There is a lot going on around the New York Giants these days. Let’s hit some of those topics with a quick “Five things I think I think.”
About the support for Ereck Flowers
John Mara voiced support for Ereck Flowers this week, and that should really come as no surprise. What choice do the Giants have? They invested a top 10 pick in Flowers, and they have him for at least two more years. Whether it’s at left tackle or right tackle he is going to play somewhere on the line in 2017. He’s been at the Giants’ facility working to get better. So, Mara did what he should have done. Try to build the young man up rather than tear him down.
How good will Flowers ultimately be? Who knows? He will only be 23 next season, still younger than some of the players in the 2017 NFL Draft class. He has the physical tools to be a good player, even if he hasn’t figured out how to use them. Good left tackles are not easy to find, and the Giants don’t appear ready to give up on the possibility of Flowers being one.
Something else to consider. There were some signs of improvement last season. Per Pro Football Focus, three of Flowers’ five worst games last season came when left guard Just Pugh was not in the lineup. His overall grade for the season was 48.4, but with Pugh starting next to him it was 66.7. That is basically identical to the PFF score of Riley Reiff, who just got a five-year, $58.75 million deal from the Minnesota Vikings.
The Nick Mangold rumors
When the report came out Monday that the Giants had interest in former New York Jets center Nick Mangold I wrote that it “raises more questions than it answers.” I also wondered if the Giants had serious interest or if the whole thing just amounted to due diligence.
The more I think about this, the less I think Mangold to the Giants is actually realistic. The Giants already have a center, a good one, Weston Richburg. Why would you move an up-and-coming 25-year-old center to guard, a position he didn’t play very well in 2014, for a 33-year-old center? Why would Mangold move to guard, a position he has never played in the NFL or college, at this point? Even if he did, how well he could play it is a huge question mark.
What makes sense for Mangold is to wait until after the draft, maybe even into training camp, to find a team in need of a starting center. Jordan Ranaan of ESPN wrote Tuesday that “It would be surprising to see anything come of this.” I agree.
Jerry Reese deserves props
Co-owner Steve Tisch told the New York Post that GM Jerry Reese has done a “fantastic job” turning the Giants around the past two offseasons.
Reese had a terrific 2016 offseason in free agency and the draft. Thus far this offseason the Giants have managed to do quite a bit despite limited resources. There is more to do, but it’s hard to argue with Tisch’s assessment.
Reese had a rough stretch that was a huge part of the reason why the Giants fell on hard times. He deserves credit for doing good work in digging them out of the hole they were in.
I’m stumped by Johnathan Hankins
At this point, I really don’t know what free agent defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins is waiting for. There doesn’t appear to be a market for his services, at least not at a price he is willing to accept.
If recent reports are correct, the best offer, and perhaps only, offer he has is from the Giants. Even if what he wants at this point is a one-year deal and a chance to go back into the market next offseason it would seem his best option would be to come back to the Giants. They have made it clear they want him back. He clearly doesn’t have a better option.
Why he hasn’t signed, I really don’t know.
NJ Advance Media this morning details how NFL sources think Hankins’ agent has messed this situation up. At this point, that’s pretty clear.
The draft will be interesting
Some of you kill me every time I select on offensive tackle for the Giants in Round 1 of my seven-round simulated mock drafts. The Giants have set themselves up in a position where they could do a number of different things. The needs — offensive tackle, running back, tight end, linebacker, maybe developmental quarterback — are apparent.
What order the Giants address them in or, in the case of quarterback, if they address them at all is anybody’s guess. There really is no right or wrong way, let’s just see how the board falls and see what Reese and the Giants do.