It is a Tuesday off day for the New York Giants, and since I spend way too many waking hours thinking about the New York Giants it’s time for me share some of what is rattling around between my ears. So, here goes.
Tommy DeVito vs. Tyrod Taylor
I think Tommy DeVito is making me look silly. I watched him in the spring and thought ‘no way he belongs on an NFL roster.’ I figured the Giants would look for an upgrade for the practice squad. Didn’t happen.
What’s happening now? After watching the wobbly, short, off-target throws he made way too many of in the spring and in the early parts of training camp I never saw this coming.
I guess this is why Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll identify talent for a living and I don’t.
Here is a question, though. If Tyrod Taylor is off injured reserve and ready to go Week 14 against the Green Bay Packers, the week after the Giants’ late-season bye, who starts at quarterback?
Before Sunday’s victory over the Washington Commanders, I would have said it was a no-brainer that Taylor had to start. My argument would have been that in an already frustrated locker room Brian Daboll would risk losing player support if he did anything else.
Now? I think that’s open for debate. This Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots will have to factor in. The Patriots are also 3-8, but they are coming off a bye and Bill Belichick has always made life miserable for young quarterbacks. Remember Sam Darnold admitting he was seeing ghosts against New England?
As of now, I think I’m still siding with starting Taylor. His experience, especially with two games remaining against the Philadelphia Eagles, could be invaluable. If DeVito lights it up against the Patriots, though, that feeling could change.
I keep saying this, but can we please end the debate about Kayvon Thibodeaux? I think the young man is a terrific player.
The last 3 players to have 10+ sacks over the first 11 weeks of a season, within their first 2 years in the NFL— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) November 20, 2023
2023 Kayvon Thibodeaux (10.5)
2022 Micah Parsons (10.0)
2018 T.J. Watt (10.0) pic.twitter.com/4qoKUmEsOg
That’s pretty good company for Thibodeaux.
Thibodeaux is the first player on a Wink Martindale coordinated defense to reach double-digit sacks. And he did it with six games remaining. By my research, going back to 1981 when Lawrence Taylor had 9.5 unofficial sacks as a 22-year-old rookie, Thibodeaux is also the youngest Giant to reach double-digit sacks.
So, not a bust. A terrific player who seems to be getting better, which is exactly what you want a 22-year-old to do.
One more thing: I have seen some comments saying that some weeks when Thibodeaux doesn’t make an impact, I’m critical. Then, when he plays well I praise him. That, friends, is the job. To be as objective and analytical as I can. Pointing out that a player had a quiet week doesn’t mean I don’t think highly of the player. On the flip side, when a player I may not be high on performs well I am absolutely going to point that out.
Mocking the mock drafts
Mock drafts this early, roughly five months before the 2024 NFL Draft, are ridiculous. Especially those multi-round ones we all try to do (yes, I’ve messed with a handful) using the simulators. For example, LSU’s Jayden Daniels might be QB3 in the draft class. Still, many of the simulators have him as a third- or fourth-round option.
I have even run simulations the past couple of days that keep insisting USC quarterback Caleb Williams could be available to the Giants at No. 5. Umm, I think the possibility of that actually happening is slim. Unless Williams bombs the pre-draft process and the entire NFL universe can’t stand him.
So, I have to pick on our friends at SB Nation, who gave the Giants Williams at No. 5 in a mock draft this week — without using a simulator.
The first four?
- No. 1 — WR Marvin Harrison Jr. (Chicago Bears)
- No. 2 — OT Olumuyiwa Fashanu (Arizona Cardinals)
- No. 3 — QB Drake Maye (New England Patriots)
- No. 4 — OT Joe Alt (Chicago Bears)
I can’t see it.
Another draft thought
ESPN draft analysts did a Top 10 Round Table discussion that posted on Tuesday [subscriber only]. They use their Football Power Index to project that the Giants still end up with the No. 2 overall pick, and they give the Giants Maye.
That’s not what I wanted to point out. Matt Miller addresses the scenario of what happens if the Giants have the No. 3 pick and both Williams and Maye are gone. He writes:
Some might wonder whether New York would try to move down to pick up assets and just keep Jones. Look, I am always going to advocate for trading back, but in this case, the Giants have to stay in the top three. I see three blue-chip players at positions of need for the Giants — Williams, Maye and Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. New York has to land one of them.
I think, right now, I agree. Is there an argument to be made that taking Harrison would be similar to having taken Barkley at No. 2 back in 2018? Maybe, except here the top quarterbacks are gone. There is also the ‘offensive line over receiver’ argument. Fashanu is considered OT1, and I will admit right now I don’t know enough about him to get into a Harrison vs. Fashanu debate.
I just know this. The Giants have needed a true No. 1 wide receiver ever since trading Odell Beckham Jr. They tried building a passing attack around tight end Darren Waller, and that doesn’t seem to be the answer.
Like Miller, I am a trade back advocate. I think it should be recognized, though, that the Giants don’t just need more players — they need more game-changing players. Harrison looks like he should be that at the NFL level, and it would be hard for me to pass up on that.