John Fennelly, Lead WriterI received an email from one of our readers that I feel must be addressed…
From Scott: Anything come out yet about where the Giants had Zach Martin or Aaron Donald on their big board? Are you surprised they didn’t go after one of them in round one?
No idea where those two were slotted on the Giants’ board, but Jerry Reese did tell us that Odell Beckham Jr. was somewhere between 5-10 on their board. I am not surprised at all by this pick.
The objective going into this offseason was to help Eli Manning by surrounding him with more quality players. They brought in four veteran offensive lineman (Geoff Schwartz, JD Walton, John Jerry and Charles Brown) to boost the versatility and depth of the offensive line. They already have Justin Pugh locked in, so you could comprise a pro-level line out of that group alone. The team is also expecting Chris Snee to return and they have a boatload of money invested in Will Beatty. They’ve also dedicated a lot of time and resources into Brandon Mosley and James Brewer, re-signed Dallas Reynolds and are still high on Eric Herman. That’s eleven names right there and there are probably one or two more coming.
That is why once the three big tackles were gone last night, Martin would just have been another body in the mix, so Beckham was the clear pick. Offense is the goal and they got a real good one in Beckham. He’s going to stretch the field both ways. Instead of getting it stuck to them by the likes of DeSean Jackson and Dez Bryant, they’re going to turn the tables on opponents by turning Beckham loose on them. Fun times await.
Plus, Beckham will make Victor Cruz and Rueben Randle better. Last night, Reese showed his cards by revealing that the offense works best with Cruz in the slot.
“We are talking about the quarterback needing some help, and this guy is a weapon,” Reese said of Beckham. “He needs a weapon on the outside, and Victor [Cruz] is more of an inside receiver. Victor can’t play outside. Rueben Randle, [Jerrel] Jernigan, and we got Mario [Manningham] back, so we are trying to get the quarterback some weapons. You need weapons in this league. We think this guy is a weapon.”
As for Donald, there are a growing number of people that believe that are skeptical he can have the same success in the NFL that he had at Pitt. The Giants are under pressure to improve the offense, so taking Donald could have been too risky for them.
The Giants are comfortable with their DT rotation of Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, Jon Hankins and Markus Kuhn. I’m sure they will search for a fifth, but that group played well last season, so how much Donald would add to the group with limited snaps is unknown. Beckham will be on the field for most of the offensive snaps and perhaps the majority of the returns on specials.