No Saquon Barkley? Here’s A Running Back That Can Bring Back Earth, Wind, And Fire

The New York Giants have the second overall pick in this year’s draft, a lot of people think that they should take Saquon Barkley, and a lot say they should take a quarterback. The fact is, Saquon Barkley may not even be available when the Giants pick at number two.

There are plenty of options throughout this draft that could help the New York Giants running game tremendously, and Derrius Guice is an obvious choice if available in the second round.

The LSU running back had a tremendous 2016 season filling in for injured Leonard Fournette, starting 6 or 12 games and rushing for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns. 2017 was a little different for Guice as he fought through injury, but still managed to start 11 of 12 games and rush for 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Strengths:

Derrius Guice provides exceptional balance, speed, and a violent running style that would have an immediate impact on any NFL team. These attributes compare with those of Marshawn Lynch, and when watching his tape I can see why. He is an aggressive downhill runner that can still make cutbacks and change direction at any moment. He will always fight for an extra yard at the end of every play and never shies away from contact.

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Weaknesses:

Injury is a concern, as well as the number of hits he absorbs. His pass protection and receiving needs improvement but shows the ability to grow in that aspect. There is concern that his running style may prevent him from being an every-down back.

How would he fit in with the Giants?

Many teams in the NFL are deploying backfields with multiple running backs with different running styles and is something the Giants have attempted to do in the past. With the recent signing of veteran Jonathan Stewart and Wayne Gallman coming off of his rookie season that showed promise. The addition of Derrius Guice could provide the versatility that could make this backfield deadly.

Bringing the earth, wind, and fire to the New York Giants backfield could be exactly what they need to be competitive again. Stewart’s power, size and goal line capabilities would be the “earth,” Gallman’s shiftiness would be the “wind,” and Guice’s violence and speed would be the “fire.”

The NFL draft is approaching and the New York Giants can go several different directions. You don’t want to miss out on any BREAKING news! Sign up for FREE here.

“Don’t waste your time on 2017 film because he wasn’t even back up to his top speed until the bowl game. He will be the same player he was in 2016. If you had a grade on him after last year, you should use that.” — LSU assistant coach

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73aKs9kTNKA

New York Yankees Player Preview: Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

The New York Yankees struck gold when Masahiro Tanaka decided to join the Yankees prior to the 2014 season. Tanaka is a great teammate and guy to have in a rotation. Tanaka does have a problem with homers, but always seems to rebound whenever it looks like he is losing it. Hopefully, he will improve this season and will be important to the Yankees in their chase for 28.

Tanaka’s numbers last season:

4.74 ERA, 13 W, 12 L, 194 K, 41 BB

Background:

Tanaka is from Hyogo, Japan and specifically the city Itami. Tanaka was a star since he was a child in Japan. He went on to play six seasons in the Nippon Professional Baseball for the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

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In his final season (2013), he lead the Golden Eagles to their first ever Japan series win. Following his tremendous season, Tanaka was posted by the Golden Eagles for 20 million dollars in the offseason. There was interest from many teams, but Tanaka ultimately decided to sign a seven year $155 million dollar contract with Yankees.

Yankees Hiro:

Tanaka had a fantastic rookie season for the bombers as he was selected to the All-Star Game in 2014 after going 12-4 in the first half in 18 starts. Tanaka did not get to pitch in the game because he had complained of arm discomfort after a start on July 8th. After tests were done, it was revealed that Tanaka had a small tear in his UCL. Instead of having Tommy John Surgery Tanaka decided to rest his arm for six weeks.

It was speculated that Tanaka would opt for the surgery, but he has avoided the surgery thus far and continues to pitch with the small tear.

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Tanaka became the Yankees ace during the 2015 season as he helped the Bombers back to the postseason for the first time since 2012. Tanaka pitched the wild card game for the Yankees, a game in which the Yankees lost 3-0.

Tanaka had a terrific season in 2016 and it was the first time in his career that he was not placed on the DL. He finished third in CY Young voting that year. The one problem that Tanaka has not been able to get rid of is the home run ball. In 2015 Tanaka allowed 25 homers, in 2016 he allowed 22 homers, and last season 35.

Tanaka started his third opening day last season but was overtaken by Luis Severino as the Yankees ace. Tanaka had a decent year, but was not dominant. The best word to describe his season was a roller coaster. The best game of the season for Tanaka was his 14 strikeout performance against the Rays on July 28.

In the playoffs, Tanaka did not start the Wild Card game for the Yankees as he did in 2015. Tanaka pitched in three games during the Yankees postseason run last year. He pitched game three against the Indians in the ALDS and shut them down as he allowed Greg Bird to hit that historic homerun off of Andrew Miller.

