Andrew Thomas vs Chase Young is the Top Rookie Matchup for 2020

New York Giants, Andrew Thomas, Georgia Bulldogs

The New York Giants missed out on Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young, arguably the best player in the 2020 NFL Draft, last week when the Washington Redskins selected Young with the second overall pick.

The Giants, picking fourth, countered that measure by taking Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, considered by many to be the best all-around left tackle prospect coming out of the collegiate ranks this year.

The Giants and Redskins – as NFC East Division rivals – face each other twice each season and Pro Football Focus believes the Young-Thomas head-to-head matchup is the top rookie battle to watch in 2020, and perhaps beyond.

“Two of the top four picks in the draft will see plenty of each other in the coming years. Young is the best defensive player in the draft, coming off the best season we’ve seen for an edge defender, with a 96.0 overall grade. Thomas has the cleanest grading profile of any offensive tackle in a deep class, as he ranked fifth as a pass blocker last year at 89.0 and second as a run blocker at 91.7. Thomas likely starts his career at right tackle, while Chase Young may start on the other side, but look for him to move around to maximize his rushing skills from both sides of the line.”

The incumbent at left tackle for the Giants is Nate Solder, who had a down year in 2019. He is 32 and heading into his 10th NFL season. Solder is in the third year of a bloated four-year deal and is no longer effective in handling speed rushers which was evident last year as rookie Daniel Jones took a bit of a pounding. That opens the door for Thomas to start at left tackle, a position he played at a high level at Georgia.

Whether or not Thomas will get matched up with Young regularly remains to be seen. If the Redskins employ a 3-4, you can count on the two tangling a lot. If head coach Ron Rivera installs the 4-3, Young will likely still line up at linebacker, but it could change his responsibilities in the passing game on many downs.

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, though, to hold Young back from rushing the passer. Yes, he can do it all, but for the Redskins to get their bang for the buck, they need him going downhill on most plays.

When he does, it would behoove the Giants to have Thomas there waiting for him.

New York Jets: Three Trade Proposals for Trent Williams

Landing the veteran blocker would situate the New York Jets’ offense in an enviable spot. How can they pull it off?

The New York Jets have gotten a lot done this NFL offseason. But their work isn’t over yet.

Floating rumors continue to propose that the Jets may seek a trade with the Washington Redskins to acquire offensive tackle Trent Williams. Improvements have been made on the offensive line to the tune of adding Connor McGovern, Greg Van Roten, and George Fant. But adding someone like Williams, a seven-time Pro Bowler, could be a move that truly revolutionizes a Jets offense seeking traction for backfield saviors Sam Darnold and Le’Veon Bell.

How can they bring Williams in? ESM explores three possibilities…

Proposal 1: 3rd round pick (79th overall) for OT Trent Williams 

Washington is in need of a second day two draft pick, having traded their second-round choice in a pick swap with Indianapolis last year. The Jets are blessed with a miniature surplus, earning extra draft capital from the New York Giants at the 2019 trade deadline (from the Leonard Williams deal). There’s still plenty to work on when it comes to the Jets’ roster, but the solidification of the offensive line ensures that they don’t technically need as many draft picks as first envisioned. Essentially “drafting” Trent Williams in the third round with a pick obtained from the Redskins’ NFC East rival would a surprise to be sure, but one the Jets would hardly argue about.

Proposal 2: LB Avery Williamson, 6th round pick (211th overall) for OT Trent Williams

The Jets still have several names that could be let go in the name of cap savings. Brian Winters’ ousting would save them just over $7.2 million, but his starting experience and potential for depth might sway the team to let him stick around. More tenuous is the situation of linebacker Avery Williamson, who would add $6.5 million to the cap if bid farewell by June 1.

Matching savings would come to the Jets if they deal Williamson (entering the final year of a three-year, $22.5 million contract) in a trade. The Jets have done a decent job in bolstering their linebacker depth this offseason. They convinced Jordan Jenkins (career-high 8 sacks) to come back on a one-year deal (worth an astonishingly affordable $5 million), brought in C.J. Mosley’s Baltimore teammate Patrick Onwuasor, and welcomed back solid depth men Neville Hewitt and James Burgess. Thus, Williamson is a bit more expendable than he was a week or two ago. If that caveat helps the Jets give up a less valuable draft pick for Williams (the 191st was acquired from Kansas City for Darron Lee), that could play into their favor.

Proposal 3: 3rd round pick (79th overall), and/or 6th round pick (179th overall)/a player for OT Trent Williams and WR Trey Quinn

With the offensive line relatively bolstered, or at least in a far better position than it ever was in the Mike Maccagnan era, the Jets have other areas of their offensive to worry about. They’re in desperate need of receivers now that Robby Anderson has left for Charlotte. Le’Veon Bell may need depth behind him with both Bilal Powell and Ty Montgomery up for free agency. The Jets can perhaps use a trade with the Redskins, provided they’re willing to give up a little more, to bolster these spots.

