New York Giants: Ownership Confirms Noncommittal Stance On Quarterbacks

Will the New York Giants draft a quarterback? Will they decide to have enough faith in Eli Manning to not even start thinking about his future successor? Or will the team try to make a run at a player like Russell Wilson in free agency next year and find their future starter that way? No one but perhaps the team ownership and front office knows the answer to that right now, and it looks like things are going to stay that way through the entire offseason.

General Manager Dave Gettleman has been noncommittal when it comes to the subject but general managers and team owners don’t always agree. That, however, doesn’t appear to be the case when it comes to Gettleman and the Giants ownership. Co-owner Steve Tisch talked to the team website this week and said that the team is looking at all of the options.

One specific option, though, doesn’t seem to be jumping out ahead of the others just yet.

“If it’s possible [to land a franchise quarterback], that would be a pretty good situation. But that’s not going to be forced; it’s not going to be Gettleman’s marching orders,” said Tisch. “There’s no mandate. But we’re going to look at a lot of options, certainly in the draft going forward with potential trades.”

Trading for a quarterback, though, seems hard when the Giants have limited assets right now. The team already traded away star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and several big name defensive players that were on the roster at the beginning of last season, such as Landon Collins, Damon Harrison, and Olivier Vernon are already on other teams either because of trade or free agency.

Many sources rate the Giants as one of the bottom teams in the league, so it’s hard to see who the Giants could send away for a decent quarterback. It looks like the draft and free agency are the main two options, and the team holds both the 6th and the 17th picks this year.

But while Tisch stated that the team won’t necessarily draft a quarterback, he did say something interesting. Specifically, that Eli Manning would eventually take on a mentor role.

“And I think when he does take on the role of mentor, he will be very, very effective.”

If Manning is acting as a mentor, it likely means that the quarterback playing behind him is newer and less experienced. Could it be a sign that the Giants to intend to have a younger, non-veteran quarterback on the roster, perhaps one that’s been recently drafted?

Time will tell, but it’s clear that the team is in a tough spot with a limited amount of time to figure out their future and limited options to do so.

Andujar with missed opportunities as Yankees drop first game of season

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

In his first start as a Yankee, southpaw James Paxton pitched well, giving up two runs (one earned) off of four hits with five strikeouts. However, he was credited with a loss as the Yankees couldn’t get much going on offense, dropping the second game against the Orioles by a score of 5 to 3.

Despite having 10 hits, the Yankees only managed to score three runs while going 3-of-9 with runners in scoring position. Their defense sure didn’t help any, having three errors on the game.

The little offense they had:

In the fourth inning, DJ LeMahieu punched one up the middle, barely strong enough to get through, scoring Gleyber Torres.

In the sixth inning, the Orioles put up two runs off a single by Dwight Smith and a throwing error by Gary Sanchez on a double steal attempt. With runners on first and second, Sanchez threw to second on the steal attempt. The throw was in plenty of time, just off target. This would knock Paxton out of the game.

An inning later, Baltimore got one more, this time off of Chad Green. Rio Ruiz doubled, then later scored off a single by Jesus Sucre. Sucre led the Orioles, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

In the ninth inning, Yankee reliever Jonathan Holder made a mess, starting after an error by DJ LeMahieu. With runners on the corners with one out, Sucre knocked one down the left field line, stopping at second and clearing the bases while making the score 5 to 1.

The Yankees sure tried to come back in the bottom of the ninth. Troy Tulowitzki led off with an opposite field home run, then LeMahieu followed with a double. Gardner hit a hard liner to center that was caught for the first out, however Aaron Judge kept it going with a hard single. After a full count strikeout by Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit hit a high fly ball that barely dropped in with the outfield playing back. That scored a run making it 5 to 3, but Miguel Andujar struck out on a 1-2 slider to end the game.

Andujar ruined their two biggest opportunities

Way back in the first inning, Baltimore starting pitcher Nate Karns was in no mood to deal with the big boys. After Gardner was retired to start the inning, Karns walked Judge, Stanton, and Voit to load the bases. After taking a low fastball for a ball, Andujar hit it back to Karns who threw it to Sucre behind the plate, then Trey Mancini at first for a 1-2-3 double-play.

Now in the ninth inning, the Yankees had Judge on third and Voit on first with Andujar up to bat. After swinging at a 95 MPH fastball for strike one, Oriole reliever Mike Wright threw three straight sliders. Andujar laid off the first one but swung at the next two to end the game.

Andujar finished 1-for-5 with two strikeouts on the afternoon.

