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The Third Way

Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 11:05 am
Morning guys: With still way too long to go until the draft and not much going really did some serious esoteric thinking - or at least as serious as esoteric football thinking can be - after doing the latest GBN mock earlier in the week. For anyone that missed it we had the Giants selecting Pitt DT Aaron Donald with the 12th pick to mixed reviews. 'In the end' we went with Donald who we felt had the most upside of the players available. Fact is, though, nobody really knows what the Giants are thinking at this point and one could make a pretty case for half a dozen guys at that point in the draft. That got us thinking a little about the Giants track record regarding BPA versus so-called need picks.

And what one sees if one looks back over the past 10-15 years is that there have been years when the Giants did go into the draft focusing. In 2001, for example, they were after corners; in 2003, defensive linemen; 2007, back to the secondary and in 2009 wide receiver. There were also a couple of years when a BPA at a position they really weren't focused on - Kiwi in 2006 and Prince in 2011 - was there for the taking.

What is a little surprising when one really thinks about it, though, is that in fact in most years it appears that they go into the opening round pretty much focused on a particular player. Think about it; Shockey in 2002, Eli in 2004, Sinorice Moss in 2006 (hey, nobody gets it right every year); Kenny Phillips in 2008, and JPP in 2010. And even in the past couple of year, we had certainly heard before the draft that David Wilson and then Pugh were the guys they were looking at. In some cases like Shockey, Eli and JPP those guys were simply potential impact players that the Giants really liked. In others, like Pugh last year, its likely that there was something of a need factor, although I would suggest it was more along the lines of trying to accomplish a particular goal - in this case bringing in a guy with LT pass blocking ability to play RT - rather than simply looking for best OL out there to upgrade the unit.

So what does all this mean for 2014. On the one hand, despite the fact the Giants have a number of areas that need work, we just don't see one positional area that the Giants are likely to head into the draft focused on. And that includes the OL which clearly needs work but we just don't see anything that would suggest that the Giants won't do anything different than what they have done over the past two decades and that is use free agency to fill gaps up front, especially given that it appears they will actually have some cap space to work with for what seems like the first time in our lifetimes.

And in a draft which looks like it will have 9-10 blue chip players, picking 12th means one is always hoping that one of those blue chippers to you. Certainly the Giants would be thrilled if a Mike Evans or Jake Matthews was available when they get on the clock, although its also likely no one is holding their breath.

At the same time, if the Giants do go into the draft looking at one particular player, one could again make the case for a number of different players including Donald, CB Justin Gilbert, G/T Zack Martin and possibly even a Kony Ealy, we wouldn't be surprised if it were TE Eric Ebron.

We made the case some weeks ago that if we channeled our inner Ben MAdoo, if asked what the one thing we would want to make the Giants offense special (again as opposed to just fixing something that any idiot can see needs fixing) he'd likely answer a TE that can run, that can stretch defenses and will force other teams to cover him with a DB. In fact, once you force the other team to cover the TE with a DB, you really force the defense to start scrambling and adjusting. If they try to use a regular safety they lose much of their ability to double on the wideouts and/or take away the deep zones. On the other hand if they go with an extra DB, they have to take out a LB which likely will do more for your run game than any blocking TE could ever do.

And while Ebron didn't exactly blow up the combine, he is still a special athlete who will cause opposing defenses headaches if he plays to his physical ability (always the $64K with draft picks). In fact, the Giants may have caught a break when Ebron appeared to pull up with a tweaked hammy in the fianal strides of his combine 40,otherwise he may very well have finished in the 4.55 area which just might have had teams like Tampa and Buffalo with the 7th and 9th picks respectively paying more attention.

The other question we also suspect the Giants ask themselves with their early picks and that is 'what can they get with the pick that we can't get elsewhere either in later rounds or free agency'. And the two guys in this draft that are likely to be available to the Giants pick at #12 which bring to the table stuff they won't get in later rounds or free agency are the aforementioned Donald and Ebron. Sure its possible they could get an Amaro or Niklas in the second round who have the potential to be useful players that could be worked into the offense, however, neither has that special athleticism that is going to force opposing teams to change their game plans that an Ebron could (again if he plays to his potential).

