A lot has been written about the draft, I tried to look at perspective based on what the Giants have and compared it to teams like the Rams and Cowboys who based on their drafts, either went with acquiring TOUCH players first vs. building their OL, and then compared it to the Giants roster.
When you look at Spread offenses, the 2018 Giants haven't had a ton of success spreading four WRs (AKA "10" personnel package) as a method for running or passing the ball. The "10" does require great OL play and a RB who never misses a blitz pick-up. Running the "10" generally means 5-6 defensive players are "in the box" and based on a pre-snap read to pass vs. run, the QB just needs to survive long enough for one of the four WR to get sufficient separation. However, that also requires BOTH the QB and WRs to make the "right" reads pre-snap!
Throwing the "quick slant", which is what the Macadolittle Offense relied upon this season when running the "10" resulted in 4 WR on IR, as well as Engram missing 1.5 games with injured ribs. While Quick slants have their place in the NFL, it's a bad pass to throw on a consistent basis, or as a QBs primary "hot-read" route. The QB must find an open throwing lane and typically throw the ball high enough not to be batted down at the LOS. Unfortunately, high throws force the receiver to go up for the ball and leave their body open to hellacious shots--typically resulting in unnecessary injury. When you add the complexity required to run the "10" offense to the fact that most of the WRs who finished this season were has-beens, Street FA--and then add poor OL play, "inconsistent" or non-existent running game--you cannot run play-action, sprint-outs, or succeed in running quick, bubble or traditional screen passes either.
I'd be remiss if I didn't add that Giant receivers led the NFL in dropped passes or batted passes resulting in INTs. Therefore, it's pretty obvious that opposing DCs and their players licked their chops each time the Giants faced a passing down this season.
After looking at profiles of Giants skill position receivers when healthy, it appears we have all we need from an X, Y, Z and Slot (AKA "11" personnel package), assuming each return without any drop-off. My suggestion would be the following players at the following positions:
X - OB - 5.9" with a 38" vertical and a 4.43 - 40
Y - Ellison - 6'5" with a 31.5" vertical and a 4.69 - 40
Z - Engram - 6'3" with a 36" vertical and a 4.42 - 40
Slot - Shep - 5'10" with a 41" vertical and a 4.48 - 40
RB - Darkwa, Gallman and Perkins (by committee)--or maybe a new impact RB?
Darkwa - 5'10 7/8s with a 37.5 vertical and a 4.65 - 40 (AVERAGE RECEIVER, A BULLDOZER, AVERAGE BLITZ BLOCKER)
Gallman - 6'0" with a 29.5 vertical and a 4.60 - 40 (AVERAGE RECEIVER, A DOWNHILL RUNNER, STILL WORKING ON BLITZ BLOCKING PICK-UPS, FUMBLER)
Perkins - 5'10" with a 32 vertical and a 4.54 - 40 (AVERAGE RECEIVER, A JUMP CUT RUNNER THAT REQUIRES A BETTER OL AT POA TO SUCCEED, BETTER THAN AVERAGE BLITZ BLOCKER)
Not having Ellison on the field is a waste of $. With our OL woes, he is a required player who can block on running or passing plays. He is a quality threat downfield just as well as any other recent TE in Giant's history with Eli at QB. I don't think Engram should ever play the traditional TE(Y) role again. His size, speed and jumping ability favor putting him at the X or Z. OB can plays the Z or X, Shep should plays the slot, and maybe have another receiver in the backfield if you want to try a "10 package" that way, or better yet, just have an impact pass-catching RB who can turn a screen or wheel-route into six points.
The Giants have no RB on the roster than can accomplish that.
2018 illustrated that receiver depth was an issue, but nobody's crystal ball predicted losing 4 WR in one game either. As the Giants worked out and signed a plethora of receivers this season, perhaps we can agree not to spend any draft pick on a WR in 2018. Of course, this assumes the new GM/HC/OC utilizes the "11" as the Giants' primary personnel package. IDK which current or replacement WR deserves another opportunity in 2018, but you probably want one who can also return punts and kickoffs and is unafraid to run block. Two that have shown that ability are Darius Powell (cap friendly) or Dwight Harris (cap expensive). Either one would allow the Giants to run a "10" package, or the OC could have Ellison play RB to block and put a 4th WR in as another slot receiver.
While Eli has consistently thrived using the 11 personnel package, ALL successful NFL teams MUST have some kind of running game. The 2017 Giants running game was 26th of 31 teams. Obviously, the Giants running game by committee has been horrible statistically, with Darkwa being the only bright light in a dull room. Would the addition of an impact player like Saquon Barkley make sense?
