New GM Joe Schoen had his work cut out for him during the offseason to get the New York Giants steered into a new direction. Schoen inherited a situation where the team was pressed up against the cap and starved for upgrades all over the roster. According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, Schoen had an excellent first offseason. Barnwell placed the Giants No. 6 in his ranking of the NFL’s best offseasons.
Barnwell applauded the route Schoen took to address critical areas of the team during free agency. Bringing in Mark Glowinski, Jon Feliciano, and Max Garcia to help rebuild an offensive line that had severe depth issues a season ago. There was also positive reception for bringing in Tyrod Taylor to back up oft-injured Daniel Jones.
As for the draft, Barnwell applauded the team for finally focusing on positional value. After years of former GM Dave Gettleman’s ignoring value and spending premium draft capital on less important positions, Schoen nailed the value chart. Coming away with pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux at No. 5 and offensive tackle Evan Neal at No. 7. Then trading down twice in the second round and utilizing another pick on another premium position to select wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson.
Barnwell pointed out that while the Giants had a good offseason there was still room for improvement. Getting nothing in return for cornerback James Bradberry is something Barnwell was particularly critical of.
Barnwell was also critical of the player the Giants ended up coming away with in the second round.
“Robinson plays a critical position, but it was curious to see them add a player who was regarded as a mid-round selection and referred to as more of a gadget weapon when they already have one of those on the roster in Kadarius Toney. There were rumors they might be interested in trading Toney or Saquon Barkley, which would make life harder for Jones in a make-or-break season.”
Schoen said when they drafted Robinson that the Giants had a “clear vision” for how they wanted to use him. Throughout OTAs you can see the Giants developing a quick, short passing game in which Robinson should be moved around the formation and play a big role.
Barnwell makes an argument that the Giants could have moved in a different direction in regards to the draft.
“Neal was profiled as a franchise left tackle prospect, but after Andrew Thomas took a step forward in his second season, Neal could end up playing right tackle instead. Teams need two great tackles in the modern NFL, but I wonder if the Giants could have drafted their pick of the class’ wideouts and then used the Robinson selection to address the offensive line.”
It’s hard, though to fault the Giants for taking a player at No. 7 who filled a position of need and was getting No. 1 overall consideration, then acquiring more assets and getting the guy they wanted in the second round.
What’s next? Barnwell says:
“Without much cap space, the Giants are going to sign their draft class and try to make it to training camp without any serious injuries. There’s a chance they could trade someone such as Barkley or Leonard Williams, but those moves are more likely to happen during the season.”
Overall, Schoen and the Giants achieved a lot given the limited resources available. Being able to come away with foundational pieces on each side of the trenches while making inroads toward long-term cap health is a step in the right direction.