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Big Blue View mailbag: 2021 NFL Draft edition

The mail’s here!

It has been an interesting and unusual first two days of the NFL Draft for the New York Giants. Fans have questions. I hope I have answers. Let’s open the Big Blue View Mailbag and see.

Jim Cardamone asks: As an NYG Season Ticket holder living in the Philadelphia suburbs I can’t express how excited I was to see Micah Parsons available to Big Blue at 11. I agree that we got a good package to move back with the Chicago trade. But, I am curious about your thoughts on the pick of WR when we saw PHL leapfrog NYG and take Devonta Smith and then we knew we would be leaving Parsons for DAL. And then WAS picks a LB before we finally get our Rd. 1 pick. Looking at how the other teams in the NFC East drafted, why would we bring in yet another WR and not take a generational LB in Parsons or an offensive lineman to keep Jones safe from players like Micah Parsons. Appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

Ed says: Jim, I said this last week and I will say it again. Can we please stop tossing around the words “generational” or “gold jacket guy.” Just because a certain player is thought to be the best in any given draft class at his position doesn’t make him “generational.”

Now, with that said, prior to the draft I had expressed the opinion that I thought Parsons was the best defensive player in the draft. The Panthers (Jaycee Horn) and Broncos (Patrick Surtain) disagreed, and they know far more than I ever will.

The Giants attended Parsons’ pro day. They have two coaches on their staff (Sean Spencer and Pat Flaherty) who worked with Parsons at Penn State. They were well positioned to know everything they needed to know about his talent, his athleticism, his personality and his off-the-field character concerns. They chose to go in another direction. Again, they have way more information and first-hand knowledge than I could ever possibly have. They apparently weren’t sold.

A word of what I hope will be taken as advice for all Giants fans. Life will be better if you stop worrying about ‘the Cowboys did this, the Eagles did that, the Football Team did this other thing.’ Who really cares?

Did the Giants make a move with their trade down that should make them better? Absolutely. Toney is a tremendous talent. Raw, but outstanding with the ball in his hands. Let’s see if the Giants can develop him, and use his skillset properly. The trade down set them up for an excellent opportunity in a 2022 draft expected to be a talent-rich one.

As for wide receiver, Dave Gettleman explained it. The Giants’ commitment was to get play-makers for Daniel Jones. Before selecting Toney, they obviously felt like they hadn’t finished the job. Now, they feel like they have.

Douglas Mollin asks: Kudos to Getty, Judge and the organization for doing something that hasn’t been done by the Giants in the modern era.

You can quibble if you want about the particulars of the trade, or even picking Toney versus someone else, but the concept, the strategy was sound.

And more than the trade itself, it confirms my hopes that the Giants really are moving towards being a modern NFL franchise and breaking away from the George Young constraints that seem to have been stifling the organization.

This very likely does not get done without Judge’s influence. But kudos again to Getty for putting the team ahead of his own job — that first round pick may not turn out to be his to make but it was for the good of the team.

Obviously we all want to see this now translate to winning football, but my own perspective and confidence in the Giant organization has changed dramatically — for the better.

Are you looking at this as the start of a seismic shift with the Giants organization as well? Beyond the particulars of the trade itself?

Ed says: Douglas, I don’t know if I would call it a “seismic shift.” I wouldn’t doubt that Joe Judge spent time plying Gettleman and other Giants’ decision-makers with stories of how moving around, playing chess while others played checkers, if you will — paid long-term dividends for New England. Gettleman is doing what a good GM should do, trying to get what his coach wants. If part of that involved stockpiling picks, I’m all for it.

Also, I do think (and I’m guessing) that Judge has a major say in how things are done now. I think it’s about his vision of where the Giants are going and how to get there. That doesn’t mean he is calling the shots. I do think, though, he is setting the direction.

Bob Donnelly asks: My immediate reaction to round one of this year’s draft is overall happy with the way it worked out, but I can’t help but notice that the Eagles managed to block the Giants from their top 2 receiver targets: Waddle went to Miami with the 6th pick they received in that trade with the Eagles. And then of course they traded with Dallas to snag Smith. This after the shameful tanking of the Washington game.

Though these events are infuriating the may actually serve to put the Giants in far better position for the long run than had they won the division. As you always say, the draft is always a crapshoot. Booms and busts occur every year. Time will tell how much difference there is in the production between Waddle, Smith and Toney, but I do like our chances of adding one or two excellent players (hedging the bet-I doubt We would go 3 for 3) who will contribute for years to come.