Long way to go though. hang in there guys!!!
Thanks Colin, good stuff.  
Big Blue '56 : 3/7/2014 11:15 am : link
Quote:
. In fact, the Giants may have caught a break when Ebron appeared to pull up with a tweaked hammy in the fianal strides of his combine 40,otherwise he may very well have finished in the 4.55 area which just might have had teams like Tampa and Buffalo with the 7th and 9th picks respectively paying more attention.


It's amazing that a pulled hammy affecting 40 time could possibly cause TB and Buffalo to look elsewhere. One would think, what matters most(by a wide margin) would be his body of work through his career
Thanks for taking  
AnishPatel : 3/7/2014 11:17 am : link
time to post. I really hope we don't draft a DT in the first round. With so much other value in the first round as well as areas of need, I don't want Donald as the pick. We can marry value and need perfectly in other areas from OL, to CB, WR and even TE. DT is basically a luxury pick based purely on value of Donald. I think we can match better with the other guys
Colin it is my opinion  
chrispisano66 : 3/7/2014 11:20 am : link
that the only way the Giants draft a Tackle at 12 is if one of Matthews/Robinson fell. I just don't think it's likely b/c I think to take one the Giants would basically be giving up on Will Beatty, which I don't think they're ready to do, nor IMO, should they.

That said, I really feel like we will see one of Ebron, Evans, Dennard/Gilbert, Donald at #12.

What are your thoughts on the Dennard/Gilbert comparison? Who do you personally like more? It seems like during the actual football season Dennard was everyone's favorite corner and as the evaluation process has gotten underway Gilbert has made up some ground. Personally, I love Dennard. What do you think?
Nice write up Colin  
pjcas18 : 3/7/2014 11:27 am : link
hard to disagree with.

A couple thoughts though:

Moss wasn't initial round.

Basically what you're saying is the Giants will focus on a specific need unless a guy they didn't expect to still be available is available and the value is viewed as too great to pass up.

That's almost to a T what Reese says.

those 2 "big wins" at the end of the season  
Victor in CT : 3/7/2014 11:27 am : link
are looking to be costly.
Nice post Colin  
sjnyfan : 3/7/2014 11:28 am : link
I really like your last mock leading off with Donald. I think he's a special talent despite the size and I've said for awhile that he's the #1 DT. I certainly think he's worth the 12th pick. Ebron however I'm a bit indifferent. While I think he's athletically gifted and worthy of the 1st round, I don't see the value at 12, especially with McAdoo as OC. Yes he was the Packers TE coach for 5 seasons but consider GB's top TE's this past year. Finley and Quarless were 3rd and 5th rd picks respectively. Other top TE's like Graham, Cameron and Thomas were also mid round picks. Though he could turn out well, I'd pass on Ebron for other options in the first. If we haven't signed a TE to McAdoo's liking which could include Finley or Quarless who are both FA's, then I'd use that same philosphy and look at players like USC's Xavier Grimble, Tennessee St's AC Leonard or one of my favorite's Iowa's CJ Fiedorowicz who's a bit underrated imo.
Draft  
Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 11:28 am : link
Chris: I agree with the OT comment. So many mocks have the Giants taking Lewan but I would bet he isn't even on their short list as he just doesn't play consistently well with all that physical talent. Like both Dennard and Gilbert. Dennard is one of the best pure football players in this draft, but he isn't a great athlete and has limited upside and I just don't see him as being value at #12. Gilbert on the other hand has some real upside as a corner and kick returner and probaly would be worth the pick but a lot of teams tend to downgrade the position early in the draft because a good corner s too easy to take out of the game by throwing elsewhere. If, however, the Giants did want to go CB and both Gilbrt and Dennard were both on the board and they had close to equal gradesthan that's maybe when you move down a few spots.
Great write up Colin...  
KingBlue : 3/7/2014 11:35 am : link
I agree that a special player will be there at 12. I really do like Donald. He can bring the inside pressure that could awaken our entire pass rush once again. If we are able to shore up the interior OL in free agency and add either Finley or Chandler at DE then Donald may be the best value. Add a WR and Corner in the 2nd and third and we have drastically improved our team.
Draft  
Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 11:35 am : link
PJ: Re Moss the Giants of course only took him in the 2nd round but my sources have long held that he was the guy they were going to take in the opening round but Kiwi kept showing up! I also ear guys are missing the point of what I am saying in the piece which is basically that everyone tends to focus on positions and need, but if you actually look at what the Giants have done in the opening round over the years is take PLAYERS. And when need area has come in it has very seldom been an 'OMG we need to fix the ...' but rather we want to add a specific skill or talent.
Thanks Colin  
Jay on the Island : 3/7/2014 11:36 am : link
I would rather have Zach Martin at 12 than Lewan. I know Lewan tore up the combine but I wonder how he would do at LT in the NFL since he was inconsistent at times in college. I think he would make a good RT but at 12 that seems high to take a RT.
I meant TE...  
KingBlue : 3/7/2014 11:37 am : link
not DE
Colin  
pjcas18 : 3/7/2014 11:42 am : link
sounds like you're splitting hairs.

