The New York Giants snapped their nine-game losing streak on Sunday with their 36-20 win over the Miami Dolphins. That win, and the outpouring of love from the fans for long-time franchise quarterback Eli Manning were cathartic for the team and fans alike at the tail end of a long, arduous slog of a season.
Taking a step back and taking a longer view, however, that win also complicates things for the future of the franchise.
The Giants’ win over Miami, as well as losses by the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, and New York Jets has made the Giants’ hold on the second-overall pick considerably more tenuous than it was a week ago.
The Giants do still hold the second overall pick with a 3-11 record and are tied for the weakest strength of schedule in the top 10. However, the Giants, Miami, and Washington are all tied at that 3-11 record, and the Dolphins and Redskins have an identical strength of schedule.
This all sets next week’s divisional matchup against Washington as the battle for that second-overall pick, with the potential to draft Ohio State EDGE Chase Young hanging in the balance. While the Giants might still be able to draft a good player if they slip from second overall to, say, fifth overall, that player is unlikely to be the kind of impact difference maker that Young is expected to be.
Washington could select Young themselves — Ryan Kerrigan is 31 and not getting any younger — and still find an upgrade at offensive tackle later in the draft. The talent level is significantly more even than at EDGE.
There is also the possibility that a team like the Atlanta Falcons could trade up and jump the Giants for Young.
Much like the New York Yankees, the Giants need to get an “Ace” with true strikeout stuff to set up the rest of their complementary pieces on defense. And viewed from that perspective, it is better to be in the driver seat with a player like Young on the board than hoping other teams opt to fill needs and he slips down the draft board.
Top 10 Draft Order
- Cincinnati Bengals (1-13, 0.565)
- New York Giants (3-11, 0.473)
- Miami Dolphins (3-11, 0.493)
- Washington Redskins (3-11, 0.493)
- Detroit Lions (3-10-1, 0.507)
- Arizona Cardinals (4-9-1, 0.540)
- New York Jets (5-9, 0.473)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9, 0.475)
- Los Angeles Chargers (5-9, 0.504)
- Denver Broncos (5-9, 0527)