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Tanaka went on to pitch two games against the Astros in the ALCS and he was dominant in both starts. Tanaka clearly had confidence in the playoffs and showed how special a pitcher he can be.

Tanaka had the option of opting out of his contract with the Yankees this off-season, but he decided to opt-in to his deal. Tanaka will start the second game of the season in Toronto on March 30th.

If Tanaka can pitch like he did in the playoffs and keep his homers down, he can put together a fantastic year for the Yankees. Rest is the key for Tanaka as he does better with six days of rest instead of the usual five days

The Giants Need A Cornerback, Here Are Their Best Remaining Options

With the New York Giants boasting Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple at cornerback, there is still a lack of overall talent at the position. Finding value with minimal cap will be a priority of GM Dave Gettleman.

Here are a few remaining options on the FA market:

 

1.) Bashaud Breeland

Breeland has proved to be injury prone over the years, but when he’s healthy, he’s a decent corner. He had an atrocious 2016 season, and while he improved in 2017, it wasn’t enough for Washington to bring him back.

The Giants could likely grab him on a minimum deal and hope that he can reach his full potential in a different environment.

2.) Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

Good old DRC. We love the guy, but he’s getting old and certainly can’t survive an entire season as a starting outside corner anymore. His cap-hit was previously $6 million. He refused to take a significant pay-cut which ultimately led to his release.

Moving forward, it’s possible we reunite with the veteran corner, even after making visits to the Washington Redskins and others. He would have to agree to a deal in the $3-4 million per-season range, but having him back would be a cultural power move and a familiar face for the remaining Giants.

3.) Adam Pacman-Jones

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Pacman-Jones is a 12-year veteran and brings experience and leadership to the locker room. He only played and started in nine games last season, but before that he had only missed two-games in five years.

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He’s a punt-returning specialist and pass-defending connoisseur. In the past five seasons, Jones has racked up 49 passes defended and 11 interceptions. He earned $6 million last year, but would likely garner only a fraction of that with the Giants. His services aren’t worth $6 million anymore, and would likely settle for a veteran deal in the $3 million range.

4.) Marcus Cooper

Cooper is somewhat of a journeyman in the NFL, spending time on the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, and Chicago Bears. As a five-year veteran (28 years old), he knows the game and would bring experience  to a Giants team that’s on a youth movement.

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In 2016, Cooper had four interceptions before being shipped off to the Bears. If he was given the opportunity to become comfortable on a single team and learn the defense, he might be a quality player to have around. Additionally, he would be affordable, landing in the $3 million per-season range.

 

Breaking Down And Comparing Each Potential Quarterback For The Giants

With the NFL draft quickly approaching and the New York Giants sitting only behind the Cleveland Browns with the No. 2 overall pick, we have heard a pretty similar message from experts and fans alike.

The Giants need to draft their quarterback of the future with the second overall pick!

They need to find their future quarterback for the next 15 years!

It’s too early to draft a running back or a guard!

Yes, finding and having a franchise quarterback is essential for a team’s long term success. In fact, from 2007 to 2017, the four teams with the highest regular season winning percentages are the New England Patriots (Tom Brady), Green Bay Packers (Aaron Rodgers), Pittsburgh Steelers (Ben Roethlisberger) and Indianapolis Colts (Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck).

Knowing this, it would be crazy for the Giants to pass on drafting a quarterback with the # 2 overall pick, right?

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Let’s dive into the numbers to help us answer that question. Since 2000, there have been 22 quarterbacks selected in the top 5 in the NFL draft.

Eight of those quarterbacks can be considered busts: (David Carr, Joey Harrington, Vince Young,Jamarcus Russell, Mark Sanchez, Blake Bortles, Sam Bradford, RG3). Nine have had successful careers (Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, Michael Vick, Carson Palmer and Alex Smith).

The jury is still out on the last five because it is simply too early to tell (Mitchell Trubisky, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz).

Lets dive a little deeper into those numbers. The overall playoff record of those 22 quarterbacks is an underwhelming 34 and 43. Only 4 of the 22 quarterbacks have led their teams to a Super Bowl and only one of those quarterbacks has won a Super Bowl.

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Of course that quarterback was Eli Manning, and he did it twice! Knowing all of this information, it would be reckless to say that the Giants must select a quarterback second overall, and there are two important reasons for that.

The first reason is that drafting a franchise quarterback is not an exact science, and if you choose the wrong guy, especially in the top 5, it can set you back for years. The second, you may already have him on the roster.

