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Mailbag: Three-safety sets, O-line combinations


Andrew in New Jersey: I'd love to keep Jabrill Peppers, Xavier McKinney, and Logan Ryan on the field together against a three-WR set. Could we see Peppers playing alongside Blake Martinez roaming behind the line more often?

John Schmeelk: Peppers played the role of a nickel/dime linebacker a lot last year next to Blake Martinez and don't expect that to change in 2021. Last season, Peppers played 390 snaps in the box and another 268 in the slot. He only took 144 snaps as a free safety. He is best near the line of scrimmage, which is where you can expect to see him most this year.

Jim in Massachusetts: Kenny Wiggins seems to be the forgotten man in the battle at guard. He has started dozens of games – can you shed some light on his career?

John Schmeelk: Wiggins has 38 career starts for the Chargers and Lions from 2014-2020. According to Pro Football Focus, 2383 of his 3220 career snaps on the offensive line have come at right guard, with the remaining at left guard and right tackle. He last played major snaps in 2019, when he was on the field for more than 500 (between right and left guard) with the Lions. His pass block efficiency rate has mostly landed between 96% and 97%.

Phil in New Jersey: What does a team win if they win a Super Bowl? What is their financial incentive?

John Schmeelk: The Lombardi Trophy. Not to be snarky, but NFL franchises are not going all-out to win a Super Bowl because of a cash prize. There are benefits when it comes to ticket sales, advertising sales and notoriety, but the journey is not about the money.

John in Missouri: Will Big Blue Kickoff Live return to a video platform at some point?

John Schmeelk: Once we are allowed back in the building and COVID-19 restrictions allow us back in the old studio without masks/social distancing, we will be back on video.

Paul in Georgia: I have mixed feelings about the first-round trade. Consensus is it was a "haul" by Giants, but what about the picks they lost out on….Micah Parsons, Rashawn Slater, etc. Kadarius Toney is good but receiver is not a need. Does that get factored into the draft grade?

John Schmeelk: First off, draft grades right after the draft are silly. And the Giants saw adding a playmaker as a critical need. Remember, this is not a one-year proposition. The question you need to ask yourself is if you think you are getting better value with only Parsons or Slater, or Toney plus whomever the Giants select with their additional first- and fourth-round picks next year (this isn't even counting the fifth-round pick they used in the trade up for Aaron Robinson). It's hard to believe the team won't get more value out of the latter scenario.

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