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‘Valentine’s Views:’ Tua Tagovailoa’s hip could swing draft in a great direction for Giants

Why you should be rooting for his Combine medical evaluation to go well

Alabama v Mississippi State
Tua Tagovailoa
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The NFL Combine begins in a few days, and yours truly is hopping on a plane Monday to get there. Before that happens, though, a few thoughts for a Sunday in late February.

No. 4 pick

Among Giants fans and media alike, there is a ton of chatter that GM Dave Gettleman should at least strongly consider doing something he has never done in seven drafts — five with the Carolina Panthers and now two with the Giants. That, of course, is the idea of trading down a few spots from the No. 4 overall pick to acquire more draft assets.

It’s a nice. It’s one I support if the opportunity is right — I have long said trading down and getting more swings at the plate can be better than trading up because then your misses don’t hurt as much.

Still, there is a problem the whole “Gettleman absolutely has to trade down” theory. The Giants have the fourth pick, not the second. They are actually at the mercy of the Washington Redskins with the second pick and the Detroit Lions with the No. 3 pick.

If you follow mock drafts, especially ones where trades are allowed, you are beginning to see mocks where the Miami Dolphins trade all the way up to No. 2 with the Redskins to get Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. There are some in league circles who think that the Redskins and Dolphins already have a deal in place with Washington getting picks Nos. 5 and 18 from Miami if Tagovailoa’s medicals check out well at the Combine following his hip surgery.

Even if the Redskins don’t move the No. 2 pick, the Detroit Lions have already posted their “Open for Business” sign with GM Bob Quinn saying recently that the team is “open to any trades” with teams coming after the No. 3 pick.

You know what that means? It means that if the Redskins and Lions are both willing to move down the board it is almost a lock that if Tagavailoa looks healthy enough at the Combine two quarterbacks will come off the board before the Giants pick at No. 2.

And that would be a fantastic development for the Giants.

It would mean the Giants could still trade down if a team like the LA Chargers (sixth overall pick) wants to come up and get Justin Herbert, certainly.

If they sat at No. 4, though, with two quarterbacks off the board, this is the menu the Giants could be ordering from if they stayed at No. 4:

  1. Any offensive lineman in the draft whom they desired.
  2. Three of the four best defensive players in the draft, with those being Ohio State edge Chase Young, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah and Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons.
  3. Any wide receiver in the class, if that happened to be the direction they wanted to go.

So, if it’s me making the pick for the Giants I’m rooting for Tagovailoa to pass his medical exams with flying colors, and then practically begging either the Lions or Redskins to move down so the Dolphins or someone else can draft Tagovailoa.

CBA: Agreement or disagreement?

I won’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of the current negotiations between owners and players for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. I just know that whatever is going on it certainly doesn’t pass the smell test.

The owners made a big to-do on Thursday about having reached an agreement with the Players Association that it was willing to support and send to the players for approval. Then the Players Association, which had been involved in negotiating that deal, voted against recommending that deal to its full membership.

Huh? Why would the owners do that? And why does it now seem like players will get to vote next week on a proposal its leadership does not support?

It seems both odd to me and apparent that players are wildly split on a proposal that includes a 17-game regular season as its centerpiece.

Another example of wasted draft capital

Why have the Giants not been able to shed their losing ways for most of the past eight years? The root of the problem, bluntly, is that for a long while they did not draft well enough. Whether Dave Gettleman has begun to correct that isn’t what we’re arguing about in this particular instance.

What I wanted to point out is something that grabbed my attention recently. The NFL builds what are called “Proven Performance Escalators” into rookie contracts that can kick in after a player’s third season, boosting their salary. The escalators apply to players drafted in Round 3 or later.

Over The Cap defines the escalator this way:

The PPE is a fourth-year salary escalator that can be earned by participating in either 35% of a team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or in 35% of all offensive or defensive snaps over his entire first three years. Players eligible for the PPE will see their fourth year base salary escalate to the lowest restricted free agent (RFA) tender for that season.

OTC estimates that 42 players drafted in 2017 will benefit from that escalator in 2020. Not a single one of them are Giants.

In that 2017 draft the Giants took quarterback Davis Webb in Round 3, running back Wayne Gallman in Round 4, defensive end Avery Moss in Round 5 and traded up to select offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty in Round 6.

You simply can’t build a winner if you don’t get some help from players at each level of your draft classes. This is simply an example of another miss.