Ordinarily right about now we’d be talking about what we learned from the New York Giants in their 29-3 loss to the Chicago Bears.
But there isn’t really anything left to say about the 2021 Giants, is there? They’re bad, they somehow manage to keep getting worse, and this season has unfolded like a slow motion 18-week long pile-up made out of slow motion three-hour long car wrecks.
We’re looking ahead to the 2022 off-season, and the Giants probably should be too. It’s basically a given that the Giants will have a new general manager before January is out, and that new GM will definitely have their work cut out for them.
And given the Giants’ current salary cap situation, the 2022 NFL Draft is going to be the future GM’s best avenue for getting a start on fixing this mess.
For most of Sunday afternoon it looked as though the New York Jets would do the impossible and deliver the fourth — or third — overall pick with a stunning upset over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But of course the Jets are the Jets and Tom Brady has a lot of experience beating them, and threw a late touchdown to break both the Jets and Giants’ hearts.
As of this writing, the Giants hold the fourth overall pick with a 4-12 record.
Update: Checking back in after the 4pm games finished up, the Texans got creamed and lost 23-7. The Giants are back to holding the fifth overall pick in the 2022 Draft. The Giants still have some hope of leapfrogging the Texans and Jets, but it would likely involve the Tennesee Titans and (or) Buffalo Bills (respectively) resting players heading into the playoffs.
Looking back on the Giants’ “game” against the Bears it’s laughable that there was ever talk about which scenario — a win or a loss — would be better for the Giants’ draft capital. A loss this week (and I’ll go ahead and assume next week) does still have the Giants in contention to get one of the top four picks and keeps the possibility of adding a “blue chip” talent alive.
The Giants continued losing also keeps their second round pick as high as possible, and that’s suddenly important as well. While the second round lacks the all-important fifth year option, a high second round pick offers access to prospects as talented as a late first round pick.
Right now, the Giants hold the fourth overall pick in the second round, with the way the NFL structures tie breakers moving the Giants above the Texans. That high pick could easily become a key pass rusher or a much-needed interior offensive lineman based on the depth of the positions in this draft. Keeping the Giants’ second round pick as high as possible isn’t nearly valuable as potentially getting one of the first four picks in the whole draft, but it is a very valuable pick in its own right.
In a bit of good news, the Bears’ first round pick is holding steady at eighth overall as well. They are tied with the Washington Football Team at 6-10, but they top the Football Team thanks to their own strength of schedule. Wins next week by Washington and the Minnesota Vikings would ensure that the Giants have two valuable picks inside of the top 10 and another high pick in the second round.
And to expand on the rooting guide just a bit, the a loss by the Dolphins to the Patriots could move the Giants’ second third-round pick to just outside the top 10 of the third round.
We’ll keep an eye on the draft implications throughout the day. But if you’re looking for a silver lining to this dismal season, the Giants’ next GM having as many resources as possible with which to start their rebuild is it.