Cosell: ASU safety Randall a good fit for Giants

Greg Cosell of NFL Films and the NFL Network believes the Giants will be targeting a safety high in the draft this weekend. And it may not be who you think…

“Safety is going to be really important. For the New York Giants in particular,” Cosell said on NFLN’s Championship Chase: The Draft. “They really can’t line up right now with what they have.”

“So, there’s Damarious Randall from Arizona State, who I think is as good a back-end safety as there is in this draft. And not only does he have back-end skills, but he has the box mentality. He’s not a big guy, he’s only about 196-198 but he has a box mentality and he can also play over the slot, which is critical in today’s NFL.”

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Cosell is spot on with this need and this particular player. The problem is, he’s no longer a secret and will not get out of the second round. Do the Giants see Randall as a high-second rounder? Hmmm.

At 5’11”, 196, I have an issue with his size, but then again, if he has the speed and football acumen, I can get past that. Normally, a player with Randall’s skills would not be as highly regarded but this year’s safety class, he’s going to go higher than he should. Chances are he’s nowhere near the top of the Giants’ board at No. 40.

Giants waive Micahel Cox

The Giants have waived running back Michael Cox, the team announced.

From the team:

A seventh-round draft choice in 2013, Cox spent that entire season on the Giants’ roster. He was released on Aug. 30, 2014, signed to practice squad the following day and promoted to the active roster on Oct. 6.

In two years, Cox played in 18 games with one start. His totals included 26 rushing attempts for 76 yards (2.9-yard avg.) with a long run of 17 yards, five receptions for 21 yards, with a long of 11 yards, and 31 kickoff returns for 697 yards (22.5-yard avg.) with a long runback of 56 yards.

Rashad Jennings: Giants can win the Super Bowl this season

There’s nothing more solid than a pre pre-season Super Bowl prediction.

Such is the case with Rashad Jennings and the New York Giants.

Asked about whether the Giants could win Super Bowl 50 as early as the 2015 season, the Giants’ running back told Newsday there’s “no question” about it, so long that the team fixes a couple of its shortcomings from a year ago.

“No question,” said Jennings. “We’ve got the skill set to do that. We showed flashes last year, but they were obviously being overshadowed by what we didn’t do so well. We eliminate self-inflicted wounds, the before-the-snap (and) after-the-snap errors, this is a different team.”

Sam Spiegelman

To Jennings’ credit, it certainly is a different team.

Eli Manning played much better in the second half of the year with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. in the mix at wide receiver. Larry Donnell proved he’s a legitimate threat as a pass-catching tight end, and Victor Cruz should return healthy to add a veteran presence in the offseason.

In free agency, New York bolstered its backfield with the versatile Shane Vereen to create a three-headed rushing attack with Jennings and second-year player Andre Williams.

The Giants could continue to upgrade at offensive line with the No. 9 pick in the upcoming draft, or perhaps add to the defense.

Jason Pierre-Paul is back, and again will be playing for a newer, more lucrative deal as season’s end. Jonathan Hankins is back looking to continue to make strides, too.

But while the G-Men have improved in a lot of areas, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, there are equally as pressing questions about the defense — beginning at the defensive line aside from JPP and Hankins, in the linebacking corps aside from Jon Beason, as well as at safety and depth at corner.

To say the Giants are Super Bowl contenders, now, is a bit much. I imagine Tom Coughlin was not all too pleased with the veteran running back’s statements.

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Jennings should stay out of the prediction business and start concentrating on staying healthy. He missed five games due to injuries last year, leaving rookie Andre Williams alone to carry the load. Although Williams impressed at times, he is not as versatile as Jennings, limiting the Giants’ offense.

The Giants lost four of the five games they played without Jennings, who was limited to just 12 carries in the month of December.

Marcus Mariota an option for the Giants at No. 9?

Should Marcus Mariota suffer somewhat of a free fall Thursday night, will the Giants suddenly be in the mix?

Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman says yes.

The columnist wrote the Giants are “a long-shot team” for the former Oregon standout and reigning Heisman Trophy winner, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Eli Manning’s contract situation.

“I’m going to give you one long-shot team to watch: the Giants. If for some reason Mariota enters into a free fall, watch them. Eli [Manning] is getting older.”

Sam Spiegelman

The Giants pick No. 9 and have largely been connected to offensive linemen and a handful of defensive players, but not a quarterback.

Per Freeman, Mariota is now very much connected to the Titans picking second overall, but if they don’t make the move to draft him any number of teams could be in the mix. That includes Washington (No. 5), the Jets (No. 6) and Chicago (No. 7).

Manning’s muddled contract situation makes the scenario all the more feasible. The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback is entering 2015, the final year of his deal, without a new one in place. Manning has previously played the politically correct card and said he isn’t fazed by not playing with a new deal already in place.

That’s what he has to say, though. Obviously, Manning would probably rather have a contract in place to ease some of the pressure he faces entering 2015. At 34 years old, another subpar year might convince the Giants’ higher-ups backup Ryan Nassib or — wait for it — Mariota could be the next in the line at the position.

The Giants were infrequently name dropped as a team interested in the former Duck, but as we receive less clarity on the team’s plans for Manning, couldn’t the scenario become that much more likely?

NFL Draft: Scherff looking like Giants’ man

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

A week from now we will be assessing the Giants’ draft – what is and what could have been – while trying to stay out in front of the UDFA scramble. The favorite for the Giants remains Iowa OL Brandon Scherff, regarded by most experts as the best lineman in the draft and perhaps the safest bet at any position this year.

Some have contended that Scherff does not possess the wingspan to be an effective tackle in the NFL. The Giants don’t really care about that, having drafted Justin Pugh in the first round two years ago. Pugh was said to have “short arms” as well. They appear to be comfortable with just adding Scherff to their roster and upgrading the offensive line.

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