It's the first Tuesday in April and there is a ridiculous six inches of snow on the ground outside my office window. Yeesh! Anyway, since I'm venting and this is a Tuesday it's time for a brain dump. That means it's time for a "Five things I think I think" about the New York Giants, something we haven't offered up for a few weeks.
Let's get started.
I think I need a word about Rueben Randle
Perhaps you believe I fairly characterized Randle's remarks to the Philadelphia media when he met them last week after signing his contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Perhaps you believe, as some in the comments section apparently did, that what I wrote was somewhat of an unfair takedown of the former Giants wide receiver. Whichever way you see it, that's your interpretation and it's going to be influenced by how you feel about Randle's time in New York.
I wanted, however, to make one final point about Randle saying "I feel like I did the best I could with the opportunities that were given to me."
It's a simple point. If the Giants had agreed with him, he would still be part of the organization. If the rest of the NFL had agreed with him, less talented and productive receivers like Mohamed Sanu, Rishard Matthews, Travis Benjamin, and Jermaine Kearse would not have fairly quickly gotten rich long-term deals while Randle languished on the market and ended up with a one-year contract.
Randle might be great in Philly. The one-year deal is perfect because it will force him to perform, to prove what he is worth to the rest of the league going forward.
I think we need to relax about the safety position
I always find this battle between the "give the young guys a chance" and "we have to have a veteran player" crowds to be, without trying to sound condescending, hilarious. When a veteran plays and struggles, there are always blood-curdling screams for young players to get a chance. How, after all, can they prove themselves without getting in the games? When there are only young, unproven options at a position, the outcry is always "let's go get a veteran" because only having young guys and giving them a chance to compete is too scary.
That's the way things are with the safety position for the Giants these days. Some will take a veteran, any veteran, because it's a guy whose name they know and they have actually seen play before. The Giants may yet add a veteran like Reggie Nelson, or draft another safety to add to the competition. As of now, though, the young guys already on the roster will get another chance.
Some are upset by that, thinking that plan "failed" a year ago. It didn't fail. Rather, it never had a chance because of injury. The Giants still believe that at least one player from the Nat Berhe, Mykkele Thompson, Bennett Jackson group will emerge.
It would certainly be nice to add some quality veteran insurance, but there is nothing wrong with giving these guys a real chance. They haven't actually had one yet.
I think Will Johnson is interesting
I admit I did not know much about former Pittsburgh Steelers H-Back Will Johnson when the Giants signed him on Monday. The more I learn, the more intrigued I am. Look at the signing initially, see that he is considered a fullback, and you think right away that he is competition for Nikita Whitlock. He may be that, but he may also be something else. He may be the blocking tight end the Giants lacked a year ago after losing Daniel Fells to a life-threatening case of MRSA.
Via e-mail, Jeff Hartman of SB Nation's Behind the Steel Curtain wrote that Johnson is "A very versatile player. Special teams guy, tight end and fullback. Best suited as an H-back type player. A jack of all trades, but a master of none. Hard working, team-first player."
At BTSC, Hartman expanded on that idea:
When it comes to versatility, there aren't many who can compete with Will Johnson. The former West Virginia University product came onto the scene with the Pittsburgh Steelers without a true position to call home. He could play full back, tight end and even running back if need be. Throughout his time in Pittsburgh, they asked him to play all of those positions.
In 2015, Johnson played tight end, special teams, full back and was even the team's primary short yardage back early in the season during Le'Veon Bell's two-game suspension. His versatility, and team-first mentality, will be missed.
Maybe Johnson supplants Whitlock. Maybe they both find a role, with Johnson as the move tight end. Think of all of the times last year when the Giants tried to use underwhelming blockers like Larry Donnell or Jerome Cunningham to lead running backs through a hole. If Johnson has the ability to do just that one thing he would be a welcome addition.
I think Jerraud Powers could still be a Giant
Former Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jerraud Powers left without a contract after visiting the Giants last week. Usually, that means the player will move on and find a different NFL team to play for. That might not be the case for Powers, who has not closed the door on the Giants.
Great visit, gotta make sure situation perfect for me, no need to rush at this point https://t.co/4R3f4X7G2X— Jerraud Powers (@JPowers25) April 3, 2016
Cross your fingers on this one, Giants fans. Powers, a seven-year veteran, has been a starter for good teams in Indianapolis and Arizona. He is better in the slot than on the outside, and would be a nice addition for the Giants at this point in the offseason.
I think we need to talk about the draft
I don't have one over-arching thought about the 2016 NFL Draft, which is now slightly more than three weeks away. I have several thoughts I'm going to toss out more or less as snippets. Do with them what you will.
- I think it's really interesting that mock drafts continue to trend toward giving the Giants an offensive player at No. 10. Sorry Ezekiel Elliott and Laquon Treadwell fans, but right now, the only offensive player I'm buying into as a possibility for the Giants is Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley. I could be wrong, and so what if I am? The Giants always see the draft board a little differently than we may anticipate. With what I know as of today, though, that's what I think.
- I think if the Giants are as committed to Ereck Flowers at left tackle as they say they are, that increases the likelihood they wait until Day 2 of the draft to try to find a right tackle.
- I think I'm not buying what Steve Spagnuolo is selling when he says of the linebacker spot that "we're good there" personnel-wise. I'm also not buying the notion Spags put forth last week that he really doesn't care about pass rush from linebackers. Remember, it's smoke screen time. Which means I think you need to believe Georgia outside linebacker Leonard Floyd is a serious consideration at No. 10.