Three Notable Games From The 2018 Giants Schedule

The New York Giants schedule is now released, and we have a clearer picture of what fans should expect from this season. Outside of their yearly divisional opponents, the Giants will face teams from the NFC South, AFC South, and NFC West. Which games are the most interesting of the season, either because of their divisional importance or because of the matchup?

Here’s three that stand out:

Week 2: at Dallas Cowboys

The Giants and the Cowboys are no strangers to playing on Sunday Night Football, and they have another early season matchup that will take center stage nationally on Sunday night. Last year, the Giants only scored three points when they opened their season against the Cowboys. This game will change the tone of the season going forward.

No matter how good the teams are, Giants fans don’t like losing to the Cowboys. A win here will help to put the fanbase at ease in the early part of the season, while a loss would make fans question the team and the coaches early. Especially because the Cowboys finished with nine wins last season, a big drop from Ezekiel Elliot’s rookie season.

[sc name=”NYG Articles Thumbnail”]

Week 6: vs Philadelphia Eagles

Week 6 is when the Giants will face the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. It sounds strange to say that, but we’ll be hearing a lot of that from now on. This is another nationally televised game, this time on Thursday Night Football, and these games tend to have more pressure surrounding them. The Eagles were obviously a strong team last year, but now that they’ve added inside linebacker Nigel Bradham and veteran wide receiver Mike Wallace, they’ll be an even tougher matchup for the Giants.

[sc name=”StubHub”]

Quarterback Carson Wentz will also return from injury next season, and all of it makes this a good game for the Giants to prove themselves. The Giants came close to stealing a game from the Eagles last year, and if they can win here, it will make a statement that this isn’t last year’s team.

Week 1: vs Jacksonville Jaguars

This one isn’t just special because it’s the first game of the season, but because it’s the Tom Coughlin homecoming. Coughlin is currently the Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the Jags, and the Giants will surely have something planned when Jacksonville comes into town for the first time since Coughlin took over. That’s not the only reason why this game is worth paying attention to, however.

If you ask most fans who the top teams in the AFC are, the Jaguars aren’t usually the first one that comes to mind. But they won the AFC South last year and won a very close game in Pittsburgh in the divisional round of the playoffs, before eventually losing to the Patriots by only four points.

They’re the favorites in their division again and with their relatively young squad, they’re here to stay. The Jags have a great defense and are a tough opponent for week one, even if many will look ahead to the week two game in Dallas.

New York Giants Release Veteran Wide Receiver, Save Ton Of Cap-Space

The New York Giants seem to be ridding themselves of all the aging talent taking up too much cap-space on the team. Veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall has been cut by the Giants, saving the team $6.15 million in cap space.

What does this mean?

By cutting both Marshall and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the team will save about $11 million in cap.

Marshall played only one season in New York, but failed to reach his potential as Odell Beckham Jr’s. complement. The former New York Jet was injured early on in the season with an ankle ailment, causing him to miss the remainder of the season.

Marshall dropped two passes late in games that could have turned the season around for the Giants early on, but those drops will now live forever in the depths of the lost 2017 season.

For the Giants, becoming younger and hungrier was the main goal when they brought on general manager Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur. It seems as if their goal is becoming more apparent now that they have cut two costly contracts from the salary-cap.

Dave Gettleman Will Not Shy Away From Taking RB At No. 2 – Here’s The Proof

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants hold the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, but the big question is what will they do with it? The answers are only one week away, and it all lies behind the smokescreen that new GM Dave Gettleman has cast into the air.

But, there’s one thing that we can be sure of, Gettleman will ‘not’ shy away from taking a running back just because he’s in the top five prospects in the draft. If the Giants believe that second-year quarterback Davis Webb is their man, Penn State running back Saquon Barley could be a Giant within the first hour of the draft.

The primary question fans ask is: Why would a team spend a top two pick on a running back, and is Gettleman smart enough to realize that there’s more value in a quarterback?

[sc name=”NYG Articles Thumbnail”]

Well, Gettleman’s strength is seeing value, which in his words, certainly doesn’t rule out taking  a RB at the No. 2 spot.

