New York Giants: Xavier McKinney Pick Gains Good Reactions Early On

New York Giants

The New York Giants are through the first couple rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, and the verdict is starting to come in on the players they’ve chosen to take. Both picks have gotten a decent reception so far, but the Giants’ second round pick was especially intriguing because the Giants had more directions they could have gone with it. In the end, their decision was to take Alabama safety Xavier McKinney to fill a much needed role.

The pick so far is regarded as a solid one. Antoine Bethea, after all, didn’t return to the Giants after spending the 2019 season with the team and because of that, the Giants have an open hole in the lineup up top next to Jabrill Peppers. There was always a chance for Julian Love to fill that position, but with the second round selection of McKinney, it looks like there will be a competition and Love could move elsewhere.

The narrative is also that the Giants managed to get a player in the second round that could have went in the first. Head coach Joe Judge has been aware of McKinney for longer than just this year, and has experience working with McKinney’s college program.

The Giants have had a problem with defending against deep passing in the last couple of seasons but they get a safety who only allowed three touchdowns in college while in pass defense coverage – the addition is an immediate upgrade over the performance of the aging Bethea, who spent last season in the spot McKinney will likely fill.

All and all, the Giants have snagged a pretty highly rated player in the second round, which is undoubtedly a steal that will help build the team up in Joe Judge’s first season. After taking a somewhat safe prospect in the first round and getting a second round steal, it looks like smooth sailing so far

New York Giants select OT Matt Peart with the 99th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

New York Giants, Matt Peart

With the 99th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the New York Giants select Matt Peart, offensive tackle, out of UCONN.

Matt Peart is a solid right tackle who stands in at 6 feet 7 inches and weighs 318 pounds. He is a four-year starter who grew up in the Bronx after moving to the United States from Jamaica. One of Peart’s strengths is his long arms, listed at 36 5/8”.

Peart is a little raw but a great offensive tackle prospect with a high developmental ceiling. According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Peart has nimble feet with the ability to mirror once he latches in and tons of athletic potential to work within his pass sets.

This is not an instant-impact selection for the Giants, but Peart is a potential starter down the road. He has time to learn and develop behind Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming this year and could take over at right tackle in a few short seasons. He needs to add some play-strength and refine his skill set, but working closely with offensive line coach Marc Colombo bodes well for Matthew Peart’s NFL future.

NFL Draft: New York Jets draft Florida’s Jabari Zuniga with 79th pick

The New York Jets’ second Friday selection, Zuniga missed most of his senior year with an injury, but built a solid career in Gainesville.

With their second of three third-round picks, the New York Jets chose Florida defensive end Jabari Zuniga with the 79th overall selection.

Zuniga originally began his athletic endeavors with plans to follow his father to the hardwood. Carlos Zuniga was a basketball player at Tulane, averaging 6.1 rebounds over three seasons.

He dedicated his career to football in his senior year of high school and went on to play at Florida. Though most of his senior year was lost to a high ankle sprain, Zuniga earned 116 tackles and 18.5 sacks. Notably, he six tackles, half of which resulted in a loss, during Florida’s opening weekend win over Miami back in August.

The Jets certainly hope this third-round selection from Florida goes better than the last time they embarked on such a journey. Last season, they added linebacker Jachai Polite, but he failed to make the team out of training camp.

Barring any trades, the Jets’ final Friday selection will come in the 101st slot, a pick they obtained from the Seattle Seahawks earlier in the evening.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

NFL Draft: New York Jets select Cal S Ashtyn Davis with 68th overall pick

New York Jets, Ashtyn Davis

With their pick obtained from the Leonard Williams trade, the New York Jets selected Cal-Berkeley safety Ashtyn Davis.

With the 68th overall selection of the 2020 NFL Draft, the New York Jets took Cal-Berkeley safety Ashtyn Davis. The Jets earned this pick through a trade with their MetLife Stadium co-tenants, the New York Giants.

Davis totaled 166 tackles and seven interceptions during his four years with the Golden Bears. He also worked as the Golden Bears’ kick returner for two seasons, finishing second in the Pac-12 in return yardage in each of those campaigns (2017, 2018). New York finished 22nd in kick return average last season after 2018 Pro Bowler Andre Roberts departed for Buffalo.

The Cal product is the first safety the Jets have taken in the NFL Draft since they went with current starting pair Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye over the first two rounds of 2017. Davis’ predecessor in terms of Golden Bears chosen by the Jets is another 2017 pick, fourth-round receiver Chad Hansen.

The Jets also hold the 79th and 101st selections to cap off their Friday night proceedings, barring any trades.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

NFL Draft: New York Jets select Baylor WR Denzel Mims with No. 59 pick

New York Jets, Denzel Mims

With their first Friday night selection, the New York Jets took Baylor receiver Denzel Mimis with a pick obtained from Seattle.