The Yankees finish the series with the Orioles on Sunday afternoon at 1:05PM in the Bronx. The game will be televised on YES Network and Fox Sports Go.

 

New York Giants Could Snag Dynamic Linebacker In First Round of NFL Draft

The New York Giants should consider Devin Bush in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Finding a dynamic complement to New York Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree in the 2019 NFL Draft should be a priority in the first-round. The Giants acquired the No. 17 overall pick in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, which allows them to address another position of weakness with premier talent.

Utilizing the added selection to bolster the middle of the defense would be an efficient move for Big Blue, as fourth-year player B.J. Goodson has failed to make a significant impact since his inception. One option the Giants should look into is Michigan defender, Devin Bush.

The New York Giants might have to settle for the second-best option:

While it’s unlikely Devin White, the star linebacker from LSU, falls to the No. 6 pick in the draft, Bush offers value in the middle of the round. One of the more intriguing aspects of his game is his ability to drop back into coverage. Bush is a pure “WILL” inside linebacker, opposite Ogletree who plays in the middle of the defense as the “Mike.”

Bush’s unique athleticism and ability to cover running backs and tight ends efficiently offer a different type of skill set to the Giants. Having struggled in recent years in regard to covering tight ends, adding a player like Bush makes complete sense – it contributes to the secondary and helps contain premier pass-catching running backs.

NFL.com has Devin Bush graded out as an instant starter – despite a lack of size at 5’11”, 234-pounds, there’s room for growth. The cons primarily center around his tangible traits – missing tackles due to lack of length and being caught up in blocks as a consequence of lack of size.

This is just a short clip of Bush’s skill-set. He’s very quick to identify the ball carrier and make a play on the ball. His lack of size is apparent, but his burst of energy and speed can make up for the deficiency.

Now, take a look at this range:

https://twitter.com/B_GNation1/status/1110330224821133312

Incredible speed to reach the boundary-bound runner, chasing him down and keeping the gain to about two-yards with nobody beyond Bush. This is the value he offers in terms of sideline-to-sideline range, which is essential for a linebacker at the next level.

Based on his clear-cut abilities, Bush seems to have the exact skill set to fit well into the Giant’s 3-4 defense. Aside from his pairing with Ogletree, I feel as though he would be deadly lined up alongside Jabrill Peppers.

New York Yankees April Schedule- Breaking Down Who Lies Ahead

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge.

The New York Yankees overall have a pretty easy schedule to start 2019, playing the majority of their games at home against rather poor teams. That’s good for the team so they can get rust off and overcome their injuries. Let’s take a look at their schedule through May 1st.

March 28, 30-31 (Vs. Baltimore)

After a 7-2 opening day win, the Yankees take on the Orioles for two more games, as the Yankees are looking to stack-up wins early. Baltimore is in a rebuilding stage, and will likely perform very poorly like last season, where they went 47-115. These are games they need to win.

April 1-3 (Vs. Detroit)

The Yankees then stay at home for three more games to take on the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers are nowhere near as bad as the Orioles, but are still in a rebuilding phase. The Tigers didn’t make a huge splash in the offseason, but they did sign Josh Harrison. Miguel Cabrera has returned from injury and can provide some power along with Nick Castellanos. Again, three games they must win.

April 4, 6-7 (At Baltimore)

The Yankees then hit the road for the first time to take on the Orioles again, this time in their home opener. Another three games that the Yankees can’t afford to lose.

April 8-10 (At Houston)

After they visit Baltimore, the Yankees head down south to face the 2017 World Champions and 2018 AL runner-up Houston Astros. The Astros presumably lost Dallas Keuchel (still not signed) and lost Charlie Morton to Tampa Bay, but signed Michael Brantley and Robinson Chirinos. This could possibly be a playoff matchup come October. Last season, the Yankees won the season series 5-2 and hope to do the same in 2019.

April 12-14 (Vs. Chicago White Sox)

The Yankees then head back home to take on the Chicago White Sox. These again are games they can’t lose. The White Sox signed Yonder Alonso, a relative of Manny Machado in an attempt to draw in the star shortstop, but it don’t work out too well. Alonso was really their only significant signing, and they are led by first base slugger Jose Abreu. They were 62-100 last year, and are looking to rebuild as well.

April 16-17 (Vs. Boston)

Now it gets fun. The Yankees then take on our favorite team, the Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox didn’t do much this past offseason, re-signing Nathan Eovaldi while losing Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel, giving them one of the worst bullpens this year. Everyone on that team overachieved last year, so they should come back down to earth this year, right?