“The bottom line is: Is this guy a football player?” Gettleman said at the NFL combine a few months ago. “This whole myth of devaluing running backs, I find it kind of comical. At the end of the day, if he’s a great player, he’s a great player.It doesn’t matter what position he is.”

This quote attests to his comments that he will be selecting the player most capable of wearing a gold jacket at the end of his career.

[sc name=”StubHub”]

A 234-pound linebacker framed running back with 4.4 speed and a superior skill-set over Ezekiel Elliot, fits the bill. Taking Barkley might be the safest bet to grab an uber talented player with generation potential. Gettleman previously drafted Christian McCaffrey with the No. 8 pick in the 2017 NFL draft, which has seemingly worked out well for the Panthers.

The stud Texas A&M running back provided Cam Newton with a legitimate running back that can also flank out as a wide receiver, and provided the team with kick returning ability. Giants’ head coach Pat Shurmur would ultimately have a field day with Barkely at his disposal, but is it better to be safe than sorry?

The NFL draft is approaching and the New York Giants can go several different directions. You don’t want to miss out on any BREAKING news! Sign up for FREE here.

Passing on a quarterback could be potentially catastrophic for the Giants, who are in need of Eli Manning’s potential heir. The question of Davis Webb remains, and he could ultimately be the deciding factor when the Giants are on the clock.

 

Here’s Why The Giants Shouldn’t Rule Out Baker Mayfield As Their QB Selection

The NFL Draft is only days away, and it is still a huge mystery what the New York Giants are going to do with the second overall pick. Saquon Barkley seems like the favorite, but they could take Bradley Chubb, a quarterback, or trade back and acquire more picks.

Running with the narrative that they will take a quarterback, Baker Mayfield is one they shouldn’t rule out just yet.

Heres why:

[sc name=”StubHub”]

Baker Mayfield ranks at or near the top in nearly every category, according to Pro Football Focus. He has the best adjusted completion percentage of all quarterbacks in this draft, handles himself under pressure with the best, and ranks as the best deep passer in the draft as well. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner had the highest passer rating of any quarterback in this draft when blitzed as well as when he is not.

[sc name=”NYG Articles Thumbnail”]

Some say that the system he played in is what helped his success because his receivers were often wide open. But if you narrow it down to just NFL type throws, Mayfield is still the best, and he has shown tremendous ability to make those tight window throws. His natural instinct gives him the ability to make plays with his arm or legs when the play breaks down.

The NFL draft is approaching and the New York Giants can go several different directions. You don’t want to miss out on any BREAKING news! Sign up for FREE here.

The one main concern about Baker Mayfield is his height, officially measuring at 6’0″. Most scouts prefer quarterbacks to be taller than that, but let us not forget about two of the shortest quarterbacks in the NFL right now, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees. Believe it or not, Mayfield has comparable traits as Brees and it’s not just height that they have in common.

 

 

Is Geron Christian A Round Three Steal For The Giants Offensive Line?

Everyone knows that top offensive line prospect Quenton Nelson will make a big impact for whatever team drafts him, but what about the prospects that can be found in later rounds? It looks like the New York Giants will use their first pick on a quarterback or a running back, leaving them to look for an offensive line addition in a later round.

If they go for a quarterback in the first round, they may target a running back in the second. Fortunately, there’s at least one good tackle prospect that might be worth looking into as a third round steal.

You might not recognize the name Geron Christian unless you follow ACC football, but you probably know the player that he was responsible for protecting, Lamar Jackson. Christian played as both a left and right tackle for Louisville and led them in pass protection, and he has NFL size and athleticism while also showing good skill at anchoring himself against the pass rush.

[sc name=”NYG Articles Thumbnail”]

He’s big enough that most defensive ends can’t just bull rush through him, but isn’t too slow on his feet in a way that would allow rushers to beat him consistently with inside and outside moves. His experience on both sides of the field will be a benefit heading to the NFL, because he has the experience of being the main pass protector at left tackle but can also be moved to the right side to accommodate Nate Solder, who will be a starter for the Giants at left tackle next season.

