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‘Valentine’s Views’: Puzzling prospects, playoff lessons, more

Things I’m thinking about today

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 28 Rutgers at Purdue
Rondale Moore
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images via Getty Images

It’s Championship Sunday in the NFL. Let’s run through a few New York Giants things I’m thinking about as we wait to find out who will play in this year’s Super Bowl.

4 draft prospects who fascinate me

As I have really begun diving into 2021 NFL Draft prospects I have at this point mostly been studying players who could be in consideration for the Giants at No. 11. I am fascinated right now by how the Giants and the rest of the league will see five players who could be of interest to Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge.

Kyle Pitts

If the Giants keep Evan Engram, can you team the 6-foot-6, 246-pound wide receiver/tight end with engram? Could Pitts, who shows surprising ability to handle press coverage at the line of scrimmage, be a Plaxico Burress, Dez Bryant or even a Chase Claypool type if the Giants or another team wanted to play him strictly as a wide receiver?

Gregory Rousseau

Sure, he had 15.5 sacks in 2019, but that is really his only year of college football. I see a guy with all kinds of traits that will make scouts drool, but he’s really a blank canvas who doesn’t flash great instincts or a developed pass rush arsenal. Potential gets GMs fired. Would the Giants take the risk on what Rousseau might become, or would they want more of a sure thing at No. 11?

Kwity Paye

Maybe I’m crazy, but i see a little bit of Justin Tuck when I watch the Michigan defensive end. He’s not a guy who flies around the edge. He wins with power and effort, the latter part making me think of Tuck. I keep seeing Paye connected to the Giants in some mock drafts, but I’m not sure I get it. He’s a pure 4-3 defensive end, and that’s not what the Giants do. I’m sure Patrick Graham could figure out ways to use him, but when I asked emory Hunt about Paye the other day on my podcast, Hunt compared him to Markus Golden. We know Golden didn’t fit what Graham wanted.

Rondale Moore

The Giants need a play-making wide receiver, and I have seen this Purdue Boilermaker in the top 10 of some top 100 draft prospect lists. Simply put, i don’t get it. Moore is 5-9, 180 pounds and he’s only been healthy enough to play in seven games over the past two seasons. Yes, he had an incredible 2018 season. He’s, yes fast and he can return punts and kickoffs. He reminds of Tavon Austin, though. He’s not a No. 1 receiver. if you take a guy like this in the third round, fine. Not at No. 11.

Primary playoff lesson

We are down to the final four teams in the NFL, and Sunday’s Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs matchups should provide a great day of football.

The final four playoff teams — in fact, the playoffs as a whole — provide what by now should be a brutally obvious lesson for the Giants.

The lesson? They need to fix their offense. That is hardly a news flash, but it’s the absolute truth.

Chris wrote about this in discussing Daniel Jeremiah’s selection of Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle for the Giants at No. 11 in his first 2021 mock draft. I’m going to second the notion.

The old saying is that defense wins championships. Maybe. But, these days you’ve got to have a terrific offense to earn that championship opportunity. The four teams still playing are all in the top five in 2020 points scored. Among top 10 scoring teams in 2020, the only one that did not make the playoffs in the Las Vegas Raiders, who were 10th in points.

If you have watched the playoffs, in game after game the team with the noticeably weaker offense in each game always seemed to be playing uphill. You can win games that way sometimes, but you can’t be consistently good unless you can put pressure on opposing teams by scoring points.

Gone Guge

It seems unfortunate that the Giants will likely have to change offensive line coaches again. Knowing his history, though, no one should be surprised that Dave DeGuglielmo already appears to be out the Giants’ door.

His half-season (really less than half) gig with the Giants was DeGuglielmo’s seventh coaching stop since 2012. In that time, the only place he lasted more than a year was when he spent 2014 and 2015 with the New England Patriots.

Published reports have indicated that Joe Judge wanted to keep DeGuglielmo, but a deal couldn’t be reached. Which means, simply, that DeGuglielmo wanted more money than the Giants were willing to pay. That, as i understand it, is the same thing that happened with the Miami Dolphins the previous season.

Guge might be a really good coach. It also appears that he might just overvalue his services.

Playoff picks

I’m taking the Packers to beat the Bucs and the Chiefs to beat the Bills in Sunday’s conference championship games. I usually go by the ‘don’t bet against Tom Brady mantra, but that’s Aaron Rodgers on the other side. And, I’m not betting against Patrick Mahomes.

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