The New York Jets used the 59th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft to take Baylor receiver Denzel Mims.

Mims departs Waco ranked third in touchdown receptions (28), fifth in overall receptions (186), and sixth in yardage (2,925). He set career-bests in his senior season with 66 receptions and 12 touchdowns, while also putting up 1,020 receiving yards. His college career was capped off with seven touchdowns over his final six games, including one last score in Baylor’s Sugar Bowl tilt with Georgia.

The Jets were in desperate need of receiving help after the departure of Robby Anderson to Carolina. Mims has the playmaking ability the Jets could desperately use to make Sam Darnold more comfortable. He appeared in the Big 12’s top ten in average receptions twice, including a career-best 17.8 during his sophomore season (seventh in the conference).

Mims is the first Baylor Bear drafted by the Jets since they took quarterback Bryce Petty in 2015’s fourth round.

The Jets will next choose in the 68th slot, in a pick obtained from the New York Giants in a fall trade.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets trade No. 48 pick to Seattle Seahawks

Right before they went on the clock for the first time on Friday, the New York Jets dealt the 48th pick of the 2020 draft to Seattle.

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the New York Jets traded the 48th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft to the Seattle Seahawks. New York will get back the 59th and 101st selections.

Seattle would use the pick on Tennessee defensive Darrell Taylor. The Knoxville alum and Hopewell, Virginia native had 19.5 sacks over the past three seasons, including a career-best 8.5 last year. He notably put up six tackles and 1.5 sacks in the Volunteers’ narrow victory over Indiana in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl in January.

The Jets now own four picks during Friday’s proceedings. They will choose in the 59th, 68th, 78th, and 101st. The most latter pick was a compensatory pick for the Seahawks after safety Earl Thomas left in free agency.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants select S Xavier McKinney with the 36th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

New York Giants, Xavier McKinney

The New York Giants draft Xavier McKinney, safety out of Alabama, with the 36th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

With the 36th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the Giants elected to take Xavier McKinney out of Alabama.

The safety is a reliable tackler and a plus athletic player. The Giants have struggled at the free safety position in recent years, with Antoine Bethea featuring in 2019. Before him,Big Blue tossed out Curtis Riley, who was rightfully cut after missing tackles frequently in the 2018 campaign.

However, McKinney is known for his high football IQ and toughness. His versatility to match up with all personnel groupings makes him extremely handy and adaptable on defense. He can line up in the slot, against corners, but he is a quality free safety who can run up and make tackles.

McKinney is adequate at ball tracking and can get underneath plays too shorten the field. His athletic ability makes him extremely fit for the free safety with the Giants, who struggle to keep receivers from getting big chunks of yardage. He will help a defense that desperately needs to lock up their secondary and solidify a quality bunch in the backfield.

New York Giants Could Solidify Their Offensive Line Tonight By Drafting Josh Jones

New York Giants, Josh Jones, Houston

The New York Giants‘ offensive line has been among the worst in the league for the past couple of seasons. Kevin Zeitler was a huge addition to the Giants’ offensive line in the 2019 season. However, Nate Solder and Mike Remmers haven’t provided that same steady performance.

Solder’s 57 pressures allowed this season are seven more than any other player in the NFL. Solder and Remmers 97 combined pressures allowed was the most in the NFL this season (PFF). The Giants needed to address the problem of the struggling offensive line in this year’s NFL Draft and they certainly made improvements after the first round last night.

With the fourth overall pick, the New York Giants selected Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia. Thomas is an absolute freak of nature! Standing at 6’5″,  and weighing 315 Ibs, a very agile big man who has quick feet and can run and pass block against the best of the best as he did in his collegiate carrier. Thomas was no doubt the best and most pure left tackle in the draft class. This draft choice was a huge win for the Giants, giving Daniel Jones more time in the pocket, and opening up running lanes for Saquon Barkley!

What the Giants should do tonight :

The Giants hold the 36th overall pick in the second round of the NFL Draft. There is still so much talent on the board. New York can’t go wrong with drafting a guy like Antoine Winfield the safety from Minnesota, or Zack Baun the linebacker from Wisconsin.

Josh Jones, OT, Houston a strong option:

The Giants could stack their offensive line by drafting Josh Jones, (OT) from Houston. Jones is another freak of nature who could potentially fill the need at right tackle for the Giants. Jones, like Thomas, is 6’5″, 319 Ibs, and is very quick out of his stance when asked to pull block. Jones does a great job of reaching the second level of blockers and improved tremendously as his season went on. Jones went from a second-round pick who would need more time to develop, to a day one starter and a potential first-round pick.

Josh Jones has excellent lateral-slide smoothness to handle mirroring duties. He is able to get to difficult reach blocks on the play-side and back-side. Both Thomas and Jones have experience at left tackle and right tackle. If Jones is drafted by Giants, expect to see the two switching sides to throw defenses for a ride. Jones may not have the footwork like Thomas does, but he makes up for it with his pure athleticism.

