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Giants-related ‘things I think’ as we head into summer

Offensive tackles, best Giants team, more

San Francisco 49ers v New York Jets
Mekhi Becton
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

We are in the dead period of the calendar year for the NFL. Still, we never stop thinking about the New York Giants here at Big Blue View. Here are some ‘things I think’ on this Father’s Day.

Re-visiting Mekhi Becton

When the New York Giants had the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and the entire football world knew they would select an offensive tackle. At the time, yours truly was a proponent of selecting massive Louisville left tackle Mekhi Becton.

In my final mock draft before the real deal, I chose Becton instead of Andrew Thomas, Tristan Wirfs and Jedrick Wills. I said at the time I was “pretty sure” the Giants weren’t going to select Becton, especially after a flagged urine sample, but I went my way and made him the pick.

Here is part of what I wrote:

I am fully aware, of course, that Becton is probably the riskiest of what is considered the Big 4 offensive tackles ...

went a little bit rogue here, anyway. If I am putting myself in GM Dave Gettleman’s shoes, where I could well be forced into retirement if I don’t help put together a roster than wins more than four or five games, I’m going down swinging for the fences.

I don’t know if Becton is the best offensive tackle in this class. Nick Falato, Chris Pflum, Matt Williamson and many, many others all have their opinions. I know this — he’s my favorite. Potential gets GMs fired, but what I know is that the 6-foot-7, 364-pound Becton has the highest ceiling of any tackle in this class. If there is a Hall of Fame offensive lineman in this draft class, odds are he is it.

I’m going for broke. The Giants have won 12 games in three years. Solid is for later. Drafting scared is for someone else. Safe is for the next GM. The Giants will probably take Jedrick Wills of Alabama, and that would be just fine. So would Tristan Wirfs or Andrew Thomas. I’m going for the home run, though, whatever was in Becton’s pee.

I’m going for a guy who could be a star.

Becton looked like a star at times in his rookie season for the New York Jets. There were warning signs, though. He missed two games with injuries and was limited in others. He ended up playing only 70 percent of the Jets’ offensive snaps. Four of the seven sacks he surrendered came in the final five games he played.

Now, we know from the New York Post that Becton’s weight ballooned to 380 pounds during the season, drawing discipline from the Jets.

I bring this up to make a point about Andrew Thomas. No, Thomas was not as good as fellow rookie tackles Becton, Tristan Wirfs and Jedrick Wills a season ago. That does not mean he will be the worst of the bunch and that the Giants made a mistake. We don’t know that yet.

Let’s see where things are in a couple of years. By the end of their rookie contracts we should know exactly what these players are, and which teams got it right in sorting out last year’s highly-touted offensive tackle class.

Best Giants team of Super Bowl era

CBS Sports believes the 1986 Giants team that beat the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl is the best Giants’ team of the Super Bowl era:

New York Giants: 1986*
17-2 overall record
Won franchise's first Super Bowl
Outscored opponents 105-23 in the postseason

After dropping their season-opener in Dallas, the Giants would lose just one more game during the rest of the '86 season. In the playoffs, the Giants walloped Joe Montana and the 49ers, 49-3, before shutting out Washington in the NFC Championship Game. In Super Bowl XXI, New York trailed 10-9 at intermission before outscoring the Broncos 30-10 in the second half en route to a 39-20 victory. Game MVP Phil Simms enjoyed an historic outing, completing a record 88% of his pass attempts for 268 yards and three touchdowns. He completed all 10 of his attempts in the second half while throwing touchdown passes to Mark Bavaro and Phil McConkey.

The Giants' dominant defense, a unit that included four Pro Bowlers in defensive ends Jim Burt, Leonard Marshall, Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor (that year's Defensive Player of the Year) intercepted John Elway three times. New York's defense also came up with a pivotal goal-line stand during the first half that included Taylor's crucial tackle of Elway just short of the goal line. The Broncos also had no answers as it related to stopping Giants linebacker Carl Banks, who recorded 10 tackles that included four behind the line of scrimmage.

I’m old enough to remember that team well — I was 26 at the time. It was a great, historic team and the best Super Bowl-winning team in franchise history.

I can’t help but think, though, that the 2008 team — pre-Plaxico Burress gun incident — is the best Giants team I have ever watched. That team was ranked No. 3 in the league in offense, No. 5 on defense and featured an Eli Manning playing outstanding football. That team was 11-1 before things were blown apart. I will always wonder how different Giants history might have been if the Burress incident never happened.

A silly trade idea

Chris Roling of Bleacher Report has proposed that the Giants should trade for New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro who did mot report to New England’s mandatory mini-camp as he seeks a new contract.

The New York Giants went all-in on insulating Daniel Jones with weaponry like Kenny Golladay this offseason, but it couldn’t hurt to keep an eye out for defensive upgrades, too.

One of those could be Gilmore of the Patriots, who hasn’t reported to mandatory minicamp in New England following an offseason of speculation that the team could move him.

Even after a rocky season last year, Gilmore only let up a 57.1 completion percentage on 49 targets, so the Giants shouldn’t be too gun shy about throwing out an offer for the veteran even if it means having to work out an extension right after a trade.

Gilmore, along with James Bradberry and others, would make for a rather formidable secondary as the Giants try to straddle that gap between the long-term and winning now.

Roling proposes sending a 2022 third-round pick to the Patriots for Gilmore.

This is silliness.

No, that’s not an entirely unreasonable price and the Giants do have two third-round picks in 2022. Yes, Adoree’ Jackson could play in the slot. The Giants, though, are paying him $13 million annually because of what they believe he can do on the outside. They have James Bradberry on the second year of a three-year, $43.5 million deal. They spent a fourth-round pick on Darnay Holmes and a third-round pick this year on Aaron Robinson. Are they supposed to toss those away? That is basically what they would be doing by acquiring Gilmore.

How Patrick Graham is going to get Xavier McKinney, Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers on the field is already a bit of a head-scratcher.

Gilmore has long been an excellent player. He will be 31 this season, though, and showed serious signs of regression last season. He posted the worst Pro Football Focus coverage grade (58.5) of his career, had the worst passer-rating against of his career (96.7) and gave up the highest completion percentage of his career (64.3) last season.

Gilmore, obviously, wants a hefty new deal.

It would not be a good idea for the Giants to trade for him and then give him one.