Written by: Glenn Warciski
Round 1 • Pick 6 (6) • QB Daniel Jones
Round 1 • Pick 17 (17) • DT Dexter Lawrence
Round 1 • Pick 30 (30) • CB Deandre Baker
Round 3 • Pick 32 (95) • OLB Oshane Ximines
Round 4 • Pick 6 (108) • CB Julian Love
Round 5 • Pick 5 (143) • LB Ryan Connelly
Round 5 • Pick 33 (171) • WR Darius Slayton
Round 6 • Pick 7 (180) • CB Corey Ballentine
Round 7 • Pick 18 (232) • OT George Asafo-Adjei
Round 7 • Pick 31 (245) • DT Chris Slayton
I am not going to grade their draft because I think it is a senseless exercise. What I found interesting, besides the Daniel Jones selection, is the stockpiling of defensive backs. Baker, Love, and Ballentine will add much needed depth to a depleted secondary. Why did they obtain defensive backs and only a situational pass rusher? In an article which appeared in the Ringer.com, there was a discussion about putting a premium on defensive backs instead of pass rushers. This, without a doubt, piqued my interest. Especially since, pass rushers are considered the gold standard in quelling passing games. Albeit, if a pass rusher is top notch, they get paid handsomely. Take a look at this:
Another thing PFF has found that relates to the draft is that highly graded coverage players are just as important, and perhaps more so, than highly graded pass rushers. “It’s something that, at first, super offended my sensibilities,” Eager says. “It’s a product of how we watch the game. The broadcast angle doesn’t show the coverage guys. Team success is correlated with how well coverage is. Pass rush and coverage are correlated, but the direction arrow points more towards coverage helping pass rush more than the other way around.” He points out that the smartest team in the league, the New England Patriots, has spent big on two cornerbacks this decade, Stephon Gilmore and Darrelle Revis, and not on pass rushers. This also helps explain why the Chiefs, another smart franchise, have put more emphasis on building the back end of their defense than their pass rush. Teams have more information than ever, but information hasn’t stopped them from making mistakes in the past. The beauty of the draft is that it tells you which teams are paying attention.
Although I consider Giants GM Dave Gettleman an arrogant blow hard who pisses on analytics, could it be someone got Gettleman’s attention while he was in FULL BLOOM LOVE. As I wrote in my preview piece of the 2019 draft 1st round, the Giants have been an organization believing in a quality pass rush compensates for deficiencies in other parts of a defense. Think over the years, if an impact pass rusher was in their zip code, the Giants would grab him. ie Taylor, Strahan, Kiwanuka, Umenyiora, Jones, Sintim etc. Not all of their picks shined but the idea quoting former GM Ernie Accorsi, “It’s my philosophy, and shared by people in this organization, you never, ever have enough pass rushers,” GM Ernie Accorsi said. “They are like home run hitters and pitchers“.
Needless to say, bereft of a pass rush, I believed the Giants were going to get not one but two pass rushers with their two first round picks. Last season, the Giants collected a total of 30 sacks which ranked them tied 30th in the NFL. Rookie DT BJ Hill lead the Giants with 5.5 sacks ranking him 71st in the NFL. Interestingly, Who were the Giants tied with at 30th overall? The Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. ( Evidently, the way the draft unfolded, it could of been a distinct possibility Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat are Giants. Furthermore, former Giants HC now running the Jaguars immediately selected Allen with the 7th overall pick.) Much to my consternation, this did not happen. On the other hand, have the Giants turned the page on this long held philosophy? It sure seems this way. The 2019 NFL Draft was loaded with defensive players which included edge rushers and linemen. It was not until the Giants moved up in the 1st round at pick 30 a cornerback was selected. This cornerback happens to be the Giants Deandre Baker. With all these defensive backs, one of these corners will be converted to safety. My friend at Ultimatenyg.com Andy Furman believes it will be Baker. Conversely, I believe Washburn University Corey Ballentine will be the guy to play at safety. I like Ballentine’s speed and athleticism. I think he can be a very good free safety at the NFL level. Indeed, the Giants have not had a quality free safety in a long time. Go back to Kenny Phillips 2008. Anyways, the Giants may be catching up with the times by using analytics to improve their team.
On the other hand, Daniel “Full Bloom Love” Jones continues to be a hot topic of conversation. Here on the NYGunderground.com, we are calling him the greatest reach in Giants history. But with all the analytics data which has surfaced, picking a quarterback is still difficult to quantify.
According to Matt Richner, NFL Draft Consultant, who graded Daniel “Full Bloom Love” undraftable. Take that dumbstruck Gettleman! This is his thoughts on evaluating quarterbacks.
Richner believes that though most of the keys to projecting quarterbacks lie in the numbers, traditional indicators like the ability to perform in a collapsing pocket, keeping your eyes up during a throw, and comfort with audibles are all still key components of the evaluation process. Richner’s biggest key, however, is completion percentage, particularly on third down, when passing windows are tightest—and that is where he differs greatly from many NFL evaluators. He believes Mayfield’s numbers resemble Drew Brees’s and that he’s well worth a high pick, and he also has USC’s Darnold as a first-round pick. He thinks Allen, he of the 56 percent completion rate, is not a prospect, and he believes that UCLA’s Rosen is “awful” because of the dip in his completion percentage from second to third down. He said the 12-percentage-point decrease is on par with Gabbert, Jimmy Clausen, and Locker. None of whom was … good. On the other side of the spectrum: Seattle’s Russell Wilson is the best collegiate passer on third down since 2009.
Matt was kind enough to give me the 3rd down completion percentages of 3 quarterbacks in this draft. Daniel Jones, Drew Lock, and Dwanye Haskins.
Haskins: 68.5 percent
Lock: 60.9 percent
Jones: 53.4 percent
Based on this data, perhaps, Gettleman’s plan is to wait til 2021 when Trevor Lawrence is available.
NT Dexter Lawrence is a replacement for Snacks Harrison. I envision him as a two down player. In addition, I do not like to draft DT in the first round. This is a tough position to transition from college to the pros. Guys have to learn how to use their arms and get enough leverage; meaning getting low. Think 2003. The Giants drafted William Joseph. He never turned out to be a factor. Was a bust. The hope is Lawrence can become a force like Snacks. He has a lot of work to do.
Linebacker Connelly is a special teams player. His job is to beat out Nate Stupar.
Auburn WR Darius Slayton could be a sleeper pick. Last time Giants drafted a WR from Auburn 2002 Tim Carter (second round selection).