NFL Draft: Scherff would complete Giants’ OL overhaul

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Two weeks from today we’ll be part of the media overkill covering the NFL Draft and breaking down the Giants’ first round selection, which many believe will be Iowa OL Brandon Scherff (BBB, Apr 17).

USATSI_8393425_110579513_lowresScherff has all the earmarks of becoming a solid NFL offensive lineman, but he may not be what fans and pundits think he is. Listed on many mock websites as a tackle, Scherff is actually projected by scouts and experts to be a guard in the NFL.

The Giants were hoping that a top OT would emerge from the pack this spring and they could implement their plan to move Justin Pugh, who struggled at RT last season, inside to plug the hole at guard. But that hasn’t happened that we know of. They might be fooling themselves if they think Scherff is the guy who can force that change.

As per the NY Post’s Paul Schwartz, the Giants have not selected a guard since they took Ohio State’s John Hicks in 1974. Although Hicks was a celebrated college player (who actually finished second in the Heisman voting), he was somewhat of a bust for the Giants…

Schwartz agrees that Scherff, if drafted, will fill the hole at guard for the Giants:

Since then (1974), the Giants used their first-round pick on an offensive lineman only six times, most recently in 2013 on Justin Pugh. Only once did they take an interior offensive lineman, in 1989, and that was for a center, Brian Williams, out of Minnesota. Otherwise, it’s been tackles (Pugh, Luke Petitgout in 1999, Eric Moore in 1988, William Roberts in 1984 and Gordon King in 1978). 

This brings us to Brandon Scherff, rated most everywhere as the top offensive line prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft. He was a left tackle at Iowa, but no one really thinks he projects as a left tackle at the next level. Right tackle, maybe, but more likely a top-tier guard. 

To read more of this story, click here

As the NFL Draft nears, safety still a major concern

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

If the Giants select an offensive lineman in the first round no Giant fan will be disappointed. Just about everyone who bleeds blue knows the line could use an infusion of new blood. Depending on which players trickle down to them, an offensive lineman just might be the pick.

Antrel RolleBut, with the NFL Draft just two weeks away, the Giants are still without solid answers at the safety position. Their roster still lists only two players as safeties – Nat Berhe and Cooper Taylor – neither of whom has started an NFL game.

Both players were taken in the fifth round in the NFL Draft. Taylor, a 2013 pick, missed all of 2014 with a foot injury. Berhe, selected last season, served as mainly a special teams player.

Two other players – Mike Harris and Thomas Gordon – are listed as DBs which is the usual designation for players who are primarily backups and special teamers.

Their latest signing, former Colts DN Josh Gordy, is a veteran who has played safety in the past, but sparingly. To read more of this story, click here

Mara on instant replay: ‘It’s never going to be perfect’

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

Giants CEO John Mara appeared on Sirius XM NFL Radio’s The Morning Drive with Bob Papa and Solomon Wilcots this morning to mainly discuss issues being reviewed by the league’s competition committee this season. Mara serves  as one of the nine members who sit on the panel that vote on rule changes each offseason.

maraInstant replay continues to be a hot topic and Mara stated that the committee is constantly seeking ways to improve the process. One solution would be to take the final call out of the hands off the officials on the field and hand it over to the replay command center in New York. The NHL and MLB have done this and the results have been favorable, for the most part.

“It’s never going to be perfect,” Mara said. “What you try to do is create consistency with all replays being reviewed by the command center…I think we’re headed in that direction.”

He said the committee viewed all hits on defenseless receivers and could not determine the degree of legality in most cases. Therefore, they felt there was no need to add more cameras.

Mara also believes there will be playoff expansion in the future but explained the pros and cons of the initiative. To read more of this story, click here

Giants sign DB Gordy, LB Jones

The Giants have signed free agent defensive back Josh Gordy and linebacker Ryan Jones, the team announced.

Gordy, 28, will be entering his sixth NFL season. He began his career with the Packers in 2010, moved to the Rams in 2011 (where he had a career-high three interceptions), and has played the last three seasons with the Colts.

Gordy, from Central Michigan, can play both safety and cornerback.

Jones was originally signed as a free agent by the Baltimore Ravens on May 13, 2013 and waived/injured (foot) on June 3.

In two seasons at Montana Tech, Jones had 127 tackles, 10.5 sacks and an interception.

2015 NFL Draft: Dissecting the first nine picks

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

With the draft just sixteen days away, the rumors are beginning to heat up. The Giants hold the ninth overall pick and are at the mercy of the acumen of the eight teams in front of them. Here’s the latest on how things are breaking within the top nine slots in the draft…

USATSI_7904194_110579513_lowres1. Tampa Bay – are still believed to covet Florida State QB Jameis Winston first overall. But last week, ownership began to scrutinize Winston fearing he was a PR problem. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting the Bucs have moved on to his Heisman successor, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota.

2. Tennessee – are said to be committed to Zach Mettenberger at QB and that is going to create a frenzy over the next two weeks. The Titans will be receiving offers from multiple teams to part ways with the pick regardless of which one of the top two QBs is available.

3. Jacksonville – If the Titans stay put, they will likely take USC DT Leonard Williams. If Tennessee trades out, Williams could end up in Jacksonville. But be aware that many are still mocking Florida OLB Dante Fowler, Jr. here.

4. Oakland – The Raiders still need offensive skill help and there is plenty to choose from here. All three top WRs are at their disposal at No. 4 but West Virginia’s Kevin White appears to be the likely choice.

5. Washington – The Skins would love to get out of the RGIII business and are hoping that either Winston or Mariota falls to them. That isn’t going to happen. Instead, they’ll look to prop up their defense with a playmaker. If Fowler is here, he’s the likely pick. If not, they may take either Randy Gregory of Nebraska or Mizzou’s Shane Ray. To read more of this story, click here

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When Victor Cruz plays word association game, everyone is an enemy

In an interview with Complex Magazine, Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz was asked to do some basic word association.

As it turns out, he really only has one way to describe other teams in the NFL (Dallas News, April 13).

When asked about the Dallas Cowboys, Cruz had just one word: “Enemies.”

Of course, Dallas shouldn’t get too worried, the Eagles elicited a more aggressive response as Cruz called Philadelphia: “Bigger enemies.”

He also referred to Washington as “respectable enemies.”

Though, the only thing this interview might prove is that a thesaurus is the real enemy for Cruz.