April 18-21 (Vs. Kansas City)

The Yankees then host the Royals for four more must win games. The Royals are continuing to rebuild and are at about the same part of their rebuild as the Tigers. They signed speedy outfielder Billy Hamilton, but stayed pretty quiet otherwise. The team had just 58 wins last season.

April 22-25 (At Los Angeles Angels)

The Yankees head out west for the first time to take on the Angels, who are looking to finally make it back to the playoffs. Not only did they lock up Mike Trout for 12 years, they signed a solid catcher in Jonathan Lucroy, dominant reliever Cody Allen, and slugger Justin Bour. The Angels have enough to make it in, but not to win the AL West. It may come down to them and the Rays for a wildcard spot.

April 26-28 (At San Francisco)

The Yankees start interleague play on the road against the Giants. The Giants had a pretty quiet offseason and they are one of those teams who will be decent this year, say .500, but not good enough for the postseason. These are a few games the Yankees would like to have.

April 30- May 1 (At Arizona)

The Yankees then continue interleague play by playing the Arizona Diamondbacks. They lost Paul Goldschmidt in a trade to the Cardinals, and lost Steven Souza Jr. for the season due to an injury just a few days ago. They did get Adam Jones and Wilmer Flores, but won’t have enough to compete for a playoff spot.

My guess at the Yankees record through May 1st: 23-7

New York Giants: Eyeing The Positives in a Beckham-less Giants Offense

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants organization changed drastically the night of March 12th when General Manager Dave Gettleman traded away star player Odell Beckham Jr. Whether that change is positive or negative remains to be seen, the reality of the situation is that it’s simply too early to come to any rational conclusion.

The claims suggesting the Giants will be in a worse position after trading Beckham are premature considering we are still 6 months away from watching the 2019 Giants hit the field on Sunday.

One could argue that the Giants offense will be just fine without Beckham considering that the offense performed better in the four games he missed due to a season-ending quad injury. Despite an abysmal shutout to the Titans in week 15, the Giants still managed to average 26.4ppg. That production came out to over a 4 point increase from their 22.2ppg when Beckham was in the lineup. Erasing the outlier in week 15, the Giants averaged a total of 33ppg in the 4 other games they played without Odell to end the season.

It has been proven time and time again that a star receiver is not a necessity to a championship roster. What’s more important is to distribute that wealth among a variety of solid NFL players, modeling the New England Patriots.

A Look At What’s Left:

For starters, there’s All-Pro running back sensation Saquon Barkley, who is now considered the face of the franchise with Beckham’s absence. There is not much else that needs to be said about the Rookie of the Year and Ground player of the Year… The Giants landed an absolute stud. Now let’s consider the following:

Love it or hate it, what is often forgot about the offense is that former GM Jerry Reese prioritized drafting skill position players during his tenure. Electric tight end Evan Engram (‘17 Rd1) and receiver Sterling Shepard (‘16 Rd2) have both shown tremendous upside while wearing blue. When healthy, Evan Engram is a top tight end in the NFL. For the 2018 season, his grade of 76.5 was the third highest on the offense. Trailing only Odell Beckham (90) and Saquon Barkley (85.9), according to Pro Football Focus.

Engram would have graded much higher had the season been split in two. From weeks 1-8, while plagued with all sorts of injury, Engram’s average PFF grade was a 54.8. After the bye week, a healthier Engram performed at an elite level, earning a 91.7 overall grade for his performance during weeks 9-17.

As for Shepard, he finished 5th on the offense with a PFF grade of 67.3. Aside from his receiving, it is also his effort in blocking which makes him a valuable piece to the offense. Check out his key blocks against the Redskins when the Giants cruised to a 40-17 win in week 14:

The Addition of Golden Tate:

After letting the dust settle the first day of free agency, the Giants made their splash signing established wide receiver Golden Tate to a four-year deal, worth up to $37.5 million with $23 million guaranteed. Tate, who essentially played on a half-season rental for the Eagles, played his previous four seasons with the Detroit Lions. In Detroit, he was a force to be reckoned with tallying over 90 catches in each of those years. Tate finished the 2018 season with 74 catches and 4 touchdowns. While playing in two separate offenses, Tate earned a respectable 71.1 PFF grade.

No wide receiver has accumulated more yards after the catch (1,672) than Tate over the past three seasons, making it obvious why he is widely recognized as the #YACKing.

