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BBV mailbag, 5/21: Defense, Anthony Dable, offensive line and more

Let's check the mail and see what we find

NFL: New York Giants-Rookie Minicamp
Steve Spagnuolo
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

It might be the NFL offseason, technically, if there is really such a thing. The New York Giants fan base never sleeps, though. So, let's check this week's Big Blue View mailbag and see what's on your mind.

Ed says: Anything is possible, but let's be realistic. Despite all the optimistic talk, we still don't know what kind of player Jason Pierre-Paul will be. The linebacker position is pretty much the same as it was a year ago. The Giants are hopeful they have improved at corner, but we need to see it. Free safety remains a question. So does depth across the board. There is also the question of how well this entirely new group on defense blends together.

I think expecting the Giants to go from worst defense in the league a year ago to one of the best in 2015 is asking too much. Let's hope the Giants can be middle of the pack defensively. If they can do that, their offense is good enough that they should have a chance to win a decent number of games.

Ed says: Is there real proof that Boykin was the best slot corner in the NFL in 2014? Just because Boykin himself said that was the case doesn't make it so. Yes, the Giants could use a quality, experienced slot corner and we talked about the idea of pursuing Boykin earlier in the week.

If you're the Giants, before you sign this guy you have to find out why teams keep running away from him. Chip Kelly's odd roster decisions aside, would the Philadelphia Eagles have traded him if he was that good? Would the Pittsburgh Steelers, after giving up a draft pick for him, have benched the guy for half a year? Would they have let him walk in free agency? Would the Carolina Panthers have cut him just weeks after signing him as a free agent if there wasn't some type of an issue?

These are huge red flags, especially how quickly the Panthers cut ties with Boykin. He seems like an answer because he's a name fans know and he's played well in the past. Before you bring him in, though, you better make sure you know why so many teams seemingly can't wait to be rid of him.

Ed says: I hate to be wishy-washy, but the answer is that we won't really know until the season starts. Despite all the hate for John Jerry and Marshall Newhouse, the Giants had a top 10 offense last year with those guys playing. So, whatever the Pro Football Focus numbers say the offense can function well enough. Bobby Hart or Byron Stingily might help there. We'll see. At corner, we've acknowledged again and again that the Giants could use more depth. Let's see how well Eli Apple adjusts to the NFL and how Janoris Jenkins adjusts to the Giants. Let's see if Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has begun to slow down.

There is still a lot of time before the season starts and I'm sure the Giants will continue to look around for upgrades.

Ed says: Obviously a great many things can impact the construction of the 53-man roster. How many quarterbacks will be kept? Who will get hurt? Will the Giants continue to carry a fullback?

That said, in my way-too-early 53-man roster prediction I had Johnson beating out Nikita Whitlock for the fullback spot. Johnson has more experience and versatility, with the ability to play fullback, H-Back and to line up an as inline tight end. If he makes the team it's possible, maybe even probable, that we see Johnson in all of those roles. The Giants don't have a proven blocking tight end. Maybe they see Johnson as that guy.

Ed says: Yes, Hart has acknowledged that he lost 25 pounds. No, I don't think that anyone should automatically assume that means he is being looked at strictly as a right tackle. When he was drafted all you had to do was take one look at him to realize he was a 20-year-old kid who had a lot of work to do on his body. To his credit, he has tried to do it.

We don't know what position Hart will play -- or if he will play at all. He's a 21-year-old seventh-round pick with a lot to prove. For all the hate Jerry gets, and we know he's a better pass blocker than run blocker, the guy has been a starter for most of his six years in the league. He has started 16 games three times. He's not terrible.

I think everybody just needs to calm down and see what happens. If Hart earns the chance to play, he'll play.

Ed says: You are talking about Anthony Dable. My question is this -- what is there to really talk about? We don't really know anything about the guy other than that he's big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) and has never played against competition anywhere close to as good as what he will see now. We have seen a couple of offseason practices in shorts. Honestly, there's very little we can draw from any of that at this point. When we see more we will have a better idea if Dable has a chance. Right now, we really don't know.