Giants Report: Playoff Projection Thoughts … We were thinking that we’d be posting our post-season positional grades for the Giants this week, but then they went out and upset Minnesota in the wild card round and are onto an NFC semi-final match-up with #1 seed Philadelphia Saturday evening. We were also always going to be posting an updated 3-round projection this week now that the NFL regular schedule is in the books. Which led to several observations regarding the Giants potential options this coming spring.
The first thing that kind of jumped out is that despite the fact that while the Giants wild card win only bumped them down three spots in the opening round from #22 to #25, which doesn’t seem like much but in fact it could be quite impactful. We say that because this year’s draft has three blue-chip CBs – Joey Porter of Penn State, South Carolina’s Cam Smith and Christian Gonzalez of Oregon – as well as three blue-chip WRs – TCU’s Quentin Johnson, Jordan Addison of USC and Ohio State’s Jaxon Njigba-Smith – and there was a chance, albeit a small one, that one of those players could still be available at #22. That possibility becomes much less likely at #25 and if indeed one of those guys was still on the board at that point it likely means he wasn’t a blue chipper after all.
When we did get to pick #25, there were still a half dozen or so really good next tier WRs including Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman of Tennessee, Zay Flowers of BC, North Carolina’s Josh Downs and Rashee Rice of SMU, each of whom would go a long way to address the Giants most pressing need. And it would have been easiest just to slot one of those guys into the Giants pick, particularly the Vol’s Hyatt, the top-rated receiver at that point, and SMU’s Rice, who we think is a really intriguing prospect. At the same time, though, we couldn’t help but wonder if the Giants just might look a defensive prospect to hopefully make an already good unit a potentially dominant unit. And the three guys we have been looking at for some time now are Arkansas LB Drew Sanders, a kind of poor man’s Micah Parsons, USC DT Tuli Tuipulotu, and Mike Morris of Michigan, a 295-pound (not a misprint) OLB.
In the end, we slotted Sanders into the pick, although just as easily could have selected Tuipulota. One of the reasons was just to see what the Giants options at WR could look like if they waited until the second round. The Giants did get AT Perry Of Wake Forest, a pretty good player at that spot, but it would be nervy as he was really the last of good second-tier receivers on the board and it would be pretty much 50-50 whether he was in fact still available at that point. Which brings us back to our original starting point which is that we believe the Giants are going to go into this draft wanting to get THE very best, fastest, most explosive receiver they can get. And if they do in fact opt to take a defender with their first-round pick, we would be very surprised if they didn’t almost immediately start working the phones to try and move back up either into the early part of the second round or even the last few picks of the opening round. (Which would likely cue a whole bunch of ‘we have too many holes’ to be trading away picks, but it says here you don’t win games by filling holes, you win games by acquiring impact players!)
In the meantime, let’s just beat the effing Eagles!!