What The Giants should do with Nate Solder:

It’s going to be interesting to see what the Giants do with Nate Solder if they go offensive tackle in round two. The Giants could look to trade Solder for draft capital, but the problem is, who wants the guy? Solder had a season to forget in 2019 and is losing value. He allowed 11 sacks which were the second-most in the NFL this year. Jones could sit behind Solder for a year and develop, but it might be best for the Giants’ to start him from day one.

The New York Giants have a chance to fix their offensive line struggles and build a line that can be set and stone for the next seven to eight years. Adding Andrew Thomas and, hopefully, Josh Jones, will create an amazing pocket for Danny Dimes to throw the ball, and also give star running back Saquon Barkley the holes and lanes he’s been seeking for the past two seasons. For these reasons, if he manages to fall to pick thirty-six, the Giants should draft Josh Jones.

New York Giants Could Consider Trading Down In Round Two

The New York Giants secured their left tackle of the future in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. With the fourth overall pick, the Giants selected offensive tackle Andrew Thomas out of Georgia. Thomas has not allowed more than two pressures in a game since 2017 and is set to make an immediate-impact with Big Blue (statistic via PFF).

Heading into day two, there are plenty of intriguing options for the Giants to decide on. The draft board is still loaded with defensive talents, such as safety Xavier McKinney and edge rushers Zack Baun and Yetur Gross-Matos. It would be no surprise to see the Giants stay put and select a defensive prospect. But there is the possibility that New York elects to trade down.

Why Trade Down?

The Giants will be picking thirty-sixth overall today (the fourth pick of the second round). They will then have to wait until pick ninety-nine to make another selection. If the Giants stay put here, they will have sixty-three players drafted between their two selections. According to reports from the New York Post, trading down from thirty-six is something the Gmen are considering.

What Could the Giants Get From Trading Down?

The purpose of trading down from thirty-sixth overall would be to acquire an additional pick somewhere in the third round. New York traded away its original third-round selection (sixty-eighth overall) to the New York Jets to acquire Leonard Williams. It would be wise for the Giants to try to recoup a third-round selection in a trade today.

There are a few teams with multiple third-round draft picks that might look to move up in the second round. Among those teams are the Jets, the Vikings, the Broncos, the Raiders, and the Ravens. Ryan Dunleavy of the NY Post put out this intriguing mock-trade scenario on Twitter:

Dunleavy’s mock-trade is a realistic possibility. If the Giants were to trade down today, they would likely be looking to acquire picks similar to the ones Ryan suggested in the third round. Trading down would allow the Giants to land an additional prospect in the third-round, a round that often sees players develop into quality NFL starters.

New York Yankees: Aaron Boone checks on Adam Ottavino and Gerrit Cole’s respective programs

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

By now, the New York Yankees were supposed to be playing official MLB games. However, due to concerns about the coronavirus’ outbreak that has killed thousands of people around the world, the league decided to follow CDC’s recommendations and suspend its activities indefinitely.

While MLB and the players’ association are seeking several avenues for baseball to return this year, it is unclear if medical and public health officials will allow it, and it is not a given that minimal conditions for the safety of players, fans and staffers are met. For now, the Yankees and the other 29 teams are patiently waiting.

Meanwhile, New York Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone keeps doing his job: managing the team. Lately, he spoke about the health of James Paxton, Aaron Judge and other injured stars, providing hope that they can be healthy whenever the season starts.

He is at home with his family, according to MLB.com, but Boone has also occasionally joined hurlers Gerrit Cole and Adam Ottavino to help them in their respective programs. In fact, both pitchers threw bullpen sessions with the manager on Wednesday.

Basically, Boone is monitoring the “offseason” activities of his players. He is helping them stay sharp in case the season starts relatively soon, which is a possibility.

“They’re both doing really well,” Boone said. “Physically, they’re in a good place as far as workload and keeping their arms going. It’s putting them in a good position once we get going.”

The Yankees’ skipper is taking advantage of Zoom calls

The Yankees’ manager also stated he has been busy getting in touch with everybody in the organization, including players, through Zoom calls. The communication has been very active in the last month.

Boone explained that the Yankees had a rather large call last week with several players taking part, in addition to coaches, strength and conditioning staff and front-office personnel. According to the Yankees’ on-field leader, it was a “casual, fun call,” that offered players a chance to ask questions and share their progress.

“It was a little bit of a state of the union, I guess, from my standpoint,” Boone said. “It was more a chance for guys to get on and just talk smack to one another, see how everyone’s doing, see everyone — which I think was cool for everyone. I know they have their different FaceTime and video game things they do together, but it was good to get on and see those guys, and have Tommy [Kahnle] come in and be silly on there.”