The Big Blue View mailbag is overflowing this week, so much so that for the first time I am splitting it into two posts. Part 1 of the mailbag will appear here. Part 2 will appear on Sunday.
PB Dorfman asks: The Mara’s seem to hold on to management personnel longer that most franchises. Example, Reese was retained after years of poor drafts and free agents pick ups. The Mara’s seem to value stability over performance. My question is how many more losing season do the hold on to Gettleman before they move on to someone else? Performance in building a team outweighs front office stability.
Ed says: Patience, PB. I will keep writing this, but when Dave Gettleman was hired as GM and Pat Shurmur as coach this was never going to be an easy, quick fix. It took years of mistakes to get the Giants into this situation where they are annual also-rans. There is no magic pill to fix it overnight. The Giants, in my view, made some inroads last year. The way things are set up, with 12 draft picks, a quarterback decision coming and lots of cap space next year, you’re probably looking at the end of 2020 before we really know if this team is headed in the right direction.
That doesn’t mean I expect them to be terrible in 2019. Two years from now though, is when we will really know if a foundation for sustained success is in place.
Patrick Calvert asks: You had written an article examining where Josh Rosen would stand in the draft amongst the 2019 QB class. I’d be curious to know where Sam Beal would stand this year under similar comparisons. Last year, I heard of him as a potential late 1st/early 2nd round pick.
Ed says: Patrick, Gettleman said at the Combine that he feels like Beal would be a second-round value in this draft. I haven’t asked a lot of draft guys if they agree with that. I did ask Emory Hunt of Football GamePlan, and he told me he thought Beal was probably a Round 3 value in this draft.
Seth Weissman asks: Hypothetically, if Gettleman winds up trading the second round pick to AZ for Rosen and he selects a defensive lineman with the #6 pick, do you think he should draft defense again at 17 or take a right tackle? For the purpose of this question, please assume there are great options at right tackle and various positions on defense.
Ed says: Seth, I don’t think either decision would be wrong. It depends on who is there. Obviously, the Giants need as much defensive talent as they can stockpile. They also need to find a right tackle. You could argue best defensive player regardless of position. Quarterback would be in play. Even receiver.
Ronald Balsamo asks: I was just wondering if we could change Evan Engram from a tight end to the outside wide receiver we need. He has speed and good height and could flourish there. Then we pick a tight end in the draft who is a little taller and heavier. What do you think?
Ed says: Ronald, you aren’t the only one who has suggested that. The unknown is whether Engram can really function in that role. Some think he can, and athletically that is probably true. But, he has never really been asked to do it. Can he beat the jam against a press cornerback? Can he separate from cornerbacks? We’re used to seeing him against linebackers and safeties, and his away from the line experience is mostly in the slot. So, while he has the physical skill set it’s not a guarantee that he would be a success as a full time wide receiver.
Rick Woolfrey asks: When Beal was on injured reserve was he allowed to be around the team in meetings etc. so he will be coming into his 2nd year with more information than a rookie would have.
Ed says: Yes, Beal was allowed to be around. And, yes, he was around. We saw him off to the side watching practice at times, and in the locker room at times. He wasn’t allowed to be on the field.
Larry Jamieson asks: There continues to be a number of stories in the media about the Giants not having a plan or they don’t understand it. Maybe I am missing something, but it seems that the first year was to do some housecleaning, see what we’ve got and then rebuild a team focusing on heavily on the offensive and defensive lines. While we’d all like specifics on how this is to be done, it’s pretty hard to do, since there are 31 other teams also trying to improve, so there are lots of moving parts. The other thing is, does DG really want to elaborate on “The Plan” in public so that all the other teams will can strategize around it? Do we really need to know the details and what am I missing?
Ed says: Larry, we’ve talked about this a lot. No general manager is going to sit in front of the media and lay out a step-by-step plan that telegraphs his moves. Plus, as you indicate, there are 31 other teams who can force you to adjust whatever your ideal plan might be. As Gettleman has said, the plan is to keep building, to keep trying to get better, keep trying to get out from under some bad contracts, find a quarterback of the future and try to set the Giants up for a run of sustained success. Can Gettleman do that? We will all find out together.
John McGruther asks: There is often talk over here in Britain about the future possibility of a British NFL team being set up. There would be some practical difficulties, but putting those aside for a moment, what are your thoughts about that?
Ed says: Hate the idea. Hate it, hate it, hate it, hate. I know, though, the NFL will probably make it happen sooner or later. All of those “practical difficulties” you mention make it a really bad idea.
How is it fair to the team that gets placed over there to have to make trip after trip after trip overseas to play preseason, regular season and maybe postseason games? What about the teams going over to Britain to play? You can’t give them all bye weeks after that trip. I think you’re messing with the integrity of the sport and hurting the quality of the product. Still, money wins so I think eventually it happens.
Matt Sanders asks: Since Gettleman is friends with the Bills GM would you offer our 17th pick, a fourth and fifth rounder for the ninth pick in the draft. That would give the Giants the 6th and 9th pick. Would you do it early like the Jets did so know one jumps in front of us. Should be able to get a pass rusher at 6 and quarterback at 9 and still have plenty of picks.
Ed says: Matt, we’ve talked about this scenario a little bit. GMs don’t make deals because they are friends, although professional relationships help deals get done. Would I do something like that? Sure, if I really felt like there was a player (quarterback or otherwise) I felt was a difference-maker I was absolutely convinced I had to have. As for when you do this, you don’t make this move preemptively. In other words, not until draft day when the Bills are on the clock and you know exactly who is on the board. The last thing you want to do is give up assets to move up expecting a certain player to be available and wind up with that guy not being there.
— Remember to come back for Part 2 of the mailbag on Sunday.