The New York Giants had an incredibly active offseason as new general manager Dave Gettleman worked furiously to remake the roster in his image. Gettleman let a number of free agents leave, but balanced that by signing plenty to replace them. So it has largely been assumed that despite losing some high-profile players, the Giants would be without a compensatory pick in the 2019 draft.
While Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, D.J. Fluker, Devon Kennard, and Orleans Darkwa were out, Nate Solder, Patrick Omameh, Cody Latimer, Kareem Martin, and Jonathan Stewart were in. Not to mention a bevy of smaller departures and signings — right up until the start of the regular season.
But after the free agency dust finally settled, Salary cap tracking website OverTheCap is projecting that the Giants could be awarded a fourth-round compensatory pick for the loss of guard Justin Pugh.
The Giants got back on the board with a 4th rounder for Justin Pugh, but this happened only because Geno Smith barely made it back into qualifying range after cutdowns to 53. He’s still qualifying despite not logging any snaps, as backup quarterbacks tend to do. But he is still very much on the bubble, and unless Phillip Rivers, who has a lengthy starting streak, is unable to play, that 4th for Pugh will likely come back off the board.
Draft selections are the lifeblood of any franchise which wants to have long-term success, and even a fourth round pick is a valuable resource. As it stands now, the Giants will already be without their third-round pick, which they used on cornerback Sam Beal in the supplemental draft this summer.
The draft is always unpredictable, and talented players who are graded to be day 2 picks routinely slide to the beginning of the fourth round. As it stands now, and will remain for the rest of 2018, the Giants’ depth is largely made up of journeyman veterans added during the frantic roster turnover that defined the 2018 off-season. Adding a player from that round, who could have the upside to be a major contributor on a low-cost deal for four years, would be a good upgrade for a team with such questionable depth.
Nobody wants to hope for another team to have injuries, so perhaps we should all become Chargers fans and hope that they win by enough that Geno Smith is brought in for enough mop-up duty to help secure the pick that (might) be awarded for Pugh.