However, Christian is still a player that needs time to develop. He’s not a surefire starter over Ereck Flowers at right tackle if the Giants draft him, and he doesn’t have experience playing in a pro style system. Not only are the schemes different, but he’ll be expected to block for longer as his quarterback holds onto the ball instead of making quick passes in a spread offense.

[sc name=”StubHub”]

One concern is that even while playing in the spread, Christian couldn’t protect Lamar Jackson as much as one would desire. Jackson is a scrambler who could get out of trouble sometimes, but an NFL tackle can’t expect his quarterback to run away from danger and pick up yards or avoid a loss after the pocket collapses. Still, when he’s playing well, Christian is good at blocking both strength based and technique based pass rush moves, and it looks like he has a higher ceiling than likely starter Ereck Flowers does.

He’s projected to go in the second or third round by most sources, and if he drops into the third, it’s definitely worth it for the Giants to consider drafting him and letting him learn from Nate Solder and other experienced players while fixing the flaws that he showed in college. If they do that, they could have an above average starter on their hands in the near future, when he gets more playing time.

[sc name=”Email Signup”]

Realistic Expectations For The New York Giants’ Offense

The New York Giants have hooked up the IV to their offense and are in the process of healing after an abysmal 2017 performance.

The firing of Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese applied some bandages, and the hiring of Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman were the morphine. The dulling of the pain was the overhaul of the front office, and the recovery process is currently in full effect.

The Giants’ offense ranked in the bottom half of the league in every category last season. They landed at 31st in points scored per game (15.4), 21st in overall yards (314.2), 19th in pass yard (217.4), and 26th in rushing yards (96.8).

Adding the likes of Nate Solder to solidify the left tackle position and Patrick Omameh at left guard provides an influx of talent on the offensive line, but there is still much work to do. Big Blue lost guard Justin Pugh and center Weston Richburg in free agency and replaced them with one good lineman and another average. They replaced Richburg with Brett Jones and Pugh with a less-talented Omameh. In addition, they moved former LT Ereck Flowers to right tackle.

[sc name=”NYG Articles Thumbnail”]

This may look like an improvement on the offensive line, but for the most part there are still many holes that need to be filled. We can expect Gettleman to further address the line in the upcoming NFL draft.

But, with the comeback of Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, the Giants will be looking to rebound from last season’s atrocity. Averaging 217.4 yards per game is putrid, but it was without Marshall, Beckham Jr., and Sterling Shepard for a majority of the season.

With the emergence of Evan Engram as a receiving threat from the tight end position, Beckham Jr. and Marshall should benefit greatly in the coming season. Opening up single coverage for the two talented receivers will undoubtedly make a difference on the offense and allow Eli Manning several high quality options.

[sc name=”StubHub”]

Manning’s numbers from 2017 weren’t anything special:

  • CMP-ATT (352-571)
  • 61.6 completion %
  • 3468 yards
  • TD-INT (19-13)

Manning suffered the lowest amount of passing yards since the 2008 season; the lowest amount of touchdowns, completion percentage, and highest amount of sacks since 2013.

His numbers can be forgiven though, as he was playing with an unreliable offensive line and a band of misfit toys at wide receiver. In fact, the only benefit from Manning playing last season was to build chemistry with Engram.

What we should expect:

We should expect the Giants to address the offensive line and running back positions through the draft, which will be essential points to the improvement of the offense.

Adding a capable running back with help improve the rushing ranking the Giants had in 2017. From ranking 26th, the Giants can improve that to the 15-20th rank. That’s a significant improvement in just one season with various holes that needed to be addressed on the offseason.

The NFL draft is approaching and the New York Giants can go several different directions. You don’t want to miss out on any BREAKING news! Sign up for FREE here.

The passing rankings (19th) weren’t actually as bad as it could’ve been. With three healthy wide receivers and improved chemistry between Manning and Marshall, their ranking should see a jump of at least five spots (10-14th range).

Eli Manning statistical projections:

  • CMP-ATT (380-606)
  • 62.7 completion %
  • 4,358 yards
  • TD-IN (28-12)

I’m predicting that Manning will have his lowest interception totals since 2008 (10), simply due to the new offensive scheme brought forth by Shurmur. The Giants’ new head coach is known as the “quarterback whisperer” and will be the best thing to happen to Manning since OBJ was drafted.

