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Mailbag: OL depth, Sterling Shepard's role


Russell in Pennsylvania: Why wouldn't the Giants have looked to someone like Trey Smith in the draft? His size, wing span, speed and knowledge would have helped out on the offensive line. Or is the team still looking at a veteran free agent?

John Schmeelk: Trey Smith had issues with blood clots in his lungs early in his college career. Every team will do their own medical evaluation of a player and come to different conclusions and those things are kept private. GM Dave Gettleman said the team had interest in offensive linemen on Day 2 of the draft, but they were taken before their slots came up. The Giants have already added a number of veterans, including Kenny Wiggins (38 NFL starts), Zach Fulton (90) and Jonotthan Harrison (42). If the team sees an upgrade, it may decide it is worth the cost of acquiring that player, but it's unlikely they will add another veteran for the sake of signing another one. The Giants' hierarchy has expressed confidence in the young group they have to improve, which would give the offensive line the boost it needs.

Carl in Georgia: Everyone is talking about the team's new wide receivers. My favorite Giants receiver is Sterling Shepard. Will he still be able to contribute as the No. 2 or 3 receiver with all the "big guns" in the lineup?

John Schmeelk: In short, yes Shepard can remain a key factor, but there's no reason to label anyone behind Kenny Golladay, who can be classified as a No. 1. Golladay is the big downfield threat who can make contested catches. Slayton is the deep threat over the top. Toney is the space player who can catch short passes and turn it into a big gain. Shepard will be the dependable slot receiver who can gain separation through superior quickness and route running – and this likely means he'll still be a prime third-down target for Daniel Jones in short or medium situations.

Thomas in Florida: When making a draft-day trade, does the team moving down know who the team moving up is taking?

John Schmeelk: It's impossible to say without having been in the draft room, but it's logical to think it depends on the trade and whether letting that information slip would yield some kind of competitive advantage. Teams will often times try to keep their intentions secret, but if the team trading down requires that information to pull the trigger, the team trading up may be willing to divulge their intentions. The Cowboys, for example, said publicly that the Eagles told them they were targeting an offense player at No. 10 when they made their deal. It made the Cowboys confident they could move to the 12th pick and still land their target, LB Micah Parsons.

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