Fact - I think it's fair to say their aggressiveness in terms of the volume of players they've added was a bit surprising. I wasn't surprised the team signed Leonard Williams to a long-term contract or added some complementary pieces at receiver and on defense. But landing Kenny Golladay, Kyle Rudolph and Adoree' Jackson would classify as a surprise when you take into consideration their hefty contracts and positions.

Based on what they did in free agency, every non-QB position is open for the Giants in the first round.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - I wouldn't say "every" but that has as much to do with position value and the nature of the draft class as it does the Giants' roster. Regardless of the quality of the player, I do not think the Giants would be interested in a safety at 11th overall. They have too many talented players at the position. Picking a running back would also be surprising for obvious reasons. Nearly every other position is a possibility, though I would consider defensive tackle unlikely due to the nature of the draft class. Otherwise? Let it rip!

Dan Salomone: Fact - Dave Gettleman's philosophy as a general manager is that free agency sets up the draft, meaning you never want to go into the latter chasing need over value. His next principle is that you can never have too many good players at one position.

Lance Medow: Fiction - The Giants have some flexibility as to where they can go with the 11th overall pick, but I'd be very surprised if they take a running back or tight end (an exception would be if Kyle Pitts is still there, which I don't think will be the case). Wide receiver and offensive lineman are options as well as just about any position on defense for the sake of depth and competition. The Giants addressed several positions in free agency, so they're not in a spot where they must address a specific area.

With training camp here, view photos of every move made by the Giants this offseason.


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