To speak to my second point, we will look at some statistics. Now, before I proceed, I would like to point out that I understand that college statistics are not the end all be all in determining NFL success. But this will be a fun exercise nonetheless.

I have chosen four quarterbacks who have played their last collegiate season within the last three years. The statistics come from their last full season in college and they all played in the same conference. To take the bias out of this, I will not initially name the player with the statistics. We will simply call them players A, B, C, and D.

Player A had a completion percentage of 63.1% and threw for 4,143 yards which came to 295.9 yards per game. He had 26 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions and his team finished with an 11-3 record. They averaged 32.6 points per game and gave up 26.1 points per game. They defeated two top 25 teams throughout the year. During his last year, he played with two potential NFL wide receivers and one potential NFL running back.

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Player B had a completion percentage of 62% and threw for 3756 yards which came to 288.9 yards per game. He threw for 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and his team finished with a 6-7 record. His team scored 32.5 points per game and gave up 36.6 points per game. They did not beat any ranked teams. During his last year he played with one potential NFL wide receiver.

Player C had a completion percentage of 61.6% and threw for 4295 yards which came to 357.9 yards per game. He threw for 37 passing touchdowns and 12 interceptions and his team finished with a 5-7 record. They averaged 37.1 points per game and gave up 42.6 points per game. They defeated two top 25 teams during the year. During his last year he played with one future NFL wide receiver.

Player D had a completion percentage of 64.5% and threw for 4714 yards which came to 362.6 yards per game. He threw for 43 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and his team finished with an 8-5 record. His team scored 37.9 points per game and gave up 30.7 points per game. They did not beat any ranked teams. During his last year he played with four future NFL wide receivers and one future NFL tight end.

Now, pick your quarterback! Not so easy, right? You can easily make the case for each of these quarterbacks being the best of the bunch. To be fair, there is not a substantial statistical difference between the four of them. Which may speak to the fact that your future quarterback is already on the roster.

The quarterbacks are as followed: 

A- Sam Darnold

B- Josh Rosen

C- Davis Webb

D-Jared Goff

The Giants should fight the notion that they need to draft a quarterback second overall. Davis Webb has as much potential as any quarterback in the draft and he has had the advantage of learning from Eli Manning for an entire season. Throughout his first year in the NFL, Webb has earned nothing but rave reviews from his coaches and teammates.

He has been described as competitive, hard working, and a great leader. Marquis Bundy, who has spent the entire year on the Giants practice squad, went as far to say that he has the “X factor”. In my opinion, Davis Webb is our future quarterback and I truly believe he will be successful.

Now that I think about it, I remember another former Cal quarterback that sat behind a future hall of famer for a couple years.  He ended up doing pretty well for himself (Aaron Rodgers).

New York Yankees Player Preview: Chasen Shreve

The New York Yankees‘ second lefty in the bullpen is a someone who is overlooked because of all the dominant arms on the roster. Chasen Shreve is not a lefty specialist, but he has the ability to get right handed batters out with his devastating splitter.

Shreve would definitely be a 7th inning or a set-up man in many other bullpens. The true depth the Yankees have is unparalleled. Shreve had a solid season last year.

Shreve’s numbers last season:

3.77 ERA, 58 K, 25 BB, 0 SV

Background:

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Shreve was born in Las Vegas and attended Bonanza High School. During his time on the baseball team Shreve was selected to Nevada’s All-State Second team in his senior year. Shreve went on to play at the University of Nevada. He was selected by the Braves in the 11th round of the 2010 draft. During the 2015 off-season the lefty was traded to the Yankees from the Braves for Manny Banuelos.

Solid Bullpen Arm:

Shreve was a nice addition to the Yankees for the 2015 season. He was fantastic in his first 52 1/3 innings, but struggled in his last six innings of 2015. Many figured fatigue played a factor in his struggles, but McCann stated that he believed Shreve was tipping his pitches.

Shreve’s struggles continued to begin the 2016 season, as he had a 5.21 ERA in his first 19 appearances. He did spend time on the DL in 2016 and earned his first career major league save against the Royals on August 30.

Shreve returned to form last season. Before being sent down to Triple A , he posted a 2.77 ERA in 29 appearances. He was recalled on July 30 and finished the season strong. Shreve was on the Yankees Wild Card roster, but was not a part of the ALDS or ALCS roster.

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2018 Outlook:

Shreve will make the team out of spring training. He features a solid fastball, splitter and a slider. The splitter specialist will be used in games to get out both lefties and right hitting batters.

He can also be used as depth if the Yankees are forced into extra innings, or some pitchers need rest in the bullpen. Look for Shreve to be an important piece for Boone to use to in many different situations.

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