The Giants took players and you cite Shockey, JPP, and Pugh.

But those were huge areas of need. Strahan hadn't been replaced and Kiwi had a severe injury. The Giants had no TE when Shockey was selected. Pugh was an obvious choice.

What we (or I) don't know is if another OT were available like a Lane Johnson would the Giants still have selected Pugh? If not, then your theory about selecting players, is really one of selecting the best player available at a position of need.

which is how Reese describes his draft philosophy.

The Giants have so many holes to fill that  
SwirlingEddie : 3/7/2014 11:45 am : link
I don't expect them to be looking at one or two targets this year but instead they will be waiting to see who falls, hopefully at one of those positions of great need.
Good write up Colin.  
section125 : 3/7/2014 11:55 am : link
I'm not in the Donald fold despite his ability. Losing LinJo is unsettling and Donald would help ease the pain despite the fact they really don't play the same spot.

It really does depend on FA and shoring up the interior Oline and possibly CB. Things will get clearer in two weeks.

I could see Evans, Ebron, Lewan or my personal favorite Zack Martin at 12. I think TE may well depend on what McAdoo sees in Adrien Robinson. I don't expect to see big splashes in FA as JR has already said he's looking in the second or third wave.
I'd rather see them keep LJ than lose him and draft Donald  
Victor in CT : 3/7/2014 11:58 am : link
DT is one of the few strengths on this roster. Pay LJ and and use the top pick elsewhere.
What he said best  
old man : 3/7/2014 11:58 am : link
was it's way too early....
But his bullet points were generally on target(no pun intended).
Come April 1, we'll have a good idea where the focus will be.

Draftwise, I believe that if there is much movement, i.e. 2-3 trades),in the first 11 picks, JR is going to get a trade request.
I know its a deep draft, but somebody 13-18, will panic and make an offer.
Sorry, Colin, but I disagree completely with this:  
Klaatu : 3/7/2014 12:07 pm : link
Quote:
... but if you actually look at what the Giants have done in the opening round over the years is take PLAYERS. And when need area has come in it has very seldom been an 'OMG we need to fix the ...' but rather we want to add a specific skill or talent.


In the Reese Era...Ross was a "need" pick. So was Phillips. Ditto for Nicks, Wilson, and Pugh. That's five out of seven first-round picks that were clearly "need" picks. It might have been six out of seven, but the 2011 draft was screwed up because of the lockout, and the fact that free agency didn't begin until after the draft. In any other year, Prince does not fall to us.
Colin - Sure thing needed  
Reale01 : 3/7/2014 12:23 pm : link
I see the Giants needing a "sure thing" year one impact with pick #12 given the state of the roster.

