Buffalo Bills: Cody Ford out for the year, John Brown to miss Sunday

The Buffalo Bills lose two key pieces of their offense to injury as they prepare to enter a crucial final stretch.

As the Buffalo Bills prepare for a crucial final stretch that could lead to a long-sought division title, they’ll be without two of their key offensive starters, one of which will be done for the year.

Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott announced on WGR 550 that offensive lineman Cody Ford will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a knee injury in Wednesday’s practice and that receiver John Brown (ankle) will miss at least the next game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS). The Bills (7-3) are looking to clinch their first division title since 1995 and lead the Miami Dolphins a game for the AFC East lead.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Ford suffered a torn meniscus and will undergo surgery that will feature a 3-4 month recovery period. It’s the latest blow to a Bills’ offensive line that has seen its share of medical absences. Ford had already missed three games due to other injuries and Jon Feliciano missed the first seven contests after tearing a pectoral muscle before the start of training camp. Mitch Morse has also missed time, and further turnover came when Quinton Spain was released. Ford’s duties will likely be assumed by a combination of Feliciano, Brian Winters, and Ike Boettger.

Brown’s injury is the latest in what’s been a star-crossed season. A calf injury sustained during the third game of the season previously forced him out and he was previously removed from the Bills’ last game in Arizona with an ankle ailment. The injuries have prevented Brown from capitalizing on a career-best 72 receptions and 1,060 yards from last season’s playoff trek.

In other injury news, defensive end Mario Addison (knee) missed Wednesday’s practice. His status for Sunday has yet to be determined.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

 

New York Giants: What Options Remain At Right Tackle?

The New York Giants have holes all over their roster. After a wild free agency period, the Giants managed to create more holes and fill barely any of them. One gaping hole on the roster is at the right tackle position.

After missing out on premier right tackle Daryl Williams in free agency, the Giants were not left with very many options. The Giants need to upgrade the right tackle position as soon as possible. However, their options are running thin.

Free Agency

If the Giants want to sign a right tackle in free agency, they will need to do it soon. The market has really dried up over the past two weeks. The Giants met with a free agent from Minnesota, Mike Remmers. According to his agent, the meeting went well and the team will likely sign Remmers, however, nothing was imminent.

Since then, we have not heard a peep. This leaves some fans wondering when this contract will get done or if it will get done at all. If the Giants are unable to sign Remmers, who would they turn to?

There are a few veteran right tackles sitting on the free agency market. One name the Giants could consider is Jared Veldheer. According to Pro Football Focus, Veldheer is an immediate-impact free agent who played well in 2018 before going down with an injury. He earned a 62.4 overall PFF grade which is much higher than Chad Wheeler’s overall grade of 47.4.

If the Giants end up missing out on Mike Remmers, it would be wise of them to turn their attention towards Jared Veldheer or a prospect in the draft.

NFL Draft

A lot of speculation has begun surrounding the Giants’ 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The pick was acquired via trade from the Cleveland Browns. Many fans and experts have been predicting that the Giants will draft a right tackle at 17 in their respective mock drafts.

A few great tackle options will be available at 17. Names to keep an eye on include Cody Ford, Jonah Williams, and Dalton Risner.

Cody Ford played right tackle for Oklahoma and did a phenomenal job protecting the Heisman Trophy Winner, Kyler Murray. Ford is an excellent pass blocker. He only allowed 8 pressures in 2018 as a full-time starter. Cody is an extremely athletic offensive tackle. He was impressive at the NFL Combine and consistently showed elite agility on tape. This athletic ability might cause a team to move Ford to guard, but if he were to be drafted by the Giants, he would play right tackle.

Jonah Williams is similar to Cody Ford in the sense that teams will consider moving him to guard. This is because Jonah is a bit undersized for the offensive tackle position. Despite this, Williams was a consistently great player during his time at Alabama. Jonah played left tackle in college, however, he could be moved to the right side since the Giants already have Nate Solder. Williams allowed only 10 pressures in 2018 and was also Pro Football Focus’s 3rd ranked run-blocker. Williams has been mocked all over the place from the top 10 to the top 25. If he slides to 17, the Giants will have to consider drafting him.

