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Big Blue View mailbag, 3/14: Aaron Wellman ... and lots of draft scenarios

The mail’s here!

It’s a weird time in America with COVID-19 causing fear, confusion and shutting down most of the sports world. What we can do here at Big Blue View is continue to cover the New York Giants and the NFL, and bring as much normalcy to your world as possible.

With that in mind, it’s Saturday. Which means it’s Big Blue View Mailbag time. So, let’s open it up and see what questions you sent in this week.

Joseph Marrongelle asks: The loss of the strength coach, Aaron Wellman, puts the Giants in an awkward position at stage of coming season. Could the Giants hold him to his contract or hold him to contract until he locates a replacement? You stated “can’t fault a guy for returning home” but what about the respect of adhering to the terms of a contract? Similar to assistant coaches moving to other teams, the Giants could have refused permission for Indiana to interview him. Two years ago Minnesota refused permission for Stefanik to interview with Giants. What’s the difference?

Ed says: C’mon, Joseph, people leave jobs for what they consider to be better opportunities (professionally or personally) all the time. Hold him until he finds his own replacement? You know and I know it doesn’t work that way. Employees aren’t responsible for finding their own replacements. NFL teams can refuse permission for a coach to interview with another NFL team for a job that is a lateral move. Wellman just took the same title with Indiana that he had with the Giants, so that tells you the situations aren’t treated the same.

Wellman gave the Giants four years of good work. He had an opportunity to go home and he took it. It was a surprise and the timing isn’t ideal, but the guy made a decision he felt was the best one for his family. Good for him.

David Schwartz asks: Here we are again drafting in the Top 10. Gettleman is potentially facing his pick of the “big 4” OTs if he stays put, barring a move up from another team. He could possibly move back a bit and get more picks while still possibly being able to get one of the “big 4.” Or he could still move in another direction, selecting what the board suggests is Best Player Available. While you can’t have a roster full of All-Pros/Pro-Bowlers, what are the positions you consider it acceptable to have less than the best?

Ed says: David, I’m not sure what you mean exactly by “less than the best.” Let’s be serious. No team has ever had the best player in the league at every position. You use your resources to get the best players you can at every position. You can’t pay top of the market prices for everything in free agency, and you can only draft one player at a time. You get the best quarterback you can, surround him with the best players you can and go from there. You never fill all your needs or have a “perfect” roster.

If you want to talk about “positional value,” quarterback, offensive line, pass rushers, pass defenders and receivers are the positions I believe have the biggest impact. Chris also offered his take on positional value recently. Here’s his chart, and it aligns pretty well with the way I think:

Roscoe Gargle asks: The Gmen have a golden chance in this draft to trade down, not just once, but twice, and get a massive haul in a strong draft. Let’s even assume Miami trades up with Detroit with one of their extra first round picks and takes Tua. Giants then could trade down with the Chargers at six, who would take Herbert or Love. Gmen could then trade down again with the Panthers, Raiders, or Colts for the QB still available of those two, and very likely still get a player very high on their board. The advantage to this scenario is that four players coming off the board before the Gmen would be QBs, so they would still get, at worst, one of the top nine non-QB players. Assuming they go this route, what type of draft haul could they come away with?

Ed says: Roscoe, I’m sorry but trying to follow all of that just makes my head hurt. I don’t mean to be flippant, I just can’t figure out every scenario and who might do what with which pick. Let me say this — more bites of the apple are better than less. On the podcast this week Dan Hatman of the Scouting Academy called Day 2 the “sweet spot” in this draft. If I can get more picks in the top 100 while staying in the top 10, maybe top 12, I’m doing it. It’s going to take more than one good player to upgrade the Giants.

By the way, do you honestly expect Dave Gettleman to trade down TWICE in Round 1? If he actually did that I’d wonder if his body had been inhabited by some weird poltergeist.

CTscan asks: Now that Yannick Ngakoue is likely to be tagged Aand traded, our best option in free agency for a pass rush will likely cost a first rounder. I’ve read columns both supporting and dismissing our pulling the trigger on such a trade. If it Is in the realm of possibility though, isn’t there a better option at that price? What would it take to move down two spots and trade with the Redskins? Chase Young would be on a rookie contract and has a much higher ceiling then Ngakoue. I know it is the NFC East, but might the Redskins take number four and next year’s first for Chase Young? If they were game, would you be up for it?

Ed says: CT, I know you mean trade UP two spots to Washington’s pick at No. 2. No, the Redskins are not going to take that trade. They’re not handing the Giants Chase Young. And no, I’m not even going to think about offering it. The Giants need more players and more swings in the draft. I’m not giving up a first-round pick. No chance. Giants fans have got to get over this “Chase Young or bust” attitude that all is lost and the draft is already a failure because they won’t be able to get Young.

The guy is not already in the Hall of Fame. There are other top-tier impact prospects in this draft. Let it go already. I’m much more inclined to swap the No. 4 pick and a mid-round asset this year or next to Jacksonville for the No. 9 overall pick and Ngakoue, or trade down from No. 4 with someone else, accumulate some assets and get as many good players as possible.

It would be nice, but the world isn’t going to end if the Giants don’t land that one dominant pass rusher this offseason. Odds are, the way things appear to be shaping up they probably aren’t going to.

Steve Piemonte asks: Let’s assume the Giants are able to land Jack Conklin in free agency and they also move back a little in the draft (say they trade their 1st and 3rd round picks to the Chargers for their 1st, 2nd and 5th round picks). Do you think it would be overkill if they drafted one of the top tackles in the first round, then an edge or an outside linebacker with one second round pick followed by a center with the other pick in the second round? It would be the first time in a long time I think they could absorb an injury on the offensive line but do you think it would be overkill?

Ed says: Man, Steve, more scenarios that make my head hurt. No, I don’t think that in the right scenario it would be overkill to sign Conklin AND draft an offensive tackle in the first round. The only way I’m doing that, though, is if I manage a trade down that nets me a second first-round pick. I have said over and over that if the Giants sign Conklin I would wait until Day 2 to grab a left tackle of the future. Nate Solder is owed a lot of money and he isn’t going anywhere in 2020. If you sign Conklin, use that first pick to upgrade the defense.

As for your other sort of “paint by numbers” scenarios — take an edge with this pick and a center with that pick, etc. — I just can’t do that. I also say this every year — you just cannot pigeon-hole yourself into this “I’m taking position A at No. 4, position B at No. 36, position C at No. 99,’ etc. The draft simply doesn’t work that way, and if you try to make it work that way you make mistakes because you end up leaving much better players on the board. That ends up hurting you in the long run.

You enter the draft with an idea of what positions you would like to address. You look for the best marriage of need and value. If you need a center and no center available when you pick in Round 2 has a grade worthy of the pick, YOU DON’T PICK A CENTER. You pick a better player at another position you believe will help you and wait until later when the value on your board meets what you perceive as a need.