Let's open up this weekend's Big Blue View mailbag and see what's on your mind now that the 2016 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror and we're into the depths of the offseason.
@bigblueview Who’s the the favorite 2nd or 3rd year player to make a major leap?— Jett Wells (@tjwell01) May 13, 2016
Ed says: I don't know that I can point to a single player. I think there are several guys the Giants are counting on to make big strides. Let's look at both the 2014 and 2015 draft classes.
Even with the drafting of Darian Thompson I think the Giants are hoping Nat Berhe (fifth round) stays healthy and shows he deserves a regular role on defense. To be honest, I also think the Giants need a step forward from Devon Kennard (also Round 5). He flashed late in his rookie season and had 4.5 sacks. He was much less of a factor in 2015 with no sacks in only nine games. The Giants need him to be an impact player, especially after missing out on Leonard Floyd in the draft.
I think the Giants need more in 2016 from each of their first three selections last year. Ereck Flowers was asked to do more than he should have been in 2015, and it showed. I'm not worried about his Pro Football Focus grades or criticism of his play from a year ago. Whatever. Rookie left tackles always have a tough time. What will concern me is if Flowers is not significantly better in Year 2. Same with safety Landon Collins. He had rookie growing pains, but the Giants need him to become a big-time player. They also need to get SOMETHING from third-round pick Owamagbe Odighizuwa as a rotational defensive end. The other guy is Bobby Hart. Let's see if he can take a starting job away from right guard John Jerry or right tackle Marshall Newhouse.
Ed says: Oh, boy! If I was the GM the biggest thing I would have done differently is to have been more aggressive in trying to upgrade the right tackle position. I probably would have made a big run at Kelechi Osemele , who signed with the Oakland Raiders for five years and $58.5 million, and made him turn me down if he didn't want to play right tackle.
If I was GM there is one other thing I would have done differently this offseason. When Round 1 of the 2016 NFL Draft unfolded the way it did, I would not have made the 10th pick. I would have found the best possible offer to trade down and taken it, provided I was still picking inside the top 20 selections. Use that pick on Darron Lee, Shaq Lawson, William Jackson, Taylor Decker, Sheldon Rankins or whoever and pick up an additional third- or fourth-round pick along the way. Maybe that way I also come out of the draft with a candidate for the right tackle job.
@bigblueview the forecast about 6-10 this year... Do you agree? Or hope more wins than Last year?— Icaro (@icarorbezerra) May 13, 2016
Ed says: You always hope for more, of course. It's more fun to cover -- and root for -- a good team. On paper, the defense should be better. But, that's paper. Let's wait and see. I think this team could be better. But, there is a rookie head coach and you just don't know how it will play out.
@bigblueview is BJ Goodson the guy we need at LB? Are we going to miss Unga?— Sub Woofer (@subwoofer04) May 13, 2016
Ed says: Don't expect Goodson to be an answer this year. Reality is, Day 3 draft choices are "project" players usually and you should never expect them to be major contributors as rookies. It happens sometimes and you can hope for it, but don't expect it. You're setting yourself up to be disappointed.
The Giants have veteran stop-gaps Jasper Brinkley, Kelvin Sheppard and Keenan Robinson to compete for roster spots and playing time in the middle in 2016. The hope is that Goodson develops throughout 2016, helps on special teams and is ready and able to step into the middle linebacker job in 2017.
As for Unga, he a nice guy and a nice story. He was also a huge part of the reason the Giants linebackers were, to be polite, underwhelming last season.
@bigblueview Do you think the Giants will keep 3 QB on the roster Ryan Nassib a UFA after the season?— A.J. Marshall (@AJMarshall3) May 13, 2016
Ed says: No way to know. Ben McAdoo said he isn't against the idea. So, if B.J. Daniels or someone else proves he deserves to stick around then he will get the chance.
@bigblueview Can the $82M player that no one ever heard of turn our pass rush around? Do have anyone who can cover besides DRC? Apple now?— Jim Sullivan (@GymSullivan) May 13, 2016
Ed says: Awfully cranky, aren't we? Olivier Vernon was one of the best defensive ends in football last year, so someone has heard of him. Can he play like for the Giants, or justify that massive contract? Who knows. He'll need help from other guys, though, because one guy can't do it alone. As for coverage, they did sign a pretty good corner in Janoris Jenkins. They did use a third-round pick on a safety. They used a second-round pick on a safety last year. Relax snd see how it all comes together.
Ed says: I addressed this earlier in the week. I think the Giants would like to add a veteran corner, and they will continue to poke around for an offensive tackle. Still, though, I don't know if there are specific players the Giants are on the trails of right now.
@bigblueview who starts at slot corner for big blue? Powers was offered a contract but left.— Mar - Sell (@Ceeezthemoment) May 13, 2016
Ed says: I still believe the Giants are in the market for a veteran corner, and that Powers remains a possibility. Looking at the Giants right now Eli Apple will be the thid corner. Whether he plays in the slot or whether he and Janoris Jenkins share soem of that responsibility is a decision yet to be made.