Dalton Risner is a technically sound offensive tackle prospect out of Kansas State. Risner allowed only 28 pressures on 1,489 pass-blocking snaps in his college career and could step in and start immediately at right tackle for the Giants. He did not face the same type of elite defensive talent that Cody Ford and Jonah Williams faced, however, he was still an elite collegiate offensive tackle. Risner could be an absolute steal for the Giants at 17, or if he falls all the way to the second round (which he might).

New York Giants: Empire Sports Media’s 7 Round Giants Mock Draft Version 1.0

The NFL Draft is quickly approaching. Fans, analysts, players, and coaches are all eagerly looking forward to the 2019 NFL Draft. On April 25, the NFL Draft begins.

The New York Giants are heading into a crucial draft for the franchise’s future. After passing on a quarterback in 2018 for the generational running back, Saquon Barkley, there is a lot of speculation as to whether or not the Giants will take on this year.

This year’s quarterback class is much weaker than last years. However, this year’s defensive class is one of the best in recent memory. This will put the Giants at a crossroads as they hold 12 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Will they address positions of need or simply take the best player available with every pick?

In Empire Sports Media’s first mock draft of 2019, I will attempt to predict who the Giants will draft in all 7 rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. I will provide detailed explanations for the first three picks.

Round 1, Pick 6: Dwayne Haskins Jr., Quarterback, Ohio State

Recent rumors came out recently stating that the Giants were not interested in Dwayne Haskins. Those rumors all went to rest on Wednesday at Dwayne Haskins’s Pro Day.

The Giants did not hide their interest one bit, sending Head Coach Pat Shurmur, Assistant GM Kevin Abrams, VP of Player Evaluation Chris Mara, and other scouts and coaches to Ohio State.

Dwayne Haskins even said during an interview that the Giants were interested in him. The Giants also had dinner with Haskins the night prior to his Pro Day.

It is easy to see why the Giants are interested in Dwayne Haskins. The Ohio State quarterback was incredible during his junior year. He threw a Big Ten record 50 touchdown passes to only 8 interceptions. He also had a Big Ten record 4,831 passing yards.

Haskins is a pro-style, pocket passing quarterback. He has the accuracy and arm strength to make every throw, as well as the high football-IQ to beat opponents with his mind by reading coverages and calling protections. Haskins reads defenses better than any other quarterback in this draft class.

Dwayne Haskins is the perfect quarterback for the New York Giants. While Kyler Murray might be the more intriguing prospect, he is not likely to fall past the 1st overall pick and is also not likely to fit Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman’s quarterback mold.

Dwayne Haskins has also said he is happy to sit behind and learn from Eli Manning. Manning and Haskins have a similar, pocket-passing playstyle, so Haskins should be able to find comfort and success immediately with the New York Giants. Manning is 38 years old and likely only has one season left, so Haskins will not need to wait long.

In all likely-hood, the Giants will probably need to trade up to secure Dwayne Haskins. The Jets are the most likely trade partner at the 3rd overall pick. However, it is difficult to say what the Giants would need to give up in this trade. The Jets gave up 3 second round picks last year to make the same trade, but the Giants only have 2 second round picks.

This means the Giants would either need to throw in a 1st, a 3rd and 4th, or a player. Since it is so difficult to predict this trade, I have decided to create this mock draft with no trades. As we get closer to the draft I will consider predicting trades in my mock drafts.

Round 1, Pick 17: Cody Ford, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

The New York Giants’ offensive line rebuild is nearly complete. There are only missing one more position: right tackle. Cody Ford played right tackle at Oklahoma. Some NFL analysts think he will play guard in the NFL, but if he is drafted by the Giants, he will need to play right tackle.