Overall, we will see improvement in the first season under new management, but don’t be surprised to take a ride on the gradual-improvement train for at least a season or two.

Draft Trade Rumors: Why a Trade Between the Browns, Giants, and Bills Makes Sense

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The NFL draft is nine days away. So naturally, Twitter has all the answers. But what if in all the weeds there’s truth to be found? Recently, there was rumored trade talk between the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and Buffalo Bills—who own the No. 1 and 4, No. 2, and No. 12 overall picks respectively. The details aren’t clear. But after looking at all available picks for the teams and how the trade would benefit all three teams, it makes sense.

As far as who gets what, I’m going to cut to the chase.

There would be two separate trades, the first contingent on the second–which is where the three-team trade comes into play. The Bills swap with the Browns from No. 12 to No. 1, and the Browns swap their No. 4 pick with the Giants’ No. 2 pick. (I’ll explain the trade in further detail later)

[sc name=”StubHub”]

Why would the Bills do this?

First, the Bills have made no secret about their plans to move up and try to grab a franchise quarterback in this draft. In the past year, their new GM Brandon Beane (who worked closely with Giants GM Dave Gettleman in Carolina), has been stockpiling draft picks and could do just that. If Beane manages to climb all the way up to the No. 1 overall pick to choose their QB of the future, consider it mission accomplished from their perspective.

[sc name=”NYG Articles Thumbnail”]

So why would the Browns voluntarily give up the No. 1 overall pick and move down to the No. 12 pick when they need a franchise quarterback too? Even though they have the No. 4 overall pick, it’s unlikely the Browns have the top four QBs in this draft ranked all the same—simply taking whichever QB is left at No. 4 overall. This is where the Giants come in, and everything is contingent on the Giants giving up their No. 2 overall pick to the Browns for the Browns’ No. 4 overall pick.

The rumors of the Browns liking Josh Allen probably have some truth. It’s plausible that the Browns are more than happy with either Sam Darnold or Josh Allen as their future quarterback; and would be satisfied with taking the QB that the Bills don’t. Or perhaps both teams confer and want different guys.

Either way, if the Browns couldn’t secure this No. 2 overall pick guarantee by the Giants, it would likely be a deal-breaker. So, the Browns still pick up their future franchise QB that they’re happy with, simply drop their second first-rounder from No. 4 to No. 12, while picking up a haul. (More on that later)

The NFL draft is approaching and the New York Giants can go several different directions. You don’t want to miss out on any BREAKING news! Sign up for FREE here.

In this scenario, Gettleman forgoes the QB and looks to the elite position players that can make an instant impact. It’s been rumored the Giants are extremely fond of Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb, and Quenton Nelson—the three elite, blue chip position players in the draft. With the Jets not hiding the fact they’re seeking a quarterback, the Giants still get their position player pick of the litter, while picking up extra draft picks. Dave Gettleman and the Giants fan base are happy. Or… they should be anyway.

I won’t get into the exact point value, but the trades would break down like this:

Trade:
Buffalo Bills:     1st overall pick     via CLE
Cleveland Browns:     1st (12), 1st (22), 6th (187), & 2019 1st     via BUF

Trade:
New York Giants:     1st (4), 2nd (35), 2nd (64)     via CLE
Cleveland Browns:     1st (2), & 2019 6th     via NYG

The mutual benefit is clear. Brandon Beane delivers, getting the Bills their franchise QB. New GM John Dorsey achieves the impossible, and delivers on what he was brought in for–getting the Browns their franchise QB. They also keep their second first-rounder in the top 12, gain an extra first-rounder, and another first-rounder next year for Dorsey to continue roster building with top tier draft picks. The Giants get their franchise blue chip player, and add an early and a late second-rounder.

Although it may appear the Giants get the better end of the Browns trade, the Browns make up for it with the Bills trade getting two additional first-rounders spread out over this draft and next year’s draft. The Browns need the Giants trade to make the Bills trade happen, and the Browns have picks to spare.

