DeVonta Smith expected New York Giants to select him at 11 – what happened next was great for everyone

New York Giants, Devonta Smith

The New York Giants patiently waited at 11 for Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith to fall. However, the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys executed an interdivisional trade that sent Smith to Philadelphia, an unprecedented move that felt targeted at the Giants.

According to Smith himself, there were two teams he anticipated going to, and the Giants were one of them.

Appearing on Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast, Smith anticipated being pursued by two teams — the Panthers and Giants:

“I thought Carolina was going to draft me,” Smith said. “That’s who I thought. I knew of course the Giants, but it was all about, you have to get to 11. I knew if I was there at 11, I was for sure going to the Giants.”

It was clear that the Giants were in the mix for Smith at 11, but what they ended up gaining instead was not only far more valuable, it also makes an instant impact on offense. Landing Kadarius Toney with a 20th overall pick, Gettleman and Co. added a receiver who tallied 1,145 yards at 11 scores last year. In addition, he has dropped just three passes over four seasons and generated a 35% missed tackle rate, the highest of any receiver in this past draft class.

The New York Giants should be ecstatic with their haul:

Toney is an exceptional talent that can blow the top off the defense at any moment and make tacklers miss in the open field. His shifty attributes and quality background make him a perfect fit for a Giants offense looking to add another element and weapon for a quarterback Daniel Jones.

The front office did plenty to help provide Jones with more weapons to increase their offensive production this year, but the OL still remains a question. Smith, on the other hand, didn’t look too excited to take his talents to Philly, despite having his former quarterback Jalen Hurts on the roster.

The Giants didn’t only add an instant playmaker on offense, they also gained a first, fourth, and fifth-round pick to utilize. They will have the Chicago Bears first and fourth-rounders next year, which could end up being extremely valuable as they have the second hardest schedule in the NFL and are in flux with their quarterback situation. They are expected to start Andy Dalton in 2021 and ease Justin Fields in, which could end up biting them in the butt in the win-loss category.

At the end of the day, everybody walked away happy, as Philadelphia got a premium receiver who is arguably the best college pass catcher in college history, and the Giants walked away with future draft capital and an exciting player in Kadarius Toney.

New York Giants Draft Rumor: Eagles looking to leap-frog Big Blue for stud wide receiver

New York Giants, Jaylen Waddle

The best thing the New York Giants can do in the 2021 NFL draft is remain patient with the 11th overall pick. Ultimately, there could be as many as five quarterbacks off the board in the top 10 selections, which would allow one of the best non-quarterback prospects in the draft to fall to Big Blue, so sitting pretty and letting the draft unfold in front of them is the most efficient process.

However, while the Giants should sit still, other teams are active, and the latest to be rumored to make a move are the Philadelphia Eagles.

Per Ben Standig of The Athletic:

As for the trade market, the Eagles are exploring a move into the top 10 despite having just dropped from No. 6 to No. 12. Having acquired a first-round pick in 2022 from the Dolphins, the Eagles could move up and still net more assets.

If one of the top receivers falls to the 9-10 range, the Eagles could pounds and steal a desired pick from the Giants. After already trading back from 6 to 12, they gained a first-round draft pick in 2022 and would likely have to give up far less to move up a few spots and get their receiver of choice. They would walk away winners in that scenario, potentially landing Jaylen Waddle out of Alabama, who is considered by some as the top pass catcher in the draft class.

Having to deal with Waddle for the next few years, if not more, would be tough for the Giants, who just signed Adoree Jackson to fill their vacant CB2 position. He is on a three-year, $39 million deal, a lofty contract despite his riddled injury history.

The Giants have a defense capable of mitigating Waddle’s influence on a contest, but keeping him out of Philadelphia would be an ideal scenario. If he did fall to the Giants at 11, he would be an easy selection, with Tyreek Hill speed and incredible potential.

If Philadelphia did, in fact, jump ahead of the Giants, Waddle’s teammate DeVonta Smith might fall instead. He is another receiver who is considered a homerun selection, despite his lack of size. Smith is arguably the best receiver in college history, finishing 2020 with 1856 yards and 24 total touchdowns. Smith is not only a stellar receiver, but he is as clutch as they come, completely dominating Ohio State in the National Championship game this past year.

