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Mailbag: College QBs, Colin Kaepernick, trades, more

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Time to answer your questions

The more the New York Giants lose the more questions that raises about the future and how the organization will try to dig itself out of the mess the team has gotten into. Let’s try and answer some of those questions in this week’s Big Blue View mailbag.

Ed says: Rhett Ellison has a foot injury. I really don’t know how severe, or what the exact injury is. Here’s a question for you — don’t you think it’s kind of difficult to run two-tight end sets when you are running them with your third and fourth tight ends, or with a third-team tight end and a backup offensive lineman? Is that really the best personnel to put on the field?

Let’s also remember that the best pass-catching tight end they have, Evan Engram, has missed three games with a knee injury. That affects the personnel groupings.

For what it’s worth, through five weeks the Giants had used two tight ends 27 percent of the time, per Sharp Football Stats.

Ed says: Well, Harper, look at it this way. You’ve been hanging in there since the Giants last won the Super Bowl and six of the last seven seasons have been bad. Enjoy watching Saquon Barkley. Look for signs of progress. Enjoy those, and hang onto them. Also, remember this — the Giants have gotten this right and hoisted the Lombardi Trophy four times. No matter how bad it is right now, there are a lot of fan bases out there that would trade places with fans of the Giants in a heartbeat.

David Clancy asks: Do you think this is a mess a rookie QB, like Drew Lock, can handle? Especially if he struggles early and Odell creates attention by telling all to Josina Anderson about how Lock is trash or Herbert might not be the future. Also how can a rookie develop while he’s constantly retreating from 350+ lb pieces of muscle who want to crush his ribs? That can ruin any rookie QB, no matter the talent.

Ed says: If you are asking me about Lock specifically, I have no idea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a single snap the kid has played. Go back to when Manning was a young quarterback. His receivers, especially Jeremy Shockey, caused him all sorts of grief and probably slowed his development. Eventually, the organization just chose the quarterback over the whiners. The quarterback is ALWAYS the most important player. If the organization, or the locker room, forgets that you have a problem. Right now, the Giants have a problem. If they eventually go with a youngster, the organization has to support him by stomping on, or removing trouble. As for the part about being crushed, that applies to old, immobile quarterbacks, too.

Stanford v Oregon
Justin Herbert
Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Tom Mandler asks: With the Giants heading for a complete overhaul this offseason; what college QBs should we be watching, and what kind of building blocks could we reasonably expect if we traded Beckham (2 first round picks?).

Ed says: As far as quarterbacks, the names you keep hearing are Justin Herbert (Oregon) and Drew Lock (Missouri). Trading Beckham? Not happening now, so I’m not even thinking about that. Co-host Patricia Traina said Friday on “Locked on Giants” that she doesn’t think Beckham finishes his contract with the Giants, and I agree, but I seriously doubt anyone is taking that contract until the fully-guaranteed money is paid after the 2020 season.

Devon Aronstam asks: I am sure I am not the first to think of or mention this, but with all this talk of Eli being done, what about the idea of bringing in Colin Kaepernick? I’m no expert on how fans react and I know Mr. Mara has stated in the past how much mail he has received on this topic, but I would think Giants fans are desperate for better QB play and the team really doesn’t have a solid, veteran backup ready to step in. The bottom line is Eli and the Giants have only won 4 of their last 22 games. We are clearly not going anywhere this year and what a great opportunity to see if Kap has anything left after such a long layoff. If we remain terrible, we will most certainly get a high pick to take a new QB with. If he shows promise and we win a few games we can parlay a high pick into multiple picks to help rebuild o-line and pass rush. Thoughts?

Ed says: I wasn’t going to take this question, because I didn’t really want to deal with the Kaepernick stuff. I need to, though. Colin Kaepernick is not the answer. First of all, he’s 30 and hasn’t played in two years. Second of all, and this is something that people seem to conveniently forget when they look at the reasons Kaepernick isn’t in the league, he wasn’t very good. He went 3-16 his last two seasons as a starter. In 2016, the San Francisco 49ers thought Blaine Gabbert — BLAINE GABBERT!! — was better, and he opened the season at quarterback. Despite all the politics of it, if any team out there thought Kaepernick was good enough to start and lead them to championships, they would have signed him.

Colin Kaepernick is, maybe, a backup in the league at this point. He isn’t going to solve anyone’s quarterback problem.

Also, how does Kaepernick help you parlay a high draft pick into multiple picks? Not sure I get how signing him, or anyone, would have anything to do with that.

Anthony Del Genio asks: I‘ve been struggling (and maybe the BBV staff has been too) with how to separate the performance of the OL from that of the QB. In light of your column today, which I think is the first one in which I see you leaning toward Eli being the problem or part of it, I wonder whether there are any examples out there of great teams/QBs with terrible OLs. I’m especially interested in Russell Wilson (a great QB in my opinion and in the prime of his career) who seems to be having terrible problems this year (and you could see it last year too) behind one of the worst OLs in the NFL. His stats look pretty similar to Eli’s this season. Would putting a great mobile QB behind what is at present an awful Giants OL actually make much of a difference? Or are we going nowhere until the OL is fixed?

Ed says: Anthony, Gettleman walked in the door saying the offensive line has to be fixed. It hasn’t been. Shurmur has said the Giants will go only as far as the offensive line can take them. So far, not very far. There are issues with the way Manning has played, certainly. Running quarterback or not, though, no team can play good, consistent offense without good offensive line play.

Ed says: I don’t know that Tom Coughlin bringing Ereck Flowers to the Jacksonville Jaguars says anything about the 2015 draft. I think that what it says is the Jaguars think they they can win this season, they have lost their starting left tackle (Cam Robinson) for the season, they didn’t have a Plan B they were happy with, and Flowers — believe it or not — was the closest thing to a starting-caliber left tackle on the market right now.

Ed says: “Fire sale?” Those might happen in baseball, but when is the last time you saw that happen in the NFL? You see individual trades, but not fire sales. I wouldn’t say any Giants are “likely” to be traded. I mean, the Giants are 4-18 in their last 22 games. How desirable are their players? Maybe Janoris Jenkins, but you’re not getting more than a late-round pick in return. Let’s not get started with Manning or Beckham trade talk. It’s just not realistic to think the Giants can suddenly sell off a bunch of players and get a bunch of top draft picks in return.