Nothing stops the mail, not even an ocean-side vacation. Which is how Mrs. Big Blue View and I spent the week. Still, I squeezed in time to answer some questions. So, let’s open the Big Blue View Mailbag and get to it.
Greg DiDonato asks: I’ve read multiple mocks and they mostly have us taking WR (with occasional CB) in Round 1. There is word there will be a run on WR in the 20s. Of the top WR available (Q. Johnston, Addison, Smith-Njigba, Hyatt, Flowers) who would you prefer to drop to Giants at 25? If you can give some Intel on who best would complement our WR group.
Ed says: Greg, I’m a huge Zay Flowers fan despite the 29-inch arms and the idea that he and Wan’Dale Robinson are similar, at least size-wise. I’ve come to appreciate what Jalin Hyatt’s speed brings, and his potential as he becomes a better route runner. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is probably the best route runner, and I think Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka would appreciate that. Addison is similar to Smith-Njigba. Quentin Johnston is the big body who would give the Giants something physically different.
I’m pretty sure Hyatt will be there at 25. The others? Not sure about that. I understand the concern about Johnston being a “body catcher” and that not allowing him to fully use his size and strength, but if he somehow falls to 25 I would have a really hard time letting him get to No. 26.
Chris Chianese asks: Ed, it seems like the NYG had a great deal of interest in Jaxon Smith-Njigba at Ohio State’s pro day. It will probably take a trade up 10-15 spots to get him. What kind of a deal would it take for that to happen? What are the chances of the NYG doing something like that?
Ed says: Chris, even if the Giants want Smith-Njigba I don’t think they are going to try and move up into the top half of the draft to get that done. By the traditional Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, that would cost the Giants a second-round pick, and in my view that’s too rich. Here are four trade charts with differing values.
I think a run on wide receivers could begin around No. 20 with the Seattle Seahawks in that spot, the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 21 and the Baltimore Ravens at No. 22 all possibly interested in a receiver. Maybe a move to No. 19 (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) costs a third-round pick.
I would say there is a chance. The question the Giants have to answer is do they believe they can get a potential No. 1 wide receiver by making that move, or can they sit tight, get a similar player at 25 or later, and keep that pick for something else.
John Foti asks: I agree with you that the Giants two biggest needs are cornerback and center. It’s time the Giants draft a legit center rather that continue trying to convert someone to center. I believe that the Giants want and hope to get a corner that they like picking at 25, more so than a receiver they might like.
That puts us in Round 2 at the 57th pick. If Schmitz or Tippmann are available I think you have to make that pick at 57 since I think they don’t last until the third round. Do you agree? Also, how long do you think they can realistically wait in this draft if they want one of the top 3 or 4 centers?
Ed says: John, the more I have studied the more I believe the Giants should not draft a center at No. 25. Now, if they are sold on one guy and want to be sure they get him I would certainly understand it.
I believe, though, that there will be better value at defensive back, interior defensive line, wide receiver and maybe even off-ball linebacker if you really want to go down that road. I also think there are a lot of starting-caliber centers in this class.
John Michael Schmitz is the consensus No. 1 center, but I’m not sure he’s my favorite. There are other centers with better movement skills, and I’m not sure about using the 25th pick on him.
I’m a big Joe Tippmann fan, but he’s definitely better on the move and has a couple of technical issues to clean up working in tight quarters. Are those movement skills what the Giants are looking for?
When I watch Luke Wypler I see a player who may not have one dominant trait but who is probably going to start in the NFL for a long, long time.
In the right circumstances, I think Steve Avila, Ricky Stromberg and Olusegun Oluwatimi are all starting-caliber centers, as well.
33rd Team, which I respect because of all of the former NFL people who write and work there, has Tippmann, Oluwatimi, Wypler and Stromberg as the top four centers in the class.
In my view, Day 2 is probably the place to go and get the center you want. Now, does that mean you sit at 57 and wait? No. The Giants have 10 picks. I think the sweet spot for using some of those extra picks to move up and get what you want is on Day 2. Remember, the Giants manipulated the board on Day 2 last year to get Wan’Dale Robinson. I would not be surprised to see something similar this time around.
Julian Roberts asks: After rosters are set, can other teams sign any of the guys on the practice squad? What are the rules for protecting those players?
