NFL Draft 2018-New York Giants Underground Picks are in….

Here we go……..  New York Giants general manager and team architect Dave Gettleman will be in charge of his first Giants draft.  Who will he choose to improve the New York Football Giants?  Let us dig in.    nfl draft 2018

Last week, affable Dave Gettleman held a pre draft press conference.  Wow!  What a contrast from the contentious and combative Jerry Reese.  To his credit,  Gettleman was engaging and explained his philosophy.  Let us take a look at what he said and apply this to what we think he will do.

Well, the college football game is so different from ours it is not even close. It is a very, very different game and in the old days we would grade, you would have critical factors and you have position specifics. In the old days you had kids that were on scholarship, a lot of them were five-year guys, there was no such thing as the 20-hour rule and when those guys were coming out, all you had to do was put a little polish on them and you had a player. The guys that are coming out now and I’m not criticizing anybody, they’re not as fundamentally and technically as sound as those guys used to be. So, to grade them position specific and plus since the game has changed, the college game is different, it’s hard for us to really decipher what each player is being asked to do, it’s different. So, what I’ve tried to get everyone to understand is you have to grade the critical factors. You have to grade instincts, competitiveness, strength, explosion, athletic ability, and you’ve got to grade their play. I don’t care what a guy runs on the watch in his underwear, I don’t care. It’s how fast can he play on the field, how does he carry his pads, that’s what’s important, so with this 20-hour rule and everything, you can’t really knock it if we’re going to take a linebacker. You have to be careful if you knock his grade down because he doesn’t shed well. You don’t know what he’s being taught, you don’t know what he’s being told, you don’t know how much time is being spent on that skill and it is a skill, but that is a skill that can be coached, that’s something that we can improve, so that’s why I don’t grade on (?) I’m not as concerned much with the position specifics as I am with the critical factors, so that’s a different way of looking at it. And then just the whole methodology of setting the board up. I learned a really unique way of looking at it when I went to Carolina. I had never seen it before and when I looked at it — of course, I’m a little anxious because these guys got to understand that they are teaching me to a certain degree and they were very gentle (laughs). At the end of the day, it is a great way of looking at it and it really brings clarity to what you do and the other thing is the detail work, really knowing the player, digging deep – what kind of a guy is he? Is he trained? How important is football to him? I think in my opening presser I said I don’t want guys that like to play football, I want guys that hate to lose, that’s what I want. There isn’t anybody in this room that would say, who likes to win and everybody raise their hand, we have gone through this exercise before, it’s just the way it is. It’s that detail work that’s really important and everybody is getting it and it was really neat sitting around and watching film as a group.

‘At the end of the day, I don’t care what kind of quarterback you are, I don’t care who you play for, if you can’t make plays from the pocket, then you can’t win. You can’t win. 

 If you think about all the quarterbacks that you’ve seen, who of them have made everybody better? That’s what you’re looking for. Does he make everybody around him better? That’s what you’re looking for. 

You just can’t get into that. It’s the value, it’s the player – does he fit your scheme? If he fits your scheme and the value is there, pull the trigger and keep moving. 

as the G.M., I walk a tight line. I have to look at the short term and I have to look at the long term and that’s the tight rope that I walk and I have to take all that into consideration in making decisions, whether it’s the draft, whether it’s unrestricted free agency, whether it’s trading for an Alec Ogletree. Whatever it is, making claims – you have to think about it. So I’m on that tight rope doing the best I can with the information that I have and we move forward. 

 we’re all in school, do I want to get an A and four C’s or do we want an A-, a couple of B+’s and a couple of B’s? Winning requires depth. If you don’t have depth – I’ve seen teams that had great defenses that folded in the fourth quarter because they had no depth and now you’ve got guys on the field for 95-98 percent playing time. You can’t win that way, guys wear down, so there is obviously different ways of looking at it depending upon what the A looks like. But, if you get a chance to accumulate quality, you put yourself in a position to potentially accumulate picks and have a lot of very solid players, there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with that. 

Let his statements sink in.   What will be his decision?  The Giants are a team in transition.  New GM, New HC,  new systems for the players to learn.  Realistically, with only SIX picks, the Giants cannot fill all of their holes in this draft.  I think Gettleman’s plan is to get the Giants competitive this year and look at 2019 to make a run at a Super Bowl.  It is my belief,  Gettleman will use the Giants first round selection on a quarterback.  There are two guys sitting at the top who Gettleman will pick:   USC’s Sam Darnold or Wyoming’s Josh Allen.

 Focusing on the future:  Gettleman inherited a mess from Jerry Reese.  When Gettleman was hired at the end of December 2017,  the Giants were in a dark abyss.  A team which had no identity on offense or defense. As a result of Reese’s gimmicks, the Giants imploded finishing the season with a dismal 3-13 record.  As soon as Gettleman stepped in, he exclaimed the obvious which is building the offensive line.  Big people help you win games.  This is his mantra.  So far in free agency he has fulfilled his promise.  Now we are at the draft,  it is important to begin thinking about a process.  Gettleman is going to get the Giants back on track.  This is Gettleman’s credo: run the football effectively, stop the run, and rush the passer.  These are the staples which have made this proud franchise win FOUR Super Bowls as well as  FOUR NFL Championships.  In order to get to the promise land, a team needs a quality quarterback.  Both Darnold and Allen fit this mold.  They both won in college.  Made their teams better.  Will only get better under the tutelage of head coach Pat Shurmur.

