Now let us talk about that other New York football team I hear way too much about since I live in the epicenter of the New York media. Let me flat out say that Eli Manning at age 36 is not going to get much better than he was last season. Which, is not bad since he has yet to miss a game since was drafted in 2004. So he has been around a lot with a ton of experience to win games and play at a very solid level. However, you would hope that would translate to him not throwing bonehead picks all the time. Fans will hate him for that and call for his head, but that is New York fans not realizing how lucky they are having a guy for over a decade who won you two Super Bowls and helped keep your team stable throughout his career. That being said the construction of this team around Eli going into his age 36 season is odd since I think they should get more balanced on offense instead of continuing to throw the ball. To me people are over estimating this team's potential just because of their talented outside weapons and how they beat the Cowboys twice last year. I actually think they may end up near the bottom of their division when it is all said and down.
This offense last year was only able to average about 19 points a game. If they do that again this year I think they will end up losing more games than they were able to squeak by last year. I know they beat the Cowboys twice, but once was due to Terrence Williams inability to run out of bounds and another was thanks to their ability to stop the run effectively. None of those wins were due to this offense and with Eli throwing more interceptions as he continues to age will probably continue to do so. However, that blame is not completely on him since the Giants have done him no favors with the offensive line forcing him to get rid of the ball very quickly. This line consists of the huge bust Erik Flowers on the left side, solid albeit oft-injured Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg their only talented blocker, terrible John Jerry at right guard, and equally poor D.J. Fluker. Overall, this line is out right bad and if Eli has no time to throw then what good is having OBJ, Brandon Marshall, Evan Engram, and Sterling Sheperd. Plus, this team will be unable to close out games due to this line's poor blocking and them having a lack of any real running back threat. Incumbent starter Paul Perkins has been pedestrian since being drafted and if rookie Wayne Gallman cannot unseat him then he must be even worst. All in all this team will need to throw the ball too often and put Eli in bad spots to make mistakes for them to be good enough to put points on the board.
How mad do you think Tom Coughlin should be right now? General manager Jerry Reese and the front office was never big players in free agency while the veteran coach was there. Then as soon as he walks out the door they go on a spending spree to actually upgrade this defense. Much like last year this defensive unit will be one of the better ones in the league just with their defensive line alone. They still have last year's free agent pick ups Olivier Vernon, and Damon Harrison to go along with Jason Pierre-Paul. They also have a few intriguing depth players like Jay Bromley, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Kerry Wynn. Their linebacker core is my least favorite thing on this defense and every year I mock a first round linebacker to them, but continues to refuse to draft a linebacker with a high pick. Jonathan Casillas and Devon Kennard are two of the most pedestrian linebackers in the league. The only player with some upside in the unit there is B.J. Goodson who will get a shot to start this season after being a 5th rounder last year. This secondary is the saving grace of the back seven with big free agent pick up Janoris Jenkins, developing second year pro Eli Apple, and the versatile veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at the corner spots. The depth behind those guys is a bit shaky however and the Giants have to hope they can stay healthy. They have one stud safety in Landon Collins who shocked everyone with his big jump in production during his sophomore season last year and should continue to get better. Next to him is a bit of a question mark where Andrew Adams is still the starter, but I know the Giants hope that last year's rookie Darian Thompson can unseat him. Overall, this defense will help keep this team in games and possibly be good enough for them to win those 50/50 games.
In the end, I think this is the third or fourth best team in the NFC East. I know, it is a shocking statement since so many people think this team is playoff bound. I just cannot see them doing it with such a bad offensive line and zero running game. That is just not a recipe for success as you get late into the season where weather can be an impacting factor. Plus, the depth behind their good players is a bit think like at receiver, corner, and defensive end. This team to me needs to play just about as close as perfect as they can for them to get to the playoffs. It's extremely tough to determine the record for this team since I can see a lot of the divisional games can go either way. The rest of their schedule has them facing off against the Lions, Bucs, Chargers, Broncos, Seahawks, Rams, 49ers, Chiefs, Raiders, and Cardinals. The high end record for this team is 10-6 if they can beat the team's they should and can take both games from divisional opponents. I can also see them doing 8-8 or worst too if team's like the Redskins and Eagles play as well as I expect them to.