With all of the defensive talent in the 2019 NFL Draft class, it will be hard for the Giants to pass on an impact-defender at 17. However, Ford has an extremely high ceiling at a position of dire need for the Giants.

Cody Ford is an extremely agile offensive tackle. His quickness allows him to stay in front of speed rushers and protect his quarterback. Ford also has the strength and power to contribute in the run game. Dave Gettleman’s love for “hog mollies” is probably too big to pass up on a versatile lineman like Cody Ford.

Below is a clip of Cody Ford showing off his quickness in pass protection:

Here is a play where Cody Ford absolutely dominated his opponent in the run game (Ford is number 74):

The Giants might look to trade up with this pick to take an elite defender. Or, if the Giants trade up from 6 to 3, they might try to trade back from 17 to get the assets back that they lost in the trade for the 3rd pick. If the Giants are unable to make any trades, they will be more than happy to draft Cody Ford.

Round 2, Pick 37: Jaylon Ferguson, Edge Defender, LA Tech

As badly as I wanted to pair former Ohio State wide receiver Paris Campbell with Dwayne Haskins here, I could not go 3 picks into this draft without taking a defender. The Giants have so many holes on defense. They need to find defensive starters in the draft. The Giants cannot wait until the 3rd round to take a defender.

Thus, the Giants take Jaylon Ferguson in the second round of this mock draft. The Giants traded away their best edge defender, Olivier Vernon, in the 2019 offseason. Vernon simply did not produce enough sacks with the Giants. Not to mention he was being paid a high salary and was consistently injured.

Jaylon Ferguson would be a perfect replacement for Olivier Vernon. The Giants would go from getting a player who produces minimal sacks to having the NCAA record-holder for most sacks in a career. Ferguson totaled 45 sacks in 4 seasons at LA Tech.

In 2018, as a senior, Jaylon Ferguson totaled 26 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. Ferguson was an extremely productive player throughout his collegiate career. Ferguson is solid as a pass-rusher and a run-defender. He has strong hands and a big frame, allowing him to fight through contact and get to the ball-carrier.

A tandem of Lorenzo Carter and Jaylon Furgeson could give the Giants one of the best, young defensive cores in the NFL. Both have the potential to be great players in the NFL.

Round 3, Pick 95: Daniel Wise, Interior Defensive Lineman, Kansas

Round 4, Pick 108: Dillon Mitchell, Wide Receiver, Oregon

Round 4, Pick 132: Kendall Sheffield, Cornerback, Ohio State

Round 5, Pick 142: Gary Johnson, Linebacker, Texas

Round 5, Pick 143: Tyree St. Louis, Offensive Tackle, Miami

Round 6, Pick 171: Mike Edwards, Safety, Kentucky

Round 6, Pick 180:  Austin Bryant, Edge Defender, Clemson

Round 7, Pick 232: Phil Haynes, Offensive Guard, Wake Forest

Round 7, Pick 245: Foster Moreau, Tight End, Louisiana State

New York Giants: Options For The Giants If They Trade Back In the 2019 NFL Draft

The New York Giants hold the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Everyone is waiting to see wether or not the Giants will finally attempt to draft Eli Manning‘s successor. However, nothing is set in stone.

This year’s draft class only has a couple of quarterbacks that are worthy of a first-round pick. If the Giants want to take one, they might even have to trade up. However, if they are not in love with one of the quarterback prospects, their best course of action might be to trade back.

Who Might Be Looking To Trade Up?

A few quarterback-needy teams could try to move into the top 10 to get their franchise signal-caller. The Giants could potentially go all-in on Eli Manning, trade back to accumulate draft picks, and build the team around the 38 year old veteran.

That is an unlikely, and probably unwise scenario. A more likely scenario would be if a team jumped in front of the Giants and took the quarterback they want. Thus would then cause the Giants to move back in the draft to get more picks. There are multiple teams who could potentially try to trade with the Giants.