I think the choice will be Lewan, Gilbert, or Martin unless someone falls unexpectedly. Any of those three is likely to have a year one impact. They can't afford a "project" this year. Possibly Evans if they really love him.

Depends on Free Agency of course

OL - Lewan will be hard to pass up, Martin is a solid choice. I don't think we will take an OL #12 if we sign a quality tackle in FA - we might take a guard or a center in round 2 or 3. (Jackson, the USC guys, the Stanford kid, Richardson)
DB - Dennard or Gilbert (Hard to pass on Gilbert). I don't think we will take a DB if we sign a high quality DB in FA. Again maybe in round two or 3. (Fuller, Desir, others)
LB - Mack is unlikely to fall not excited about Barr re risk/reward. I don't think we will take an LB unless Mack is there. There are a couple that project in round 2 or 3.
TE - Ebron, but I think there are others they can get later. Recent TE drafted (Fleener, Ertz, etc...) have not had a big impact as rookies. We need an imediate impact at #12.
WR - Watkins not likely to be there, not sold on Evans there are others they can get later. There are lots of good receivers in the pool. If we fix both OL and DB in FA then we could go this way.

DL - Donald is a player, not sure risk reward on Ealy at #12
We can get by with Hankins, Jenkins, Patterson, and a reasonable FA. Not sure Donald would have a year one impact (Hankins and Joseph did not)

The Giants usually take a Player at a position of need  
ZogZerg : 3/7/2014 12:26 pm : link
when they draft:

Pugh
Wilson
Amukamara
Nicks
Ross
etc.

All these guy were drafted to address majors holes in the roster. Possibly JPP was a minor exception. But they almost always use there first round pick on one of the top needed positions for that year.

You can certainly argue that TE is one of the top positions of need this year and the Giants could finally pick one high again.
Don't want to split hairs  
Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 12:38 pm : link
Folks that know me will know that I never split hairs as I haven't had enough hairs to split since the early 1980s. So no I am not slitting hairs here PJ and Klaatu. Obviously when one goes into a draft you want to add something you don't have. However, in 2002, the Giants didn't take Shockey because they 'needed' a TE. They took Shockey because they thought he had the potential to be an explosive big-play receiver who just happended to play TE. And if you don't believe me read Accorsi's book which devotes a whole chapter to the pick. Rememeber at the time he was only about 240 and wasn't considered to be much of a blocker. In fact, as I recall it the sentiment from the majority of the BBI at the time was a kind 'if the Giants are going to take a TE' I'd rather they take Daniel Graham who was a more complete TE'. And the same thing with Phillips and JPP who they had identified as special players prior to the draft and would not have taken players at those positions if those guys were gone. PS Klattu I did mention the original post that there have been years including 2007 (DBs) and 2009 (WRs). And with Wilson for example my sources tell me that of course the Giants needed a RB but took Wilson specifically because they liked his speed and explosiveness and would not have taken Doug Martin (the big favorite) ahead or Wilson not any other RB were Wilson not there. Again don't get me wrong here. The Giants are almost always going to take a player who adds something, but they always take a player because they think he is a great prospect rather than somebody who addresses a need.
Also,  
AnishPatel : 3/7/2014 12:57 pm : link
you have to remember that citing different years like that changes things. You are talking about different GMs with different guys at the Director of College Scouting positions. Even different HCs too.

Accorsi, Marv Sunderland, Fasshole

Accorsi, Reese, coughlin

2007: Reese, Reese, and Coughlin

2009 onwards: Reese, Ross, Coughlin

So way of drafting has changed especially when Reese took over the Director of College Scouting position. I posted that article many times on BBI.
Re: the Donald pick  
PeterS : 3/7/2014 1:13 pm : link
I believe this is a guy who you move around the front seven to put him into the best spot to make or at least impact a play. Penciling him in strictly as a 4-3 DT isn't fair to the guy's talents.