To-date many here have argued that with the Giants crappy OL, why waste the top pick on a RB. Recent history (and past history) shows us that after the Rams drafted Todd Gurley (or traded for Marshall Faulk back in the day), the Rams OL still wasn't great, but the offense was MUCH better! The Rams still have no recent OL ProBowlers and years ago only one (Orlando Pace). However, having an impact RB who can take a short pass and convert it to a TD opened up their QB's ability to find other open receivers and the Giant offense could thrived without having a great OL--as both Gurley is proving now and Faulk did in the past--both making the ProBowl as well!
Drafting a Saquon Barkley would totally upgrade the Giants dismal running game--the same way DeMarco Murray and Zeke Elliott did for the Cowboys). It would also demand defense assigning a LB cover to cover the RB in passing situations...or leave any of the Giant aforementioned receivers in one-on-one coverage and any Giant QB would have a field day! Advantage: Giants offense.
As RB is a known hole on this Giants squad, one really exciting thing about Barkley is that he can run, catch and block blitzing LBs or DBs without the need for an NFL coaching learning curve. He would be an immediate impact on bettering an offense having the NFL's 28th rated 3rd-down conversion rate.
That's not so say one of the Georgia RBs or the LSU's Darius Juice couldn't do the same and be successful, as a later round pick allowing the Giants to use the overall #2 Pick for another franchise athlete (QB, OL, DE, LB). The issue for me is do any other draft eligible players possess the skills to be an immediate impact player? I don't think so.
So far, I've seen nada from the QBs. I also don't foresee Eli agreeing to a trade and think management wants to gamble he has one more Lombardi trophy for his current employer. I will be shocked if he agrees to being traded anywhere, and if so, I would argue the Giants ARE in a total rebuild mode and we won't see a deep playoff run for at least 2-3 years. :-(
As DG has publically stated the OL is broken, I compared the Rams and Cowboys OLs, checked out the NFL Draft profiles, comparing it to Giant lineman on the roster (whether IR, PS or active). We know past Giant Super Bowl OLs were typically built based on 1 or 2 draft picks and the 3-4 FA acquisitions...and that seems to be the norm, except for the Cowboys. They used their #1 pick three times and then acquired another former #1 pick to develop their OL.
Ask Tony Romo how that worked! Zac Prescott thinks his 8-year Vet OL is awesome, but at what price did the Jerry Jones pay? Tony Romo was often injured during the collective OL learning process, but today, their OL is one of the best, if not the best in the NFL.
With Giants ownership being embarrassed this year and sending the GM and Coaching staff packing, I just don't see the Giants spending top picks on rebuilding the OL. As Eli Apple has just received a clean slate from DG, I think the same will occur with the OL and DG sticks with Flowers, Pugh, and Richburg and keeps Fluker, Jones and Wheeler and maybe drafts a OT in Round 3 or 4, but again, not likely from a BCS roster! They may even acquire a OT via FA, but not sure who--likely a future cap casualty to be named later as others here have suggested.
I don't think Giants management or fans will wait 4+ years to develop the OL like Dallas did, nor 2-3 years on develop a new 2018 QB either.
Therefore, the only question remains if the Giants pick Saquon Barkley with their first selection (assuming he is available), will they select a QB to compete with Davis Webb in Round 2? I get that Eli is 37, and my gut is telling me if management and DG feel they aren't that far away from making a run, and Webb isn't the answer, they may indeed draft a QB. I doubt it will be from UCLA, USC Oklahoma. If they acquire Barkley first, and I could see them selecting somebody like Josh Allen with their next pick. The Giants like QBs that can play in ALL the elements, unless there is a long pedigree like the Manning family.
If the Giants really think they have a gem in Davis Webb, not a sideline clipboard holder, I'd even pass on a QB in Round 2 and go for BPA whether a OL or LB or DE, or consider trading down. Again, another impact player who will immediately start in 2018.
Barring injury, the Giants appear to be one impact player away from having all the best offensive touch weapons any team could need to succeed with the current OL candidates. Adding that impact RB dimension "might" make our woeful OL not so bad after all. If you look at the colleges our OL came from perhaps they just didn't face better competition in college (as did the Cowboys OL), or didn't have better coaching to learn their position? Maybe our OL scouts might just suck, or OL Coach Mike Solari just wasn't the best teacher, coach and leader--like a Mike Munchak.
The chicken vs. egg argument of acquiring another immediate impact athlete or fixing the OL will still remains, and April 26th can't come fast enough for any of us now, can it?!