Mail call! Let’s open of the Big Blue View mailbag and see what New York Giants-related questions pop out.
What in the world is/was John Mara thinking? He started this OBJ trade thing and now it has a life of it's own. Can he/will he reel it back in?— Dorian (@Jerzee_Bred11) March 30, 2018
Ed says: John Mara is a smart man. The remarks that he, Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur made recently about Odell Beckham Jr. weren’t random, off the cuff remarks. They were clearly thought out and designed to remind Beckham that the Giants are the ones with the real leverage right now.
The firestorm is on the Internet, and I really don’t think the Giants care about that. They might even be OK with it
Beckham is on his rookie contract. The Giants don’t have to do anything. They can make him play the season on his fifth-year option. If he wants to get paid, he will have to play. They can use the franchise tag on him the year after that to keep him out of free agency. They can trade him without Beckham being able to do anything about it.
The Giants are clearly exploring every avenue in an effort to improve the long-term future of the franchise. I don’t believe they want to trade Beckham, although I believe they would if they were overwhelmed or the relationship became untenable. I believe they want to leave that option open, and explore what teams might be willing to pay.
There is clearly some level of concern about Beckham’s maturity and his inability to avoid, or maybe even try to avoid, unnecessary headlines. We will see how it plays out, but I certainly don’t believe anything the Giants said during the past few days was an accident.
Is trading up a realistic option?— James Bettcher NYG (@JamesBettchNYG) March 30, 2018
Ed says: Well, you’re the one who can walk down the hall and talk to Dave Gettleman so shouldn’t you be telling me instead of asking me?
Seriously, sure it’s a realistic option. Not one that I really like, mind you, but it’s a realistic option. If the Giants decide there is one quarterback in the draft they have to have and feel they need to eliminate the possibility the Cleveland Browns would take that quarterback at No. 1, sure they could go up and get him.
I don’t know that it’s worth the price in draft picks to move up one spot for any QB in this draft, but that’s not my decision to make.
Andrew O’Connor asks: I am officially confused. Everyone says all five top QBs are flawed. You write about Darnold & Allen being the 1-2 QBs but, why, exactly is Baker Mayfield NOT the top QB prospect? The stats say Mayfield’s the best player with the best opportunity for QB success.
I keep looking and I can’t find a definitive article about WHY he’s being discounted. I’ve read about his height and his exuberance, yet it feels like his skills are being underrated and I can’t figure out WHY.
Ed says: There are some who do believe Baker Mayfield is the best quarterback in the draft — our Chris Pflum has been beating that drum for a while. Some teams might agree. Most, though, it seems do not. They all have their reasons — temperament, height, whatever.
The Giants have spent a lot of time with Mayfield, working him out and meeting with him. They may like him more than I think, but everything I’ve gathered during this process leads me to believe the quarterbacks at the top of the draft the Giants like most are Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. Is it possible they like someone else and are doing a really good job hiding that? Sure.
I keep hearing the Giants are thinking about moving OV to OLB position. Do you consider this a good move and are his covering skills a concern? Also, have yet to hear from OV and whether he is onboard with move.— Ramon Riveraalmena (@RRiveraalmena) March 30, 2018
Ed says: If I’m not mistaken, Pat Shurmur made the move of Olivier Vernon to outside linebacker official while speaking to media at the NFL owner’s meetings. I think it’s a perfectly logical move for the Giants when they are in 3-4 sets.
In a 3-4, you want bigger, heavier guys as the ends as anchors against the run. It’s why you’ll see Dalvin Tomlinson there. Vernon did a lot of standing up on defense for the Giants last year. It’s a logical role for him as he’s way too light to be a traditional 3-4 defensive end.
I wouldn’t worry about his coverage skills. I can’t see him asked to do that a lot. He will play outside linebacker in the base and be used to rush the passer more than cover. When the Giants are in nickel or dime they will have four defensive linemen and Vernon will be at his traditional defensive end with his hand in the ground.
As for not hearing from Vernon, it’s the offseason. He isn’t required to do interviews or make public statements, and he hasn’t. He’s just keeping his head down and that’s fine.
#bbvmailbag Totally miffed by the strategy with this team - if they're in "win now" mode, why on earth would they even remotely consider trading their best player? If the "window" is Eli's remaining 2 yrs, why not franchise Odell and try to win?— Cody K (@C_O_D_Y) March 30, 2018
Ed says: All of this talk about “win now” mode or “rebuild” mode is overblown. Very few NFL teams are ever in complete “rebuild” mode. It’s a year-to-year league and we see examples every year of wild swings, teams going from being losing ones to playoff-caliber ones in a single year.
The Giants, in my view, are trying to do two things. They are trying to put a better product on the field in 2018, and hoping to lay a foundation that will lead to long-term, sustained success. There are a lot of factors in doing that, and talent isn’t the only one.
Gettleman and Pat Shurmur talk all the time about “culture.” Building the culture includes identifying and acquiring the right kinds of players, and those aren’t always the ones with the most talent. Gettleman says he wants football players, not guys who play football — and yes, there’s a difference. Guys who play football do it because of what it brings them in terms of lifestyle, etc. Guys who are football players do it because they love it and are focused entirely on it.
Whether we are talking about Odell Beckham Jr. or any other player, the Giants will make the decisions they believe to be best for the long-term good of the franchise.
Is our offensive line this year better than it was last year?— akabuca96 (@akabuca96) March 30, 2018
Ed says: That’s a question that can’t be answered yet. The Giants are better at left tackle, because Nate Solder is a massive upgrade from Ereck Flowers. That’s all we really know. The draft hasn’t been held yet, so we don’t know if the Giants will add any more starting-caliber pieces. The Giants haven’t held a practice yet. The line will be different, which it needed to be. We will find out if it’s better once the games start.
#bbvmailbag any chance there'd be a QB in next years' draft they like more than current crop?— Jeff marx (@Jeffmarx8) March 30, 2018
Ed says: Always a chance of something like that. The issue is the Giants obviously hope not to go 3-13 again and wind up with the second overall pick. How do you get that guy if you are drafting in the middle or late portion of the draft? Their opportunity is now, if they want to take it.
Day 2 or 3 guys for DE/ OLB?— Sub Woofer (@subwoofer04) March 30, 2018
Ed says: I say this over and over ... and over ... and over. You cannot go into the draft with a pre-determined idea of when you are drafting certain positions. You have an idea of positions you would like to supplement, but you always draft for value. If value and need align, that’s when you make your selection. You don’t reach simply because you have decided ahead of time that “we have to take a defensive end on Day 2.”
The Giants could take a defensive end with their first pick, if they really love Bradley Chubb. Who knows what the value will be at their other picks. I think they will add to the defensive end and linebacker spots — if they can. They aren’t going to force a pick, though, just because of the position a guy plays.