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Mailbag: Free agency, draft questions looming

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Freddy asks: What do you guys think about maybe bringing in Byron Jones?? I know he's not a super star but he's a solid plug in and play guy

John Schmeelk: Pro Football Focus has Byron Jones ranked as their top cornerback on the free agent market. Even though he only has two interceptions in his five seasons, he is an excellent outside cover cornerback. He doesn't turn 28 years old until September and will be highly sought after. If the Giants do want to sign him, it will require a significant portion of their salary cap space.

Robert asks: Love hybrid Safty/Linbacker Simmons. Those type of players need to be coached correctly or they bounce around the league. Do you think the staff has what it takes to use him correctly, if taken? I don't know enough about Burns.

Schmeelk: We have not seen the Giants defensive coaching staff in action yet, but based on how Joe Judge and Patrick Graham have talked about the defense being multiple and flexible in scheme week to week, it is promising. A player like Simmons who can play linebacker, cover in the slot, or play deep safety would allow this defensive staff to disguise the personnel groups they have on the field. How would a team know if the Giants are in base or nickel if it doesn't know what position Simmons is playing on that individual rep? He seems like the perfect player for this defense.

Matthew asks: I would love to trade back in the draft but not past 10 and get the best player for the O-line, what would we get for that trade

Schmeelk: It depends how far you trade back. There could be four top 15 worthy offensive tackles in this year's draft, but not every team will feel the same about each of those four players. The Jets swapped picks separated by three slots in the 2019 draft, from 6th to 3rd overall, and it cost them two second round picks (37 and 49) in that year's draft and a third second round pick in this year's draft. It gives a decent basis for what the Giants could get in a swap. It is very possible they would be able to get a 2nd round pick in 2020, a first round pick in 2021 and some additional draft capital in addition to whatever 2020 first round spot they trade back to.

Todd asks: if you were the GM of the Giants, would you rather draft offensive linemen early in the draft and sign Defensive guys? Or vise versa?

Schmeelk: For one, it doesn't have to be an either/or proposition. Given the issues the Giants defense had last year, however, the Giants will either have to spend big or use their 4th overall pick on a defensive player. They can also do both. There will be very good offensive players (offensive tackle or wide receiver) and defensive players (linebacker, cornerback or edge rusher) available when the Giants pick at four. There will also be quality players on both sides in free agency. If I was forced to choose now, I would spend big on defense in free agency and select an offensive tackle with the 4th pick in the draft.

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