Could the New York Giants have one more major surprise left in what has been a most unusual offseason for a franchise that is conservative by nature? Could the Giants actually trade up in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft to get a player they covet?
As the draft approaches every year you hear all sorts of wild speculation about what teams might do and what they think of certain players. When it comes to the Giants and the idea of moving up in the first round you can almost automatically discount such talk as silliness.
Historically, moving up in the first round of the draft is something they just don't do. The Giants have pretty much always adhered to the long-ago established George Young philosophy of let the draft come to you, trust your scouts and believe that no matter where you are selecting you can uncover good players. The Giants have tried moving up in the middle rounds of the draft in recent years with little success (Sinorice Moss, Ramses Barden, Ryan Nassib).
Would general manager Jerry Reese actually break tradition, target a player and make a bold move up the draft board next month? Over the past week the idea that the Giants might be among teams considering moving up has been floated in several places.
Most recently, Eric Galko of The Sporting News listed the Giants as a "prime trade-up candidate," with their possible targets being Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson and Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans.
Tony Pauline of Draft Insider, one of the best-connected draft analysts around, recently wrote that three teams are considering moving up the board for Evans. He listed the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens. The third team? Pauline did not say, but it might not be a stretch to list the Giants there.
Giants' draftniks have spent a great deal of time focusing on Evans, North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron and Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald as targets at No. 12. If anything is to be gleaned from the plethora of available mock drafts it is that at least two of those three will be off the board before the 12th pick. Robinson? The Giants would likely have to go all the way up the No. 2 pick, where the St. Louis Rams currently sit, to make that happen.
This has already been an unprecedented offseason in East Rutherford, N.J. Despite valuing stability, having a largely conservative core philosophy and a veteran coach who is fiercely loyal to those around him the Giants have undergone a tremendous amount of change since the 2013 season ended.
- There have been 14 free-agent signings, including big ones like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Geoff Schwartz.
- There was the incredible overhaul of the Giants' offensive coaching staff, which will lead to a revamped offensive scheme. How incredible is this massive change? Coughlin admitted during a recent interview with Giants.com that this is the first time since 1988 he will be in a new offensive system.
- The Giants have said goodbye to a number of veterans who helped them win championships during the Coughlin era, something that might largely have been overdue but that you know was not easy for the organization to do.
All of which brings me back to the original point we were discussing. Would the Giants actually break tradition and trade up to select someone like Evans, Robinson or Ebron?
Believe it when you see it, Giants' fans. Then again, don't just discount the chatter. We have already seen an unprecedented amount of change from the Giants this offseason.