Shurmur effect:  Shurmur,  a quarterback guru, was hired to get the most out of Eli Manning this season as well as develop the next Giants quarterback.  His resume speaks for itself.  The work he has done in Philadelphia and Minnesota is commendable.  He will install an offense which will establish the run game and use play action which he loves.  Thankfully, he has Gettleman as general manager, because Gettleman will give him the tools to improve this Giants offense.

Exit Strategy:  As I have written here on the New York Giants Underground,  the career of Eli Manning is coming to an end.  I was not upset with the Giants about considering giving other quarterbacks time to play in the forgettable 2017 season,  but I was incensed on the sloppy execution.  Because of the clumsy handling,  a firestorm  ensued which  prompted Giants owner John Mara to take action.  He fired McAdoo and Reese which assuaged the fans and allowed him to save face.  The Giants organization  knows  Manning has years left but perhaps on another team.  So with improvements which will continue to be made by Gettleman,  there will be no excuses for Eli anymore.  If Eli does not perform well this season,  the Giants will let him go after the 2018 season.  This will be a strategic move made by the Giants.  After the 2018 campaign, if the Giants release Manning,  they will save 17 million dollars and 6.2 million is dead money.  Thus paving the way for the new quarterback to start in 2019.  Needless to say, fervent fans will understand the Giants have to go in another direction.  The future is with a new quarterback.

Second Round:

Hog Mollie time!   My thought process is the Giants are thin at the center position.  They let 2014 second round pick Weston Richburg sign with the San Francisco 49ers.  This leaves the only proven guy on the depth chart is Brett Jones.   After letting Richburg go, the Giants kept Jones on a one year deal.  Not a ringing endorsement.  So what does Gettleman do?  He picks Arkansas center/guard Frank Ragnow.  I love this guy.  And I think Gettleman does too.  For a center, he is a fits the Hog Mollie credo.  Big man at 6′ 5″ 320 lbs.  Indeed, he will stabilize the Giants line like Dallas’ Travis Fredrick did with the Dallas offensive line.  Takeaway with Ragnow:  With Ragnow in the lineup, Arkansas rushed for at least 200 yards in three of its first four games. Without him, the Razorbacks topped 200 yards just twice in the final five.  

I was at the Arkansas versus LSU game on November 11,2017.   Without Ragnow playing center,  Arkansas rushed for 142 yards.  LSU won the game 33-10.

Third Round:

The Giants have two third round picks.  (66th and 69th overall.)

What does Gettleman do here?  I think he drafts a running back with the 66th pick.  I have my sights on Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson.   Why Johnson?  He was phenomenal at Auburn in 2017. Named 2017 SEC offensive player of the year.  He rushed for 1,320 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns.  By rushing for 1,391 yards this was tops in the SEC as well as 1, 585 all-purpose yards.  Overall, he had 20 touchdowns.  So this guy knows how to get into the end zone.  I like to look at the games versus good teams.  Rushed for 167 yards versus Georgia.  Against eventual champion Alabama,  he rushed for 104 yards, rushed , ,caught, and threw a touchdown.   Also, he can block well too.   This guy is a complete package.

With their second selection in the third round,  I think Gettleman drafts a defensive player.  At this point,  I am concerned with safety Landon Collins arm injury.  Today, he underwent a second surgery to repair his fractured right forearm.   How will his injury affect his play this year?  He is expected to make a recovery in time for training camp in July.  Keep in mind, he is entering the final year of his rookie contract.  Collins had a monster 2016 season leading the Giants with 125 tackles.   Last year, unfortunately, was down year for him and the Giants defense.  As Gettleman stated, he is walking a tight rope and has to plan for now and the future.  So with this pick,  Gettleman drafts a safety.   I like Virgnia Tech’s Terrell Edmunds.  Edmunds is the same size as Collins 6″ 2′ 220 lbs.  From ourlads.com: Ranked No.5 among Tech defenders with 59 tackles, despite November shoulder surgery that ended his season prematurely. Added two interceptions, including one returned for 55 yards vs. Delaware. Registered at least eight tackles in four contests, topped by a 10-tackle outing in loss to Clemson. Also had eight tackles in back-to-back weeks vs. North Carolina and Duke. Notched 89 tackles during 2016 season while grabbing four INTs.  

Edmunds would be a chess piece for defensive coordinator Bettcher.

Fourth round:

Giants go for a Tight End.  What???  Yes.  Last year, they drafted a tight end.  Engram, without question, is a quality player.  However, the NFL has morphed into using the tight end to create mismatches.  Yet, adding another tight end and one who can block with make the Giants offense more explosive.  I believe Gettleman wants a tight end who is an effective blocker and pass catcher.  Especially lining up this player along the right side of the line to help with run as well as pass blocking.  Think about it.  Having Engram and another player on seam routes.  Who is going to cover two quality tight ends?  It is a difficult task for a defense.  A guy who should be around in the fourth round is Wisconsin tight end Troy Fumagalli.   This guy has great hands.   Due to a birth defect, he is missing his index finger on his left hand.  But this did not stop him from being a quality player in the Big Ten.   And he will be a solid professional.

This is my take on who I think  Dave Gettleman will choose in order to make the Giants better in 2018.

 

 

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