No matter how you look at this scenario, the Giants walk away winners, it’s just a matter of who they will have to face in the future in the NFC East. There are rumors that Washington could move up and grab a quarterback, so for now, we just have to take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.

Thanksgiving Day game has major implications for New York Giants’ season

New York Giants, Cam Fleming

The New York Giants are not playing on Thanksgiving this year. However, two of their division rivals are playing. And the game that they are playing is crucial for the Giants and their playoff aspirations.

After a wild Week 11 in the NFL, the Giants found themselves in a three-way tie for second place in the NFC East, despite not playing during their bye week. The Giants, Football Team, and Cowboys are all tied with a 3-7 record. Washington and Dallas both picked up clutch victories last week to narrow the gap between themselves and the division-leading Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia is a half-game ahead of everyone else with a 3-6-1 record.

With the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Football Team facing off in this Thanksgiving matchup, Giants fans should watch closely as this game could have major implications on New York’s season. The Giants have a tough schedule to close out the year, playing playoff-caliber teams like the Ravens, Seahawks, Cardinals, and Browns before season’s end. The Giants might struggle to string together more wins this year, but some of their divisional rivals’ schedules are not as difficult.

The Cowboys, in particular, have a much easier schedule. The Cowboys will face one legitimate playoff contender, the Baltimore Ravens. The rest of their matchups are quite manageable. Dallas will play the 49ers, starting Nick Mullens, their backup quarterback. Outside of that, they will play the Bengals who just lost Joe Burrow for the season, as well as the struggling Eagles and one final matchup with the Giants. If Dallas continues to play the way they did last week, that season-ending matchup with the Giants could be an additional playoff game.

Root for Washington or Dallas?

For Giants fans, Washington needs to beat Dallas today. The Giants have the tie-breaker over Washington, beating them twice this season. New York has already lost one of its two matchups against the Cowboys and will play their next game against Dallas in Week 17. Dallas has a favorable schedule leading up to that game and could string together some wins to take the lead in the divisional race.

The Washington Football Team, however, plays a much harder schedule to close out the season. They will face the undefeated Steelers and the Super Bowl-contending Seahawks, making their schedule instantly harder than Dallas’s. For Washington to stay alive in the playoff race, they need to win today’s matchup. Additionally, in order to keep Dallas from picking up steam and taking a lead in the division, Washington needs to win today’s matchup. The Giants should hope to see Dallas crumble like the crust of an apple pie during today’s afternoon Turkey Day matchup.

New York Giants: Root AFC North in Week 11, beat AFC North in Week 12

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have fought hard and entered their name bac in the playoff race. With a statement victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 10, the Giants are just inches behind their rivals for the top spot in the NFC East. The Giants sit at 3-7, having beaten the Washington Football Team twice and the Philadelphia Eagles once. The Eagles are 3-5-1, playing one less game than the Giants and obtaining one win outside of the NFC East.

New York is trending upward; the Giants are 3-2 in their last five games. Philadelphia is trending downward; the Eagles are 2-3 in their last five games. This is setting up to be a close race to the finish line as both teams fight to win their lowly division.

Go Browns!

The New York Giants are on a bye this week. Philadelphia, however, has already had their bye week, and is stepping into a tough Week 11 contest on Sunday afternoon. Speaking of hot and cold teams, Philadelphia is travelling to Cleveland, Ohio to take on the Browns. The Browns have been surprising this year, improving to a 6-3 record (winning 3 of their last 5) after a shaky start to the season. Cleveland is hot, fortunately for the Giants, and unfortunately for the Eagles.

Boo Bengals(?)!

The Giants will rest up this week and prepare to take on their own AFC North opponent in Week 12. Giants fans will be rooting for Cleveland to whoop up on Philadelphia this week, cheering for an AFC North team that they will face later on this season. But, at the same time, the Giants will be preparing to take on an AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals, next week.