1 (23) - Evan Engram TE - I really like Engram as a prospect, but I thought being picked in the first round was a little rich for me. He should be a great pass catcher in the middle of the field and as a nice safety valve. However, for a one dimensional tight end on a team with already a bunch of good pass catcher I thought this pick was a bit of a head scratcher. I would have rather seen them draft a linebacker, a safety to play next to Collins, or even reaching for a blocker in this poor offensive line draft would have been more understandable in my opinion. I expect Engram to be a fine player and may help lighten the impact if they let OBJ walk in free agency.
2 (23) - Dalvin Tomlinson DT - This pick was one that I mocked a bunch to the Giants. I thought he was a perfect fit for them after losing Jonathan Hankins to free agency and would be able to step in right away to continue their defensive line dominance. Tomlinson is a very bright player who had scholarship offers from a ton of high end schools, but chose to go to football powerhouse Alabama. He may never be the fastest or strongest, but he will be an intelligent technician in the middle of the line with some of the best hands on defense. This run defense will be scary if Tomlinson can play to his potential. However, I would again rather them draft a blocker here.
3 (23) - Davis Webb QB - Another pick that I kept mocking to the Giants since they look to be making one last push with Eli before they move on to a younger quarterback. Webb might be that guy, but apparently he has not looked good in camp so far, which is shocking. Especially, with how good he looked leading up to the draft. My biggest issue with him is his relatively weak arm where is strong winds his accuracy can be a big issue. That's not a good sign if half your games are at Metlife Stadium, which is a wind tunnel. I think this might be a whiff in the end and Webb turns into nothing more than a low end back up. Again, a blocker would have been a smarter selection.
4 (34) - Wayne Gallman RB - Normally a running back from a Championship caliber team in college gets a lot more recognition than this, but Gallman was an afterthought leading up to the draft. To me if the Giants wanted to address the running back position they should have done it earlier in the draft. Gallman to me is just an average runner who had good numbers behind a good offensive line and passing attack. He runs too upright and is below average after contact. If he is not able to beat out the poor Paul Perkins then to me Gallman is a bust. Again, maybe drafting a blocker would have helped the run game more than a below average running back that nobody liked.
5 (23) - Avery Moss DE - This is one pick I actually kind of liked by the Giants as I think Moss has a bunch of potential. He should work into the rotation as the season goes on especially with JPP's shoddy injury history. Moss has a high season and can help this defense get after the NFC East's solid group of quarterbacks. However, again a blocker is a higher priority than another defensive lineman at this point.
6 (16) - Adam Bisnowaty OT - Wow, they finally take a blocker here in the 6th round and a bad one at that. Bisnowaty is a light and finesse blocker who had difficulty in the run game against his ACC competition. He also has some bad injury history and if he cannot stay healthy he will never be anything more than a half decent swing tackle. If I was Eli I would be kind of miffed that this is the blocker they get for him and in the 6th round no less.
2018 Off Season:
This will be an interesting off season for the Giants as OBJ continues to clamor for a new huge contract two years prior to his free agency year. If I were the Giants I would dangle him out there to trade him for a boat load of picks and maybe a good player. Receivers do not deserve to be the highest paid players on offense in my opinion. The salary cap should be dedicated to the line and quarterbacks since without good blocking or a good quarterback a receiver will have zero impact. Plus, there are stats behind OBJ creating little actual winning outcomes. If he goes over 100 yards the team actually has a losing record and if he is under that number they have a winning record. To me they are forced to make the offense go through him causing them to be unbalanced and predictable. If I were them this off season I go out and rework this offensive line where they have Justin Pugh, D.J. Fluker, and Weston Richburg are all up coming free agents. Hence, why I would not pay OBJ since both Pugh and Richburg deserves new contracts since they are their best two linemen. Plus, the same year OBJ is a free agent Landon Collins will need a new contract as well and I think he deserves the money over the diva receiver. If they do as bad as I think they might they could also look to drafting a quarterback in the first round to start the process to replace Manning who looks to be on a big down turn.
My 2018 Mock Selection: (I actually had them making the playoffs in this mock, but when I get around to making a new one I will be dropping them pretty far.)
1 (25) - Bo Scarborough RB Alabama
2 (25) - Trey Adams OT Washington