New York Giants: Options On Defense With The 6th Pick In The 2019 NFL Draft

Should the New York Giants consider taking Clemson pass rusher, Clelin Ferrell?

The New York Giants are picking in the top 10 for the 3rd time in the last 4 years. After picking 2nd overall in 2018, the Giants showed minimal improvement as their record went from 3-13 to 5-11. In 2019, the Giants hold the 6th overall pick.

Many fans and analysts predict the Giants will draft a quarterback in 2019. Some believe that the Giants will need to trade up in order to do that. But there is no evidence to confirm that the Giants are definitely planning on drafting a quarterback. There are a lot of rumors and a lot of speculation, but nothing will be set in stone until the pick is made.

The Giants may not select a quarterback in 2019, and if they do not, there are plenty of options on defense for the Giants to draft.

Drafting A Defensive Playmaker:

The 2019 NFL Draft Class is absolutely loaded with defensive talent. The Giants’ defense was one of the worst in the NFL in 2018. General Manager Dave Gettleman has pointed this fact out and vowed to improve the defense in 2019.

A great way to improve the defense is through the draft. Obtaining quality young talent on defense to progress at the next level is key to building a contending roster. CBS Sport’s 2019 NFL Draft Prospect rankings include 13 defenders in the top 15 best prospects this year.

Arguably the two most important positions on defense are two of the Giants’ weakest: edge defender and cornerback. Luckily for the Giants, edge defenders and cornerbacks are both near the top of the draft board.

Cornerbacks:

A pair of playmaking cornerbacks have been mocked consistently in the top 10. Byron Murphy out of Washington and Greedy Williams out of LSU.

Byron Murphy was Pro Football Focus’s top graded cornerback in 2018 with a 91.9 overall grade. Murphy only played two seasons of college football as he was redshirted his freshman year. However, those two years were enough for Byron to prove himself worthy of being in the NFL. In 2018, Murphy was a true playmaker, as he had 4 interception (1 for a touchdown) and 13 passes defended.

Greedy Williams is a lengthy cornerback who also played only two seasons in college. Greedy is listed at 6′ 2″, 182 pounds. His build is reminiscent of another great LSU cornerback who has made his mark in the NFL: Patrick Peterson. At LSU, Williams had 8 interceptions and 19 pass breakups in his two seasons. According to Pro Football Focus, Williams allowed only a 39.7% catch rate while targeted in coverage. If Williams can be as shut down in the pros as he was in college, then he is well deserving of a top 10 pick.

Edge Defenders:

The top of the draft will certainly feature multiple edge defenders being selected. The top edge prospects, such as Nick Bosa and Josh Allen, probably will not be available by the time the Giants are on the clock at 6. However, a couple of other top prospects should be.

Clelin Ferrell was a key piece on Clemson’s National Championship-winning defense. PFF recorded Ferrell gaining 52 total pressures in 2018, being an absolute force to be reckoned with. He showed consistent growth in college, improving in tackles, sacks, and tackles for loss in each year he played. He capped it off with a dominant junior year in 2018 that featured 20 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. Check out Clelin Ferrell powering through the draft’s top lineman prospect in the National Championship game:

Another edge rusher who has seen an increase of interest in recent months is Jachai Polite out of the University of Florida. Polite has elite speed and finesse off the edge that allows him to blow past offensive tackles and get to the quarterback. He posted a 91.4 Pro Football Focus pass-rush grade in 2018. Jachai’s 42 total pressures proved he was a consistent and effective rusher at the college level. Translating his skills to the NFL could lead Polite to be the next best edge rusher in the league.

Linebacker:

One other player that could be in play at the 6th pick is not an edge rusher nor a cornerback. Another LSU product, linebacker Devin White has potential to be an elite talent at the next level. White has all the physical tools he needs. He has the perfect build to be an NFL linebacker and the speed to go sideline to sideline. On top of that, Devin is an effective pass-rusher. He totaled 30 pressures on 86 pass-rush attempts. White totaled 120+ tackles in each of his final two seasons at LSU. The Giants have not had elite production from the linebacker position in years, and 2019 could be the year that changes.