This week, though, Giants fans have reason to root for Cincinnati. The Bengals are playing the Washington Football Team who sit at 2-7. With a win over the Bengals, Washington would improve their record to tie the Giants at 3-7. So fans might want to root for the Bengals this week. But their love and admiration for Cincinnnati is sure to run out quickly as the Giants will face the same team next week that they are rooting for this week.

In Week 12, the Giants will have a big opportunity ahead of themselves. From here on out, New York needs to win their winnable games and also needs to pull out an upset against in one of their games that is not considered as winnable. The Giants have a tough schedule ahead of them. The two weakest teams they will face are the Bengals (2-6-1, currently) next week and the Cowboys to close out the season. Both of those are must-win games as the Giants race the Eagles (and potentially the Washington Football Team) for first place in their division. The AFC North could actually decide the fate of the NFC East in 2020.

New York Giants’ dominant third-down defense was the key to victory in Week 10

The New York Giants finally beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday for the first time since 2016. At 3-7, the Giants have entered the race to win the NFC, which has collectively struggled all season long. But the Giants are improving at a key moment in the season, playing behind and excellent defense that has kept New York in games.

All season long, Patrick Graham and the Giants’ defense has performed above its weight class. Entering the season, the defensive personnel looked like it could be a problem in 2020. But so far, there have been some serious bright spots and standout performers on the defensive side of the ball.

James Bradberry has been excellent all season long and continued his phenomenal season against Philadelphia on Sunday. Over the last two weeks, Bradberry has allowed just three receptions for 21 total yards. Bradberry has been dominant in his first season with Big Blue.

But the biggest surprise for the Giants defense, and the most rewarding treasure that New York found this offseason, is defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. Graham has been clever all season with disguised blitzes and coverages. He has also managed to get the absolute most out of each and every single one of his playres and positions, despite having an obvious lacking of talent in certain areas. Patrick Graham’s excellence was shown in full effect on Sunday, as the New York Giants shut Philadelphia down on third downs.

The Giants’ Third Down Defense in Week 10

The New York Giants’ defense was dominant on third down in Week 10. Philadelphia was 0-9 on their third down attempts this Sunday. The Giants’ defense made clutch stop after clutch stop to clip the wings of the dirty birds.

This has been a consistent theme in recent weeks for the Giants. In the last four games the Giants’ opponents are converting 26 percent of their third downs. This is serious improvement from 54 percent rate in the first 6 games (via Dan Duggan).

The Giants have shown improvement week to week this season on both sides of the football. Last week, New York forced five total turnovers. This week they allowed zero third down conversions. It is hard to lose football games when the defense is playing at that high of a level. The Giants will need to continue to perform at this level over the final stretch of the season if they want to seriously push for a playoff spot.

New York Giants: Carson Wentz struggling ahead of crucial Week 10 matchup

The New York Giants will host the Philadelphia Eagles at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday for a crucial divisional matchup. The last time these two teams faced off was in Week 7 on Thursday night as the Giants suffered a heart-breaking defeat on primetime.

The Giants have not beat their rival Eagles since 2016. New York is looking to end that divisional losing streak this week. Luckily for them, Philadelphia’s quarterback, Carson Wentz, has struggled throughout the 2020 NFL season. The Giants could look to exploit this and come out on top in Week 10.

Carson Wentz’s 2020 Struggles

The Philadelphia Eagles sit atop the NFC East with an overall record of 3-4-1. The Eagles, like the rest of the NFC East, have struggled to find wins in 2020. Philadelphia has suffered from some key injuries this year, making things especially difficult for quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz has not had many playmakers to share the football with and has had to endure plenty of injuries on the offensive line. This has led to plenty of struggles this season for Wentz.

Carson Wentz has a completion percentage of 58.4%, the 32nd ranked in the NFL this season. But Wentz ranks towards the bottom of the league in multiple statistical categories. Carson leads the NFL with 12 interceptions and, according to Pro Football Focus, the most turnover-worthy plays in the NFL this season. PFF has Wentz graded as the 31st overall quarterback in the league.

Luckily for Wentz and Philadelphia, the offense will be replenished with a couple of healthy playmakers returning to the lineup. Miles Sanders and Alshon Jeffrey will return to the lineup this week to aid Carson Wentz and the offensive attack.