While I wouldn't throw the remote, I'd have to shake my head at the pick.
I think Donald....  
Wonderphil11 : 3/7/2014 1:17 pm : link
would definitely have an instant impact his first year as the Giants pass rush has questions all over the place and (as detailed in the link below)his technique is far ahead of the curve.
Link - ( New Window )
I love numerical sequences  
Jupiter : 3/7/2014 2:30 pm : link
For example, the next time the Giants will win the SuperBowl is 2016 because they won in 2008 and 2012.

Colin has presented another one.

In odd numbered years, the Giants focus the draft by concentrating on upgrading one position. In even numbered years, the Giants focus on a particular player for the number 1 pick. In 2012, they wanted the other guy but picked Wilson anyway.

So this year, we just need to find the Insider who knows who they are focusing on and we can stop speculating.
RE: Re: the Donald pick  
OC : 3/7/2014 2:33 pm : link
In comment 11543232 PeterS said:
Quote:
I believe this is a guy who you move around the front seven to put him into the best spot to make or at least impact a play. Penciling him in strictly as a 4-3 DT isn't fair to the guy's talents.

While I wouldn't throw the remote, I'd have to shake my head at the pick.


Uh, you won't be "shaking your head" if LJ punches out.
RE: I love numerical sequences  
section125 : 3/7/2014 2:37 pm : link
In comment 11543376 Jupiter said:
Quote:
For example, the next time the Giants will win the SuperBowl is 2016 because they won in 2008 and 2012.

Colin has presented another one.

In odd numbered years, the Giants focus the draft by concentrating on upgrading one position. In even numbered years, the Giants focus on a particular player for the number 1 pick. In 2012, they wanted the other guy but picked Wilson anyway.

So this year, we just need to find the Insider who knows who they are focusing on and we can stop speculating.


jupiter it is a well known fact that the Giants wanted Wilson all along, over Martin. Eric knew the pick early in the draft and was told by ?Pat Hanlon? who it would be. He told he knew what it was but could not reveal it.
Its the players stupid  
Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 2:45 pm : link
Interesting theory Jupiter; given my record for 'prediction' I wouldn't bet the house on it, but it wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen. Whatever I hope folks will pick upon what the underlying goal of this thread which is to try and get people to think more about players and less about positions when thinking early picks.
Colin-- 1 to 10 scale  
bob in tx : 3/7/2014 2:58 pm : link
(highly likey to very doubtful)will either Yankey or Su'a0Filo be available at 43.
OG  
Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 3:08 pm : link
Bob: Sua'Filo sadly is probably 0 at this point if not -2 or -3. Yankey its hard to tell; he really didn't test well at the combine but that hasn't been as bad for interior offensive linemen as other positions as of late. I'd say its probably 4-5, but it could be a tough call because there will be some other very good prospects available at that time. Good problem to have though
thanks  
bob in tx : 3/7/2014 3:43 pm : link
.
scales and stuff  
Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 3:54 pm : link
Just to clarify Bob 0 is highly unlikely player will be there; 4-5 looks like chances are about even!
Colin,would you take  
bob in tx : 3/7/2014 4:03 pm : link
EJ Gaines over Purifoy and Joyner if all 3 last until 3rd round?
Corners and softballs  
Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 4:34 pm : link
Hey Bob: How about a softball ? or two for an old guy! Would be interested in hearing my good friend Dave Sy weigh in on these guys if he is aboot as we say up here. Dave is much better than I am at breaking down prospects. (I am more the personnel director organzier type). Certainly in terms of value Joyner is head and shoulders above those other two guys, but he's more a tweener and his best fit will likely be as a slot corner like Tyrann Mathieu who is going to make plays freelancing. On the other hand, I doubt that the Giants would give Purifoy and his off-field issues, lack of pure speed and inconsistent record on tape much more than a passing glance. EJ Gaines though would be good value in third; nothing special in terms of size or size but he has enough of both, has pretty good instincts and will battle. When I do mocks and get to the 3rd round I start casting glances at Keith McGill of Utah who is a tad stiff but has real nice size and speed and might be the best fit as a starting CB type down the road.
RE: Draft  
LauderdaleMatty : 3/7/2014 4:45 pm : link
In comment 11542989 Colin@gbn said:
Quote:
PJ: Re Moss the Giants of course only took him in the 2nd round but my sources have long held that he was the guy they were going to take in the opening round but Kiwi kept showing up! I also ear guys are missing the point of what I am saying in the piece which is basically that everyone tends to focus on positions and need, but if you actually look at what the Giants have done in the opening round over the years is take PLAYERS. And when need area has come in it has very seldom been an 'OMG we need to fix the ...' but rather we want to add a specific skill or talent.