New York Yankees Retained Zack Britton – Now He Needs To Prove His Worth

New York Yankees, Zach Britton

With the New York Yankees bolstering their bullpen with several additions, it’s time to look into each player individually. One of the moves that were made was bringing back former all-star closer Zack Britton. Despite starting 2018 on the Disabled List with an Achilles injury, Britton proved vital after the Yankees traded for him in July. Now that he’s had a healthy offseason to focus on training, he could be just one of many weapons in a lethal Yankees bullpen.

2018 Stats (BAL/NYY):

41 Games, 2-0, 3.10 ERA, 34 SO, 7 Saves, 40.2 IP, 1.261 WHIP, 0.7 WAR

On January 5, Britton and the Yankees agreed to a 3-year, $53 million dollar deal. Within the contract lies a unique option known as a swellpot option. After Britton’s second year, the Yankees will decide whether to pick up his option for a fourth year. If they don’t, Britton can then choose to opt-out and become a free agent, or play out the third year.

Britton will return to the Bronx with a strong career resume despite his recent injury history. Since becoming the Orioles’ closer in 2014, he recorded 142 career saves, including a perfect 47-for-47 in 2016. He also recorded a microscopic 0.54 ERA and finished fourth in Cy Young voting that year.

Injury History:

Due to rupturing his right Achilles during the 2017-18 offseason, Britton did not make his 2018 debut until June 12th. Over a month later, he is traded to the Bronx for a trio of pitching prospects, headlined by Dillion Tate. While rusty at first, he began to return to form with the Yankees, filling in when closer Aroldis Chapman went on the DL with knee tendinitis in August.

Before that, Britton was placed on the DL twice in 2017 with tightness in his left forearm.

What should we expect?:

With an entire offseason dedicated to rest and training instead of recovering from injury, expect Britton to return to being one of the elite southpaws in the game. If he can stay healthy, the Yankees may see the man who converted an AL record 60 consecutive saves as part of a disgusting bullpen.

2019 Stat Predictions:

58 Games, 2-1, 2.71 ERA, 79 SO, 9 Saves, 61.2 IP, 1.211 WHIP

Awards Predictions:

All-Star, Top-15 Reliever of the Year Finish

New York Giants Need To Lock Up Right Guard As Soon As Possible

New York Giants running back, Saquon Barkley.

Remember the good old days when the right guard position was filled by Patrick Omameh and John Greco? I don’t, in fact, I’ve done the hypnotic work to erase those disastrous memories from my unfortunate mind. The New York Giants have forced me into therapy more times than my divorce…well, I haven’t been divorced, but the pain of watching the Giants lose must equate to that in some fashion.

The Messiah emerged for the New York Giants at RT:

But, then came our savior, Jamon Brown – outcasted from the likes of the Super Bowl losing Los Angeles Rams. Some players are lucky enough to be traded to good teams cough, cough Eli Apple. Others are thrust into the waiver system that sees them onto bad teams in need of any reinforcements.

When a quality player like Brown falls into your laps you don’t let him go. The talented right guard performed well overall for the Giants, but he’s a free agent this year and will attract several suitors. Big Blue should retain him and move on to the right tackle spot as soon as possible.

While the near 26-year-old didn’t have the most impressive season according to PFF, his influence was felt in New York. Having a serviceable right guard was a massive upgrade from the turnstile that was Omameh. I mean c’mon, the guy was signed to three-year, $15 million deal and was cut by week 5.

At least GM Dave Gettleman has the balls to do what’s necessary. Now, I would prefer he doesn’t make foolish signings like that, but it’s better to cut ties than hanging on to non-existent hope – yeah, we are talking to you Jerry Reese. I wonder if Jerry and Ereck Flowers share morning coffee together… reminisce on the good old days when edge rushers ran free in the backfield and Eli Manning was tossed around like a rag-doll.

Back to business:

Brown will be a hot target, so signing him to a deal should be a priority. I would anticipate that he earn somewhere in the $6-7 million per season range. He’s better than Omameh who earned $5 million per year, so it’s fair to say he will attract more.

