Good morning, New York Giants fans! Happy 2015 NFL Draft day! Let's check your Thursday morning Giants headlines. Believe it or not, there are a handful of non-draft items to touch on while we wait to see what happens in tonight's first round.
Stevie Brown to Houston Texans
The recent visit by Stevie Brown to the Houston Texans turns out to have been more than an effort to arm-twist the Giants into upping what has been believed to be a veteran minimum contract offer. Kim Jones of NFL Network reported Wednesday evening that Brown would sign with the Texans.
Brown unexpectedly starred for the Giants in 2012 with eight interceptions. He missed 2013 with a torn ACL and played poorly in 2014. The fact that Brown won't return to the Giants in 2014 probably ensures that at some point in the draft the Giants will add at least one safety to an uncertain group.
Current safeties on the Giants roster include Nat Berhe, Cooper Taylor, Thomas Gordon and free-agent signee Josh Gordy. Cornerbacks Chykie Brown and Bennett Jackson appear likely to be converted to safety, as well.
Troy Kropog placed on reserve/PUP list
Veteran reserve offensive lineman Troy Kropog has been placed on the reserve.physically unable to perform list byt he Giants. Kropog, signed to a resserve/futures contract this offseason, was a fourth-round pick by the Tennesssee Titans in 2009. He has played in only seven NFL games, the last being in 2012 with the Tennessee Titans.
Of course we have to toss in a couple of draft-related items this morning.
Peter King of MMQB this morning summarized much of what he has been hearing about the draft. One of those items regards an offensive tackle who could end up being the Giants' pick at No. 9:
Ereck Flowers alert: There’s a love-fest out there with Flowers, the Miami left tackle. "He will not fail," said one club official of a team in pursuit of the feisty Flowers. "He is all ball. Don’t know if he’ll make many Pro Bowls, but he will play at a good level for years. To me, he’s a sure thing."
As I have written previously, Flowers may have the longest developmental/learning curve of the top-tier offensive linemen in this draft class. He may also, however, have equal or greater upside. An interesting tough call, especially when you consider that Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News is absolutely correct in what he said in this next item:
It would be unreasonable — crazy, really — to expect Reese to duplicate that kind of draft magic, even though the Giants’ pick in the first round on Thursday night is three spots higher. But that doesn’t mean the pressure is off the Giants general manager.
He doesn’t just need to draft an impact player with the ninth pick. He needs to draft a player who can have an impact now.
That’s the price he pays for two straight losing seasons, three straight years out of the playoffs, and several years of mediocre-to-bad draft classes that turned 2015 into what even John Mara conceded is a "win or else" season for many in the Giants organization. The overall haul from Reese’s draft classes from 2009-12 is what put the Giants in their current precarious situation.
His draft classes the last two years have been good enough to get them back to a team that is perched on the edge of contention. But a big miss on the No. 9 pick could mess that progress up.
Players like Andrus Peat of Stanford or Brandon Scherff of Iowa appear capable of helping the Giants from Week 1. Flowers? Maybe, maybe not.