That draft still pisses me off. They were 100% oiff on Moss and Kiwi has never been anything other than a journeyman type at best who has had a few teasing flashes. To this day I still remember screaming DeMeco Ryans when they grabbed Kiwi. Then they fell in love with a guy who was pedestrian at best at UM. Kind of confusing still
Does a rolling Giant gather no Moss!!!  
Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 5:05 pm : link
Actually it really isn't all that confusing Larry. And I'm not in anyway trying to defend poor old Sinorice who was last seen tring to catch on with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL and if anyone has ever been to Regina you know there aren't many more stops for the train. However, coming out of college Moss was described to me as the quickest player some scouts had ever seen; plus he had track speed. What the Giants envisioned was a slot receiver with the jets to blow past people if they came up to take away the underneath and the slipperiness to make big plays on underneath stuff if they backed off. Obviously it didn't work out but that's the nature of the beast and doesn't necessarily make it a bad pick. Bottom line is that if Moss had been able to play to his physical potential (and NFL are drafting kids to play in the pros not to play college football) you had a guy with game-changing potential. And while Demeco Ryans was a really good prospect with the potential to be a really useful player he was never going to be a game changer.
Colin...  
Eric from BBI : Admin : 3/7/2014 5:48 pm : link
Look what I found and put up this past week...
Game Review: Arizona Cardinals at New York Giants, November 3, 1996 - ( New Window )
Dating oneself  
Colin@gbn : 3/7/2014 9:04 pm : link
wow ... Thomas Lewis had another solid day. Maybe there is hope!!
i'd be thrilled with one of either  
beatrixkiddo : 3/8/2014 3:42 pm : link
Ebron or Donald. assuming no higher rated players fall for whatever reason. like Mack, matthews, or Robinson.

Ebron is a special player, he can line up just about anywhere. I see him being very similar to Vernon Davis. A wr in a te body, kid can take it up the seam and out run cbs and safetys. thats very dangerous, and looks to be like a dynamic that would really open up thenpassing game of this offense more than any other player outside of Watkins. Given he was also a giant fan growing up, a proven dedicated player, you have to figure he would play his heart out here.

Donald would help this DL and def, as a whole. We haven't really had a penetrator from the DT pos. since Coefield, and he doesnt have rhe potential Donald does. Donald has burst, and is going to command double teams. This would free up Hankins, Moore and Jpp to really get after the QB. Something this def. missed last year.

I think if you add donald and grab a quality lb by the 3rd rd also, and we have the makings of a very dominant looking front 7. something this team needs to really bring this defense to a dominating level. Hill, Rolle, and Prince are more than formidible players in the secondary. We can add some FA's and depth behind them, its the pass rush we need
help with which is why I'd take someone like Donald over a CB in the first.
I could easily see a future DL  
Blue Blood : 3/8/2014 4:07 pm : link
of Moore, Hankins. Donald and JPP...

you win by building both the OL and the DL.. I would have NO issue with Donald in round one.. he is an explosive impact player.. you put him next to a guy who takes up two spaces.. and its all good..
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