A solid offer from the Giants might be three-years, $21 million with incentives to reach the full amount. He’s only played a full season once in his four-year career. Staying healthy would be the leading factor in a hypothetically incentivized deal.

 

The No.1 Reason The New York Yankees DON’T Need Manny Machado

Finishing 2018 with a .297 batting average and 37 homers might indicate a rather sizeable contract in free agency. Manny Machado owns those numbers, and rumors of him in contact with the New York Yankees have been the talk of the town recently.

The superstar free agent is looking to lock up a massive 10-year, $300 million deal – something the Yanks have publically announced they weren’t interested in. Besides the immense monetary investment, he seems to value himself at, his value in the Bronx doesn’t convince me that he’s worth the money.

Now, most coin Machado as a generation talent with the abilities to make any team significantly better, but the Yankees would be forced to change their infield and move pieces around to fit him in. Players like Miguel Andujar and Didi Gregorius could potentially be affected by Machado joining the team.

The No.1 reason the Yankees need to stay away from Manny Machado:

My biggest concern with Machado is that his addition would stunt the growth of Andujar. He would likely be forced to move from the third base position and his relocation could be devastating to his growth.

The fans and analysts that think the Yankees’ young corner infielder should be moved after a 15 error season seem to forget the beginning of Alex Rodriguez’s career (53 errors in his first four seasons). This should be enough proof and provide enough optimism for the improvement of Andujar.

Putting the work in and continuing to grow is essential, but we cannot forget that he was a rookie last season and wasn’t expected to perform nearly as well as he did. Finishing the year with a .296 BA with 47 overall doubles certainly shows his offensive prowess. It balances out his defensive struggles, and if he can adapt to the power and speed of professional hitters in regard to glove speed and accurate throws, he can develop into one of the league’s top third baseman.

The bottom line, the Yankees must remain patient and confident in Andujar, because if they choose to work around him, they might end up wasting more money than extracting value.

New York Yankees: A Contingency Plan In Case CC Sabathia Struggles

New York Yankees, Yankees, CC Sabathia

The New York Yankees‘ starting pitching rotation seems to be a strength heading into 2019. The rotation features J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, and CC Sabathia.

The Yankees’ veteran pitcher, Sabathia, had surprise heart surgery this offseason which put the future of his career into question. Doctors have indicated that he should be able to return to full health ahead of his 19th season as a professional baseball player.

Sabathia finished 2018 with a 3.65 ERA which included nine wins and seven losses. It was his highest ERA since the 2012 season (3.38 ERA). But, being that’s he’s a ripe 38-years-old, the Yankees must prepare for a sizeable falloff or at the very least injury concerns.

A plan in case Yankees’ CC Sabathia goes down:

There are several free agent options on the market that could fit the bill if Sabathia can’t finish the season for whatever reason. But, I would prefer to look at the players already on the roster.

Jonathan Loaisiga, the 24-year-old starter, had a troublesome rookie season in the Bronx. While he finished the season 2-0, his ERA was a hefty 5.11. He allowed 26 hits and 17 runs through 24.2 innings. It wouldn’t be wise to bet all your chips on the young pitcher finding a rhythm in 2019, but the experience from last season will play an essential role in his success moving forward.

The Yankees need to stick to their youth guns, allowing them to gain confidence and develop in the major leagues. While the Bombers traded away rising star Justus Sheffield to the Mariners in exchange for Paxton, they will have to lean on players like Loaisiga to pick up the slack of Sabathia struggles to maintain his health throughout the course of the season.

A free agent alternative:

One potential free agent that could fit the bill is Gio Gonzalez. He finished last season with a 4.21 ERA and 80 earned runs. The Yankees might be able to swing in and scoop up Gonzalez for $10 million on a one-year deal. The question would then be, where would he fit into the rotation?

Personally, I feel as though the Yankees would prefer to find a pitcher via trade during the season. This is the approach they took last year with Happ. They might have to give up a bit more than they want to, but it’s better to make a positive move at the right time than overstock the roster early on in anticipation of an issue that hasn’t even arisen yet.