John Fennelly, Lead WriterI’ve received a ton of emails these past few days, so let me consolidate them into six quick topics for you…
If this draft was so deep, why didn’t the Giants trade back in the first or second round to get more picks?
There was no need to trade back. The highest player on their board was staring them in the face at No. 12 in Odell Beckham Jr. If they traded back, they would have lost him. That would not have been good. I do believe that had Tennessee not taken OT Taylor Lewan directly in front of them, there would have been a healthy debate in the Giants’ war room over whether to take Beckham or Lewan.
In Round Two, Weston Richburg was a no-brainer in my opinion. They had to take him. Trading back would have gotten them what? More bodies? They don’t need quantity, they need quality.
How could Jay Bromley have been the highest player on the board at pick No. 74?
I’m thinking that he wasn’t, but the Giants didn’t want to risk losing him by waiting. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: Why, in a draft that was loaded with DT prospects, did the Giants jump at Bromley? Good question. They liked his character, intelligence and his potential to put on about 20 more pounds. I don’t think he’s as talented as UDFA signee Kelcy Quarles, but I think Bromley will fit into the DT rotation fairly well. A 22 yard-old should be able to give 100 percent on 15 snaps a game, don’t you think?
The offensive line has new faces, but are they any better? Will Beatty is still there.
Yes, Beatty is still here. He was awful last season and then broke his leg ending his season early. The Giants are hoping he can be ready for this season. Keep in mind, that although Beatty had an off 2013, he had a terrific 2012. Pro Football Focus rated Beatty in the top five all-around LTs in the league. I would’t give up on him just yet. Plus, the Giants are pretty much locked into him financially. But to answer the first part of your question, I feel the line is much better — and deeper — this season. The addition of Geoff Schwartz and the return of a healthy Chris Snee gives them one of the best guard tandems in football. Justin Pugh is bigger and stronger this season.
The center position has been addressed, finally. Second round pick Weston Richburg and veteran JD Walton will battle for the job in training camp. Walton is healthy again and Richburg is being touted as future Pro Bowl material. At LT, if Beatty can make it back for the season and play more like he did in 2012. If he can’t, Charles Davis, who watched Drew Brees’ back in New Orleans the past several seasons, will get the call. The depth continues with John Jerry, James Brewer, Brandon Mosley and Eric Herman. Not all will make the roster. As Tom Coughlin says, the competition will make everyone better.
Do you think Andre Williams will become the Giants’ featured back?
Good question. The Giants brought in Rashad Jennings to be their guy, but in today’s NFL you need 2-3 reliable horses in the stable. Jennings is a big body that offers versatility while Williams is a grinder that also fires into the defensive front like a salvo. He can also get loose on occasion and break off a big play. In Ben McAdoo’s offense, the ball gets spread around. Don’t be surprised if Peyton Hillis gets utilized in a John Kuhn kind of way. He was signed to 2-year deal (only $100k is guaranteed), meaning he’s in the plans somewhere. So, the answer in short is, the days of the feature back here are pretty much over.
Why are the Giants bringing in so many defensive backs?
The shiny new bike on the block is the physical DB. The Giants know more than any team about trends, having set a few themselves over the years. But the reality is, they are poised to lose Will Hill and Stevie Brown is coming off ACL surgery. Antrel Rolle is in the last year of his contract. It may seem like they’re piling on, but in effect, they are stockpiling for a rainy day that may come sooner than expected. Players such as Nat Burhe, Thomas Gordon and Barrett Jackson could all factor into the secondary mix this season.
The Giants can’t be satisfied with their current group of TEs. Do you think they bring in a veteran?
I think the Giants will keep looking for a proven player should one come along. They will take a look at Jermichael Finley if he ever gets cleared by doctors. They are better off at TE than most people think. Kellen Davis is a huge blocking TE that can catch the short pass and has been a factor in the red zone while a member of the Bears. McAdoo saw this first hand as a Packer assistant over the years. Daniel Fells has some experience catching the football as well. He had 41 receptions for the Rams in 2010. But the success of the TE position is hinging on the health of Adrien Robinson and the maturation of Larry Donnell.
Tom Coughlin said Monday that both players were “looking good” in workouts and appears confident that one or both will help the club. For them, it’s all about getting on the field and showing what they’ve got. Robinson is due to reveal how much he has refined that raw ability of his. I feel McAdoo and Kevin Gilbride, Jr. (the new TE coach) will refocus Robinson and make something out of him. Donnell is a 6’6″, 270 pounder that has been here for three seasons as well. He has that basketball fame that teams look for in TEs these days.