The Kevin Zeitler Trade:

In perhaps the most successful move of the offseason, the Giants acquired premier right guard Kevin Zeitler from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for edge rusher Olivier Vernon. With trades trending upward in the NFL, this certainly qualified as a win-win for both the Browns and the Giants. The Giants, whom everyone assumed would cut Vernon, got exceptional value from him in Zeitler. The right Guard graded out as PFF’s #1 pass protecting guard in the NFL with a 91.7.

For reference, guards Patrick Omameh and Jamon Brown allowed a combined 39 pressures in only 14 games last year. Zeitler allowed just 11 pressures through 16 starts.

Zeitler brings stability to an offensive line that was already greatly improved from years prior. GM Dave Gettleman has made countless promises to revamp the offensive line, and bringing in an elite guard like Zeitler does just that.

Bottom Line:

While the jury is still out on whether or not the New York Giants need Odell Beckham Jr, it’s more important to understand that the offense is only going to go as far as the offensive line takes them. We have seen over the years that it is not so much the players around Eli, but the ones who protect him that dictate which version of “Eli” we are going to see on a game to game basis.

While a young quarterback is ultimately in the works, the Giants have put themselves in position to have a very respectable supporting cast for whoever is under center in the future.

 

New York Giants: 3 Round Mock Draft – The Defense Gets Their ‘Men’

The New York Giants have spent plenty of capital on the offense in an attempt to salvage what’s left of quarterback Eli Manning’s career, while also planning for the future after his departure. General manager Dave Gettleman made it a priority to address the offensive line first and foremost, bringing Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, and now Kevin Zeitler to New York.

The trading of Odell Beckham Jr. surely leaves a hole in the receiving corps, but having Saquon Barkley and signing Golden Tate should compensate to a degree. After all, the Giants did score the most points in week 13 of the 2018 season when Beckham was out with a groin injury.

While the offense has been well taken care of, the defense is still a work in progress with inexperience at multiple positions. The Giants need to begin funding the growth of this unit, and I expect them to in the draft ahead.

Second Round pick (No. 37):

With the 37th pick in the draft, the Giants elect to address their offensive line with tackle Dalton Risner. The Kansas State product is a huge admirer of left tackle Nate Solder, stating:

“Nate Solder, I look up to,” Risner said at the NFL Combine. “I’ve mirrored my game after Nate. I had the opportunity to reach out to him and talk to him about how I’ve mirrored his play, ask him about the Senior Bowl, ask him about the Combine and how to answer questions or carry myself.”

Adding a player like Risner would complete the overhaul of the offensive line, and having two young players is only a bonus – Risner and Hernandez.

Risner is a born leader, and he plans to take advantage of that skill from the very beginning. While he’s not a top-tier athlete, his fundamentals are clean and pure. He mimics Solder, who prides himself on the correct technique and ensuring he does everything the right way so he can justify his performances. Now, most have Dalton as a second-round pick, and the Giants managed to grab a great lineman in a similar fashion last year, so this is a very realistic option for Big Blue.

First Round Pick (No. 17):

With the Giants’ second first-rounder acquired in the Beckham trade, they elect to take a linebacker. Michigan’s Devin Bush fits the bill perfectly, as he adds talent to a group that lacks a true secondary starter behind Alec Ogletree.

Bush is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker with great speed and athleticism. In 2018, he racked up 66 total tackles with 8.5 for a loss. He’s essentially a poor man’s Devin White, but he still offers immense value at No. 17.

One of the more underrated aspects of his game is his ability to cover, which has been an issue for the Giants at the linebacker position. Having a player in the middle of the field that can pick up an opposing tight end is huge, especially when it’s an LB and doesn’t require a safety. Additionally, flanking running backs are his specialty in coverage and coming out of the backfield.

This would be a huge value pick for the Giants and it would add another dimension to their defense immediately.

First Round Pick (No. 6):

The Giants are in dire need of a top edge rusher, which is why they go with Montez Sweat at No. 6. His size and speed combination offers bountiful potential and the ability to immediately upgrade the Giants’ defensive line.

Sweat would essentially act as an outside linebacker in James Bettcher’s system, which could be perfect for him as his length would allow him to expose the outside foot of opposing tackles.

A pass-rusher with 4.41 speed is not normal – to put that into perspective, he ran .3 seconds faster than Saquon Barkley in the 40-yard-dash.

One of the most appealing factors in regard to Sweat is his ability to grow into his frame even more. At 6’6″, 260-pounds, we are already talking about a monster of a human, and to add even more to his frame would make him virtually prototypical.