After the trade, here are what the 2018 draft picks look like for all three teams:

Buffalo Bills: 1st (1), 2nd (53), 2nd (56), 3rd (65), 3rd (96), 4th (121), 5th (166)
Cleveland Browns: 1st (2), 1st (12), 1st (22), 2nd (33), 4th (114), 5th (150), 6th (175), 6th (187), 6th (188)
New York Giants: 1st (4), 2nd (34), 2nd (35), 2nd (64), 3rd (66), 3rd (69), 4th (108), 5th (139)

[sc name=”Email Signup”]

All three teams achieve the main goal of what they initially wanted heading into the draft, while still retaining draft picks. The Bills have four picks on Day Two to work with. The Browns have three first-round picks, still have the first overall pick on Day Two, and several Day Three picks. The Giants have five picks in the first 70, including the second and third overall picks on Day Two.

There’s no telling if this is really happening. But if it does go down, the pieces could be put in place before the draft. Rumor or not, this is a trade that does in fact make sense for the teams involved. It’s also a scenario that has QBs as the first three picks—which ultimately would make sense. As a Giants fan, if Gettleman could pull this off in his first season as GM, parlaying the No. 2 overall pick into two additional second-rounders, while still getting the top position player in the draft…I would consider that a major victory. As fans all we can do is wait and see what happens.

Scouts Have Overwhelmingly Great Things To Say To About Saquon Barkley

We all know Penn State running back Saquon Barkley has all of the tangible and intangible skills to become a force in the NFL. For the New York Giants, drafting Barkley would instantaneously improve the offense and provide the team with a young leader to carry a team into the 2018 season.

The comeback of Odell Beckham Jr., the development of Evan Engram and the potential final season for Eli Manning set this year up to be a big one, and Barkley would undoubtedly assist in their success.

NFL scouts seem to think something similar, as they continue to rave about his overall quality and prowess on and off the field.

[sc name=”NYG Articles Thumbnail”]

“He’s legit.” “Better prospect than Zeke and Fournette.” “You’re talking about a 230-pound dude who runs sub-4.4 that has balance and run skills. It’s rare.”

At 234-pound, Barkley has the frame of a linebacker, the agility of a slimmer running back, he power of a fullback and the catching ability of a receiver. Additionally, he’s the farthest thing from a liability off the field, and his leadership only contributes to his overall stock.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah stated:

“I agree with the executive I spoke to last week who said Barkley is a better player than Ezekiel Elliott. I’m not taking anything away from Elliott’s rare talents — he’s obviously a great player — but Barkley has more wiggle and top-end speed than Elliott. Elliott’s a powerful runner and he has great instincts. Barkley is at the same level in both of those facets of the game, but Barkley’s start-stop quickness and top speed are on a different level.”

[sc name=”StubHub”]

Elliott has enjoyed one of the best offensive lines in the league for the length of his career thus far, and Barkley might be headed to a team with one of the worst. Despite the Giants adding left tackle Nate Solder and left guard Patrick Omameh, there’s still a lot of work to be done. While at Penn State, Barkley recorded negative runs on 17.5% of his running plays, which can be attributed to defenses stacking the box to stop the elusive rusher.

The NFL draft is approaching and the New York Giants can go several different directions. You don’t want to miss out on any BREAKING news! Sign up for FREE here.

Barkley was essentially Penn States’ most lethal weapon, which forced opposing teams to game-plan for him. In accordance to that fact, the running back often averaged about 15 rushes per-game — far less than a normal NFL work-horse back. He also averaged about three receptions per game, which only attests to his superior abilities in all facets of the game.

One of the most appealing aspects of Barkley’s game is his ability to find the endzone. On average, he saw himself in the endzone nearly twice per game, making him a premier option on the goal-line, and a future fantasy football god.

New York Giants Linebacker Trying To Take Significant Jump In 2018 – Can He?

New York Giants linebacker, B.J. Goodson.

The New York Giants added two new linebackers this offseason, Alec Ogeltree and Kareem Martin.

Martin is a player of former Arizona Cardinals and current Giants defensive coordinator, James Bettcher. With Bettcher comes a 3-4 scheme, or some sort of hybrid system. With the Giants working with a 4-3 system for years, switching to a 3-4 would be an extreme change, which makes a hybrid system more likely.