Ed says: Julian, yes, teams can sign a player on another team’s practice squad to their 52-man active roster. There are no protections. During COVID teams were allowed to protect four players each week on their practice squad because there was always the possibility last-minute moves would need to be made. Those protections no longer exist. Practice squad to active roster is a promotion, obviously, and a team can’t stop a player from accepting an offer. Now, the player can say no. Linebacker Jarrad Davis said no to the Giants for several weeks last season before finally changing his mind and joining them late in the year.
Jason Robbins asks: I read your simulated draft and want to ask about what you wrote for the first round pick. You said you would only trade up for a CB or WR. However, I just think that isn’t specific enough. I think their draft board has to take into consideration what they did in free agency. To me, that means I agree 100% on trading up for the CB that the Giants think is worthy. It means staying out or trading back for an 1st round worthy center. But, I only trade up or draft a WR in the 1st if that receiver provides something we don’t have inline of the WR’s we’ve signed. For me, that is Quentin Johnston.
In a later round, maybe it’s different. But, I think we have two glaring holes in CB and C. So unless we are adding that size which we haven’t had in a good WR since Burress, that’s where we need to go.
Ed says: Jason, I phrased it vaguely because I don’t know which cornerback or wide receiver the Giants would make that move for. The whole ‘Quentin Johnston because he’s big’ thing makes sense, but I honestly don’t know if Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen care about that. Schoen says they don’t. Daboll’s history would indicate that to be true. They say all they care about is whether or not a guy can get open.
The same is true at cornerback. Maybe there is one they love and should that player fall to No. 21 or 22 they might move for him. Maybe it’s Devon Witherspoon. Maybe it’s Joey Porter. I don’t know.
Matt Smith asks: Regarding Barkley - obviously everyone in the Schoen front office is better equipped to assess than me, but I can’t figure out why Saquan at 3 yrs@ $30m, with 20 guaranteed wouldn’t get the job done. They could get out after 2 yrs with only the signing bonus prorated into the third year. Compare that to Miles Sanders and it’s a better contract comparatively from the guaranteed money aspect. He and his agent have to reassess the positional value that is placed on running backs. I would bet that the 20 guaranteed is very close to the rumored initial contract.
Do you agree with any of the above?
Also, beginning to see the negative press start on potential of holdout/etc. I just don’t see Saquon doing that, do you? He is such a good young man and I hope the press stays positive on him.
Ed says: Matt, that won’t get the job done if it’s an offer that Saquon Barkley and his reps won’t take. Remember, they turned down a multi-year offer reported to be worth $12.5 million during the bye week last season, and every indication I have gotten is that neither side has budged in any significant way since.
GM Joe Schoen indicated at the owner’s meetings that there is no current offer on the table.
“There’s no outstanding offer right now,” Schoen said. “Once we put the franchise tag on him, we stepped back. We knew that throughout the negotiation that if there was a time that we can’t come to an agreement, we’re going to go to the franchise tag. And that’s what we did.
“Essentially when you’re building a team, and I’ll say this to everybody, there’s 53 players. You can’t look at everybody in a silo. As you’re going through negotiations and you can’t come to an agreement on what the value of a player is, then you have to shift to plan B. And we knew we had the franchise tag as a tool. And we’ll utilize that - see if anything happens down the road.”
Schoen is clear in that statement that Barkley and his reps value the player one way, and the team values him another way. So, that $12.5 million annually is off the table and there is no current offer. Nor are there any current negotiations. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants looked at the market, looked at what Miles Sanders got, and eventually came back with something like the three-year, $30 million deal you suggest.
Will Barkley hold out? He hasn’t signed the tag and thus doesn’t technically have a contract. I wouldn’t be shocked at all if he skips at least the early portion of the voluntary workouts. If you want to call that a holdout that’s up to you. I won’t call it a holdout until/unless he skips a mandatory mini-camp.
Alan King asks: Is Brederson as the Giants starting center a possibility? They seem to like him.
Ed says: Alan, as of today with the current players the Giants have it is absolutely possible that Ben Bredeson would be the starting center. It could be Shane Lemieux, Jack Anderson or Bredeson. All three are capable of playing center and, yes, the Giants like Bredeson. They should — he played well last year.
As Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen have pointed out, though, there is more than five months before the Giants have to play a game. The draft is coming up. More veterans will be cut by their teams this summer in salary cap moves. Players will be available at the end of the preseason. I will be surprised if the Giants don’t draft a center. I would guess they will pounce if a player they like becomes available, or if someone currently available is willing to play for a price the Giants are willing and able to pay.
I doubt the starting center is on the roster yet, but we’ll see.
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