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Mailbag: Biggest draft questions with 3 weeks to go


­Manny in California: After San Francisco traded up, I'm certain that at least four QBs will go in the Top 10. And at least the Eagles (No. 12) won't be able to steal Kyle Pitts from the Giants (No. 11), although it's very likely someone else will before then.

John Schmeelk: Manny has a good message: Do not get your heart set on drafting Pitts. The chance he gets to the Giants at #11 is infinitesimally small. (So you're saying there's a chance?)

As for the recent trades, it is nearly assured the top three picks will be quarterbacks. When will the fourth and fifth quarterbacks go? There are reports indicating Atlanta may pick a quarterback, yet ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported they are open to moving the fourth overall pick. Is there a team willing to pay the freight necessary to move up to number four? The teams to keep an eye on would be Denver, New England, Washington, and Chicago, but the cost for the latter three to move up would be very high given where they are coming from. And you can't completely rule out Carolina or Detroit picking young quarterbacks, even though they recently acquired Sam Darnold and Jared Goff, respectively, so four or five QBs could go before the Giants pick.

Harold in Florida: The last Super Bowl taught us that even a great offense can't operate without a good offensive line. The Giants must improve the offensive line in the draft, hopefully, with a pick in the first round (if not a reach).

John Schmeelk: Nothing can short-circuit an offense like a poor offensive line. The Giants have used significant draft capital on offensive linemen over the past three drafts, spending first-, second-, third- and fifth-round picks on the unit. At some point, these players need to be given a chance to play. At the same time, competition is good and there are no guarantees those players (Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart, Shane Lemieux, Will Hernandez) reach their potential. Work on an offensive line is never done and the best franchises are constantly strengthening and reinforcing the position. If there is an offensive lineman worth the selection when the Giants get on the board there's no reason not to take one.

Ralph the Old Linebacker in Tennessee: The Giants seem to be making some excellent moves to improve their offensive and defense this year. But they still need a game-changer coming off the edge and their offensive line still worries me. How can they use the draft to help fix these areas? The 11th pick should get them a game-changer off the edge.

John Schmeelk: There are a few premium offensive linemen (Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, Christian Darrisaw) in this draft that could provide good value at 11th overall, and others who have the potential to play guard and tackle that could be available in the second round (Liam Eichenberg, Teven Jenkins, Alex Leatherwood, Jaylen Mayfield). A rookie who's able to play guard or tackle could step in at any spot on the offensive line if one of the starters falters or gets injured.

There might not be a game-changing edge rusher in this class. Or there might be several. There are talented pass rushers, but all of them have an issue or two that could give teams pause for different reasons. Azeez Ojulari is a little undersized and wins almost exclusively outside with his hands and athleticism. Kwity Paye is an elite athlete and is strong against the run but lacks high-end sack production. Jaelan Phillips might have the best pass-rush tape of the class, but has a large injury history. Jayson Oweh tested as one of the most athletic pass rushers in the history of athletic testing, but didn't have any sacks last year. Gregory Rousseau is very long, has great size, and had 15.5 sacks in 2019, but a lot of his pass rush production came from rushing inside and his athletic testing was not great. Some of these players could hit and be stars. Others could miss and be busts.


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