Your thoughts?

Ed says: Bob, I’ll say this again. I do not care what the Eagles did. I do not are what the Cowboys did. I do not care what Washington did. If you want to say the Eagles “blocked” the Giants from DeVonta Smith, fine. Say that. I say they did what they thought was best for their football team. Good for them.

The Giants probably would have taken Smith. We’ll never know for certain. as the situation presented itself, the Giants did what they thought was best for their franchise. Will Waddle and Smith be better than Toney? Maybe. Maybe not.

With their trades down in the first two rounds of this draft the Giants have — finally — embraced the forward-thinking of trading back and accumulating picks. That should pay long-term dividends, and that’s what matters.

George Wallace asks: Would you rather have DeVonta Smith or Kadarius Toney and the Bears 2021 1st and 4th?

Ed says: That’s easy. I’ll take Toney and the trade the Giants made for next year’s first- and fourth-round picks every time.

I would have understood taking DeVonta Smith, but I would have done what the Miami Dolphins did and chosen Jaylen Waddle. I’m swinging for the home with Waddle, not the double with Smith. Those picks next year, in a draft that could be flush with talent, will be gold.

I said this on Friday’s ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast. If Toney pans out as a good player, this move is likely the best thing Gettleman has done as Giants GM.

ctscan123 asks: Hi Ed, it’s Friday night right before the second round and I’ve been stewing all day. All week long I just could not figure out how Rashawn Slater would fall to the Giants and when he did I was really excited. even so, when the Giants traded back I thought it was a good move. I was very concerned that the Giants were going to reach for an edge at 11 and so I thought OK, no Slater, but we picked up a nice draft hall and now are in the appropriate range to grab an edge and fill one of our most pressing needs. actually, I was hoping Vera Tucker would be there at 20, but still was feeling good.

Then the hammer fell. Wide receiver. I’m sure the kid is going to be good, but wide receiver. please allow me to list all the mouths that need to be fed. Saquon Barkley drafted partially because of his pass catching acumen, Kenny Golladay , Sterling Shepard Who we were all so excited to have moved back to the slot, Toney who also plays the slot, Evan Engram if we’re not just going to give up on him, Darius Slayton if we’re not just going to give up on him, Ross and Pettis who were possible upside flyers. That’s enough mouths that there is no way everyone is going to eat. That is enough mouths that Slaten’s development could be stalled, that is enough mouths that we will probably never get to see if Ross or Pettis had any upside. That’s a lot of talent and potential talent spending a lot of time on the bench.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s a really good looking group now with Toney and I have no problem with depth, but allow me to make an analogy. Say we are building a hot rod and it’s coming along nicely. It’s in pretty good shape, but our tires are pretty darn threadbare. Some guy comes along and offers us a supercharger which would be nice, but the carburetor we Already have is pretty good and if we buy the blower, we have no cash left for new tires. Those tires aren’t looking so good and we’re taking our lives in our hands if we roll with them. Did I mention that the transmission is also rattling? If we don’t want to spend our money on the tires, then maybe we should address that because assuming the tires hold, we’re not going far without a transmission. Ed, we bought the supercharger in the first round. Ed, Why did we buy the supercharger when our tires are threadbare and the transmission is rattling?

Ed says: Down off that ledge, CT! Please. I’m going to address this a little bit backwards. Why worry about John Ross and Dante Pettis? They’re depth signings. Bit players. No one on the Giants sideline is going to be worrying “oh my God, we didn’t get the ball to John Ross or Dante Pettis.” That’s just silly.

You were focused on Slater and Vera-Tucker. You probably weren’t the only one. Listen, I wouldn’t have complained had the Giants addressed the offensive line early. I think, though, the reality of the situation is the Giants feel better about the players they have on the line and how well they will develop than many in the fan base do.

Dave Gettleman said Friday night that the Giants had offensive linemen on their list of possible selections in both the second and third rounds, but that the players they were considering were gone when it was their turn to pick. You never want to pick a position simply because you feel cornered into doing so.

As for the “supercharger,” I said on Friday that the Giants felt adding play-makers on offense was a major offseason priority. They didn’t feel like they had finished the job until grabbing Kadarius Toney. I had one talent evaluator tell me the only better play-making receiver in this draft class was Jaylen Waddle.