One team that stands out is the Denver Broncos. The Broncos’ general manager, John Elway, has been rumored to view quarterback prospect Drew Lock as his guy. If the Giants do not share the same opinion, they could move back to the Broncos’ 10th spot.

The Miami Dolphins is another team to look out for in the 2019 NFL Draft. They are another quarterback-needy team picking outside of the top ten. They currently hold the 13th pick, which could end up being too far back to select a franchise quarterback. So if there is someone in this draft they want to select, trading up to the 6th pick would not be a bad idea.

The Giants could consider trading the 6th pick to a division rival. The Washington Redskins are going to be without Alex Smith this year due to a gruesome injury. This could possibly mean Smith’s retirement. They need to draft a quarterback to secure their future. With the 15th pick, Washington could look to trade up inside the top 10 and get themselves a quarterback.

What Could The Giants Get For The 6th Pick?

The 6th pick has a value of 1,600 points while the 10th pick has a value of 1,300. In order to add the 300 points of value, the Broncos could throw in a 2nd round pick. The Broncos’ second rounder is the 41st pick, which is worth 490 points, but that is likely fair enough compensation considering the Broncos would be selecting a quarterback.

The 13th pick is worth 1,150 points. In addition to the 13th pick, the Dolphins could trade the 48th pick from round 2 (worth 420 points) and the 141st pick from round 5 (worth 35.5 points) to make this trade. The Giants would then have plenty of draft capital necessary to add depth to their roster.

Washington’s 15th overall pick is worth 1,050 points. With the 15th pick already included, if the Redskins threw in their round 2, 46th overall pick (worth 440 points), and their 3rd round pick, 77th overall (worth 205 points), to total a package worth 1,695 points. The extra 95 points would likely make up for the fact that this is an in-division trade.

Who Could The Giants Draft If They Trade Back?

Trading back into the pick 10-20 of the first round could be of great value for the Giants. On top of the extra 2nd and mid round picks they would receive, they would have the ability to draft a defensive playmaker, or a great offensive linemen. Cody Ford is a player that has been mocked to the Giants and would likely be available if they traded back.

The draft class is filled with talented playmakers on defense. Cornerbacks and edge rushers are abundant. If one of the top-end players slides due to the high volume of playmakers on defense, the Giants could get a draft-day steal.

Edge rusher is one of the Giants’ top needs heading into the 2019 offseason. Montez Sweat is a player that has been mocked within picks 10-20 in recent mock drafts.

Cody Ford, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

In 2018, Cody Ford played right tackle for the Oklahoma Sooners. He is listed at 6’4″ and 338 pounds. Do not let his large stature fool you. Ford is an agile tackle with the ability to pass protect speed rushers.

Cody Ford is a gritty Hog Molly who loves to finish the play strong. Dave Gettleman loves strong, aggressive linemen, and Ford would fit right in with his mold of what an offensive lineman should be.

The Giants are in desperate need of a right tackle. Ford would be an instant upgrade at that position. And after a few years, Ford could move to the left side once Nate Solder moves on to retirement.

Montez Sweat, Edge Rusher, Mississippi State

Montez Sweat is a freakish 6’6″ 245 pound edge rusher out of Mississippi State. He was very productive in his junior and senior years. He totaled 10.5 sacks as a  junior and 12 sacks as a senior.

Sweat’s bull rush is excellent. He has the ability to push linemen and collapse the pocket. He is also able to plug holes in run support with his strength and ability to move the line.

https://twitter.com/DLineVids/status/1040192709347012608

However, Sweat is not a perfect prospect. Montez could improve his bend and flexibility on the outside. He does not have a ton of pass-rush moves, mainly just the bull rush, plus an occasional swim. If he adds another move or counter-move or two, he could be a great player. Check out Sweat’s bullrush on full display at the Senior Bowl:

He might take some time to develop, but Montez Sweat has the potential to be a great player at the next level. He could be a draft day steal if the Giants decide to trade back in the 2019 NFL Draft.