If you have been reading Big Blue View for a while you know that when I do "Five Questions" with a blogger from the upcoming opponent for the New York Giants my favorite question is to ask which Giants player the blogger would like to put in his team's lineup. Well, I can't do that this week. There is, however, a really good reason.
The Giants host the San Francisco 49ers this week and Niners Nation head honcho David Fucillo, known as "Fooch" around SB Nation country, has asked us to expand on that topic this week. "Fooch" has given us two Giants players he would like to have on the 49ers, one offensive and one defensive player. Below that, you will find my two choices for 49ers players who would like nice in Giants' blue.
Giants to 49ers
The easy call would be to go with Odell Beckham Jr., and be done with it. But one of the many issues facing Colin Kaepernick is the right side of his offensive line. Marcus Martin (C), Jordan Devey (RG) and (Erik Pears (RT) are struggling as a unit through four weeks. Pears has had some improvements here and there, but as a whole, the group is not good right now. And so, I want Geoff Schwartz. He's not flashy like OBJ, but he would be a significant improvement to the right side of the 49ers offensive line. They desperately need it.
Valentine's View: Wrong, wrong, WRONG! Schwartz is a terrific player and his +5.6 Pro Football Focus grade right now is the best among Giants' offensive linemen. If you are taking a single offensive lineman from the Giant I think you go, in order, Justin Pugh (who can play four spots), C, Weston Richburg, LT Ereck Flowers and then Schwartz. Largely because of age and upside, not because of what they can do right now.
Let's go with some help in the secondary. Prince Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are both looking very solid in coverage. DRC has the better PFF grade, Amukamara has more picks. Since Amukamara is three years younger, I'll roll him out there in the 49ers defense. There are some other options on this defensive unit, but I'll take my chances with Prince. I think he offers the most upside of this Giants defense, both now and into the future.
Valentine's View: An excellent choice. Lots of teams would love to have Prince, and it's one of the reasons he is heading for a hefty free-agent pay day this offseason.
49ers to Giants
This one is a no-brainer for me. It has to be tight end Vernon Davis. I know Davis is 31 and not the dominant force he used to be. And I know I'm passing up on four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley. I am. however, looking at the fact that Flowers is at one tackle and Will Beatty will soon return to play the other one. And, yes, I understand that Steley is better than either of them. Then I'm looking at the fact that Larry Donnell has been disappointing. He's regressed from being a weapon early in 2014 to being just a guy playing tight end at this point. Even in decline, Davis could make a difference for the Giants in the middle of the field. Especially with Victor Cruz still on the shelf.
Fooch's View: I think this says as much about league perceptions regarding Vernon. I think the biggest issue with Davis is injuries. He is getting older and the wear and tear seems to be impacting him. I think he is still a very capable blocker, so that would be a value for the Giants.
Another no-brainer. I know linebacker Navarro Bowman missed all of last season with a knee injury, but he is still only 27 and has been named All-Pro in three of his four full seasons. With apologies to Jon Beason, Uani 'Unga and every other Giants linebacker not named Devon Kennard, I want this guy.
Fooch's View: I can't fault you on this one. Bowman is still a step slow from his 2011, 2012, 2013 performances, but he remains a force at inside linebacker. He is an upgrade for the Giants.