Currently, the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC East. They have a narrow lead in the division, but the Giants could make up some serious ground with a win on Sunday. A win over Philadelphia could keep the Giants in the playoff hunt.

New York Giants: Injury-riddled Eagles give Giants a chance to win again in Week 7

The New York Giants are coming off of their first win of the 2020 NFL season. New York beat the division-rival Washington Football team en route to its first win in Week Six. Now, in Week Seven, the Giants are preparing to play their third-straight divisional game on their schedule.

After losing to Dallas then beating Washington, the Giants are now traveling to play the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. With a win this week, the Giants can enter their hat in the playoff race and tie for first in the NFC East.

The Eagles, while having a poor 1-4-1 record, are the favorites to win on Thursday night. But Philadelphia’s pile of injuries could give the Giants a chance to upset their rivals on prime time.

Philadelphia’s Injuries

Key starters on both sides of the ball will be OUT on Thursday night for Philadelphia. Starting running back Miles Sanders, tight end Zack Ertz, and wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey are all out this week, leaving quarterback Carson Wentz without his best playmakers.

On defense, safety K’Von Wallace is out, as well as defensive tackle Malik Jackson. Philadelphia also has other key players dealing with injuries that have not been officially ruled out yet but could struggle if they play in Week Seven. All-Pro offensive tackle Lane Johnson is one of those battered players.

The Giants’ defense has been a pleasant surprise all season long. James Bradberry and Blake Martinez have helped the unit find great success and shut down opposing offenses in both phases of the game. While Carson Wentz poses a threat, the Giants’ defense does not have much to worry about when defending against the Eagles’ offense. Head coach Doug Peterson will need to come up with a creative offensive scheme to supplement the absence of his injured players.

New York Giants: A Thursday Night win could keep playoff hopes alive

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants‘ season got off to a disastrous 0-5 start. Thankfully, the Giants were able to pick up their first win of the season against the division-rival Washington Football Team on Sunday. Now, at 1-5, the Giants are actually still very much alive in the playoff hunt.

The NFC East is laughably bad. The Giants’ division has a combined record of 5-18-1. The Giants sit one game back from first place in their division. Currently, the Dallas Cowboys own the title with a 2-4 record. If New York can pick up a clutch win on Thursday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, they can move into first place in the NFC East.

The Dallas Cowboys will need to lose as well if the Giants are going to move into first place in the east. Dallas is traveling to Washington this week to play another divisional game. Washington’s lone win of the season came against the rival Eagles. With a Dallas loss and a New York win, the Giants would find themselves with the same record as Dallas, 2-5, at the end of the week.

But beating Philadelphia will be no easy task for the Giants on Thursday night. If the Giants want to keep their playoff hopes alive, they need to come out of Philadelphia with a win.

The Road To First Place In The NFC East

The Giants will travel to Philadelphia to play their third divisional-matchup in a row on Thursday night. A primetime game against Philadelphia is typically a daunting task for the Giants, but things could be different this time around with the Giants coming off their first win of the season.

Luckily for the Giants, things have also gone from bad to worse in Dallas. The Cowboys are playing without their starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, after he suffered a season-ending injury in Week Five. Now, after the team’s embarrassing Week Six loss to the Arizona Cardinals, players have spoken out against their own coaching staff.

This is the perfect moment for Washington to pick up a win and throw its name in the playoff race. Washington is coming off of a disappointing 19-20 loss to the Giants. They fought hard and nearly won the game, but ultimately lost on a failed two-point conversion after an impressive comeback.

With Dallas hitting a low point and Washington showing week-to-week improvement, the Football Team could get its second win of the season in Week Seven. This would put Washington in a tie for first place in the NFC East. If the Giants win this week too, then there will be a three-way tie at the top of the division. In this scenario, it is essentially the start of a new season for every member of the NFC East. The playoff race would begin in Week Seven between every single team in the NFC East.

If the Giants lose this week, it seems like their playoff hopes will be over. Considering how they played the first five weeks of the season, the Giants are not likely to go on a big winning streak to rise to the top of the division. No 0-5 team has ever made the playoffs in the NFL. Winning on Thursday will be the Giants’ first step towards making history.