Happy last Saturday before the 2016 NFL Draft, New York Giants fans! Here is one last pre-draft Big Blue View mailbag for you. Unless otherwise noted, this week's questions are from our Big Blue View Facebook friends.
Harry E. Bassett IV asks: What are the five "needs" for big blue coming into the draft?
Ed says: Talent. Talent. Talent. Talent. Talent. I did say talent five times, right? I'm not very good at math. I've said all along the Giants biggest need is to get better players, to increase the talent level across the roster. They need help at every level of the defense. They could use help on the offensive line and at wide receiver. You can't get everything you need out of a single draft, or a single offseason. So, fans should just hope they come away with a few players who help make them better.
Bill Garcia asks: Do you think Reese is comfortable with Behre, Thompson and Jackson as our FS options? Or do you see Vonn Bell or Karl Joseph as a legitimate option for us to take on Day 2?
Ed says: Yes, I think he's comfortable giving the young guys already on the roster a legitimate shot. As for drafting a safety, I'm sure it's a consideration. I can't say who or when they would draft one because you have to look at the board at the time and see where the value is, but there are several safeties worth considering. It won't be a surprise if the Giants draft one.
Brian Guarnieri asks: Based on the need for a RT and just defense in general, where is the most plausible spot the Giants draft a WR?
Ed says: Honestly, I think anywhere except Round 1. The ideal spot is impossible to peg because there's no way to know how the draft will go. But, almost anywhere from Round 2 to Round 5 you could see the Giants select a wide receiver. Day 2 could be the "sweet spot," but we'll see how it unfolds.
Roberto Perez asks: If the Giants have the opportunity to draft either Stanley or Conklin which player do you believe is more "PRO" ready and do you see Flowers being moved to right tackle if the player selected would prove to be a better plug and play addition, in his respective rookie campaign, to the offensive line?
Ed says: I don't know if one is more "pro ready" than the other. They are just different players. Stanley is more of the smooth pass protector, maybe not as good in run blocking. Conklin is more an all-around guy who may not have quite the pass protection upside and might be more limited to right tackle, but both would be fine choices. As for Ereck Flowers, he's staying at left tackle in 2016. Rookie left tackles almost always struggle. Do you want to go through that again? Besides, the Giants still believe in the guy.
Daniel Badillo asks: When drafting players, how important is scheme fit to the Giants? Some people think the Giants won't take a player like Leonard Floyd because he's a better fit for a 3-4 defense. Does talent trump scheme fit?
Ed says: Both are important. When you draft a player what you have to know is how are you going to use him, which is why it's critical for the general manager and the coaching staff to be on the same page in terms of what they are looking for. If the Giants have a plan for Floyd, fine. If they just say "well, we have no idea how we'll use him but he's the top guy on the board so we'll take him" that's a recipe for disaster. I believe there have been some instances in recent years where Reese and Tom Coughlin had different visions, and consequently the Giants ended up with some square pegs for round holes.
Thomas Delacruz asks: I haven't heard any discussion of possibly trading one of our many running backs for some picks. I think we have at least one back that would be of value to a team like the Browns. I think that and if the Giants were to trade down in the first round for some pics could help us have a nice draft class. Just a thought.
Ed says: I'm all for the idea of trading down if the situation is right. But, the Cleveland Browns pick in front of the Giants at No. 8 and I don't see a trade up. Also, a trade up would likely involve surrendering draft picks, not veteran players. The Giants really can't afford to be surrendering picks.
Scott Okusko asks: Has there been any talk about a Cullen Jenkins return as part of the rotation?
Ed says: Honestly, I haven't heard Jenkins' name in quite a while. I suppose it's possible, but if the Giants wanted to bring him back you would think they would have done it already. He's 35, and this might be it for his NFL career.
Frank Marinello asks: Are we going to finally stop the RB carousel and commit to Jennings and Vereen?
Ed says: We will just have to wait and see. It's impossible to know if the rotation is something Ben McAdoo pushed for last year or if Tom Coughlin insisted on it. Injuries and effectiveness will play into it, but right now there's no way to know. Besides, what if the Giants draft a back?
Adam Daniel Carman asks: Do you see Nikita Whitlock making the team or having any place in the new defensive alignment with Snacks and Vernon?
Ed says: I really enjoy Whitlock, but I don't care how much chatter there is about him gaining weight I don't see him as a defensive tackle. It was a nice novelty last season, but a good defense shouldn't need a 250-260-pound fullback to play both ways in an effort to conjure up a pass rush. It will be interesting to see if Whitlock has a role on offense with the signing of FB/TE Will Johnson.
Jon Conners asks: Is there another high or mid level signing around the corner?
Ed says: I don't know about "around the corner," but the Giants will bring in some other veteran players before the season starts. What usually happens at this time of year is teams go through the draft, see what holes they believe they still have, then look at the market and see who is still available. Depending on what happens in the draft, guys like wide receiver Anquan Boldin or cornerback Jerraud Powers could still be in play for the Giants.
Jake Lantz asks: Eli said the team needed Odell at another level, but how much more can Odell do? Shouldn't we expect something out anyone else catching passes?
Ed says: Yes, the Giants need others besides Odell Beckham Jr. to be reliable pass-catching targets. I suspect Eli's comment was mostly just a savvy veteran using the media to remind a terrific young player that he still needs to work, that there is much more for him to accomplish.
Charles Holman asks (via e-mail): Do you think the Giants will have one more health/performance evaluation of Victor Cruz before deciding on the possibility of drafting a WR at No. 10?
Ed says: I don't think the Giants will really be able to evaluate Cruz until they get him on the field in training camp. I seriously doubt the Giants will take a wide receiver at No. 10 regardless of what they think of Cruz. There will be plenty of good receivers available Day 2 and maybe early in Day 3. There are very few top-notch offensive tackles or pass-rushers.