This benefits Martin and Ogletree greatly, as both are great at the point of attack and were primary run defenders in their respective defenses. GM Dave Gettleman traded for Ogletree to solidify the middle of the field, a position that former GM Jerry Reese avoided oh so religiously.

But, there is one remaining linebacker from the Reese era that is trying to make a significant jump in the new system. Former third-round Clemson product B.J. Goodson will be fighting against the storm, as he now has competition at the position he was once arbitrarily awarded.

After coming off an injury plagued sophomore season that saw Goodson enjoy some success, he has the odds stacked against him in 2018. He only managed to start in seven games before spending the remainder of the season on IR. He was awarded with managing the defense and calling plays, an extraordinarily intimidating task for such a young third-round player. But, with new defensive quarterback Alec Ogletree entering the scene, Goodson now has to fight twice as hard for the playing time he was freely given in 2017.

According to Giants.com, Bettcher’s defensive starters are still to-be-determined:

“I’ll tell you what,” Bettcher said earlier this month, “I can’t tell you today who we’re going to be on defense and really what we’re going to look like until we get through training camp, until we get into meetings, until we actually get on the field, until we don’t just play some basketball on grass in the offseason program. Until we get to training camp and we have helmets and pads on and we’re striking and separating and playing off of blocks and what we’re really going to look like.

Goodson stated:

“Football is football, schemes are schemes, but at the end of the day, all teams play the same coverages,” Goodson said. “And basically it turns into all of the same defenses. Football is football. We’re going to go out and play, and I’m excited about the new faces that I get to play with and embracing them.”

On Ogletree, Goodson said:

“All I knew about him was watching film on him versus opponents we were game-prepping on. And as I get to know more and more about him, knowing that he’s from a part of Georgia where I’m familiar with, it’s nice to get to know him.”

The young linebacker surely knows that the competition will be aggressive and fierce, but there’s nothing that says Ogletree will win the job based on his past success. Goodson will have his opportunity to impress Bettcher and earn his playing time like everybody else.

 

 

 

 

 

Former Giants GM Candidate Knows Who He Would Pick At No. 2

If the New York Giants had passed on current general manager Dave Gettleman and opted for ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, we can guarantee that one specific player would be drafted in the coming days.

Nonetheless, Riddick is still speculating ahead of the draft like the rest of us, but the former GM candidate for John Mara and co. would go after Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

According to Riddick, it’s not just him who thinks Barkley is a prime candidate for the Giants, but executives within the organization seem to think so as well.

“I have a feeling that there is a strong, strong, strong sentiment within that building for Saquon Barkley based upon my experience there, if you know what I mean.”

[sc name=”NYG Articles Thumbnail”]

To be fair, Barkley has it all — Speed, athleticism, strength, vision, and a stellar personality. There’s nothing not to like about the stud running back, but the only thing standing in the Giants’ way of selecting him is a potential franchise quarterback.

Riddick added:

“I think the Giants are sitting in a spot where they can’t lose if they stay where they are.”

By staying put at No. 2, the Giants have access to nearly the entire crop of blue chip players, whether that’s UCLA’s Josh Rosen, USC’s Sam Darnold, Penn States’ Saquon Barkley, or North Dakota’s Bradley Chubb.

The NFL draft is approaching and the New York Giants can go several different directions. You don’t want to miss out on any BREAKING news! Sign up for FREE here.

“I think Saquon Barkley is just a special kid, I really do,” Riddick said. “I think he will help Eli because he will give him someone who he can turn around and hand the ball off to between 25 and 28 times a game.”

[sc name=”StubHub”]

In college, Barkley only averaged about 15 carries per-game, which is far less than the 25-28 Riddick projected for him in the NFL. The reason Barkley had minimal carries was due to the defenses game plan. The opposing defense would often stack the box and play according to Barkley’s influence. This is why Penn State used their star running back in the passing game frequently.

For the Giants, he would immediately impact their run game, passing game, and protection of Eli Manning. His strength and linebacker frame would assist greatly in keeping Manning upright and able. Overall, selecting Barkley is an immediate upgrade to the offense, but again, this all comes down to whether the Giants brass believe Davis Webb can be the future of the franchise, or not.