Quinn would be an intriguing developmental prospect that could flourish in an expanded role. 2018’s Mr. Irrelevant has dealt with injuries, but has shown potential in his brief time (35 receptions, 273 yards, 2 touchdowns). The Jets previously took on Washington system receivers Josh Doctson and Jehu Chesson. Further veteran secondary help on the Redskins’ depth chart includes cornerback Fabian Moreau.

As for who the Jets would give up in such a trade, it’s possible they could part ways with a veteran blocker (i.e. Jonotthan Harrison) or defender (John Franklin-Myers?). If it saves them valuable draft capital, that might be the way to go.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

No, The New York Giants Should Not Pursue Josh Norman

The Washington Redskins have officially cut Josh Norman today. The veteran cornerback is once again a free agent. Prior to his tenure in Washington, Norman was with the Carolina Panthers from -.

Free agency is right around the corner and, granted, the New York Giants do need help in the secondary. However, Josh Norman is not what the Giants are looking for. Norman’s age, attitude, and poor recent performances take him off of the Giants’ list of targets.

Bad Blood With Gettleman

When the Panthers moved on from Josh Norman, Dave Gettleman was the team’s general manager. Since then, Norman has spoken out against Gettleman on numerous occasions.

In 2016, Josh Norman explained that he felt “stabbed in the back” by Dave Gettleman. He called Gettleman’s decision to rescind tag “totally out of left field.” Norman was a fan-favorite in Carolina, but, because of Gettleman, Norman had to find a home elsewhere.

Norman wound up signing with the Washington Redskins. After that, Gettleman signed with the New York Giants. Gettleman and Norman have been part of division-rival teams for the last two seasons. Norman has shared some choice words for his rival general manager. Here is the classless quote Josh Norman shared about Dave Gettleman last season:

“And that’s what I feel about the situation and him. If you really want to be honest, every time I see him, I really want to like smash [his] face in the grass. That’s how I really feel about it.” – Josh Norman on Dave Gettleman via NJ Advanced Media

The Giants do not need anyone in their locker room making classless quotes like that. And we definitely will not be seeing a reunion between Norman and Gettleman after that quote.

Mediocre Performance

In 2016, the Washington Redskins signed Josh Norman to a humungous 5-year $75 million contract. It is safe to say, Norman has not exactly lived up to his salary.

Josh Norman was benched in 2019 due to poor performance, so his release should not come as a surprise. The 32-year-old cornerback out of Coastal Carolina is at the end of the road. In the 12 games Norman started in 2019, he was targeted 46 times, allowing 31 completions (67.4%), 444 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Norman was a liability on the Redksins’ defense in 2019 and he should not be considered by the Giants in 2020.

Haskins-Jones Rivalry Highlights Giants-Skins Battle for NFC Cellar

The New York Giants could draft Dwayne Haskins with the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

If you don’t think the front offices of the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins will be on the edge of their seats during this Sunday’s game between the two teams, think again. This game may be a bottom-of-the-slate game to most, but to two of the oldest franchises in the NFL, it has a ton of meaning.

The winner is actually a loser in this game. If the Giants win, they clinch third place in the NFC East and in the process will likely have played themselves out of a chance to select Ohio State edge rusher in next April’s NFL Draft. They also will draw a third-place schedule rather than the last-place one they’ve enjoyed (lol) these past two seasons.

Washington would love nothing more than to win this game as it will reaffirm owner Dan Snyder’s decision to put the football in rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ hands, which was a bone of contention he had with former head coach Jay Gruden. Snyder fired Gruden after an 0-5 start this season and replaced him with assistant Bill Callahan but it is widely suspected that it was Gruden’s handling of Haskins that got him fired.

But if the Redskins lose, it won’t be the worst thing in the world. They’d end up with the second overall pick and would live to stick it to the Giants by selecting Young themselves.

Giants’ rookie quarterback Daniel Jones and Haskins will be facing each other for the the second time, but this game will be the first time they will do so as starters. In Week 4, the Giants defeated the Redskins, 24-3. Jones started for the Giants and completed 21 of 33 passes for 225 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

Haskins received starter Case Keenum in that game and was naturally not ready. He went 9-of-17 for 107 yards but tossed three interceptions, one of them a pick-six to Jabrill Peppers.

Haskins didn’t get his first start until Week 9 but has started every game since. He lost his first two starts then won the next two. His last two starts were both winnable games against Green Bay and Philadelphia in which he showed increasing poise and confidence.

This week, he’ll face Jones – a player he’ll eternally be connected with – and the Giants, who are as beatable as an NFL team can be these days. Haskins will undoubtedly love to show the Giants’ brass that they should have taken him with the 6th overall selection last April instead of Jones. He’d also like to clear the air in his own building as it was rumored that the reason why the Giants took Jones so high was that they felt the Redskins wanted Jones, too, and would have selected him with the 15th pick, acing out the Giants – who also had the 17th pick.

The Giants surely would love to see Jones get the better the play on Sunday. They pushed all of their chips into the middle of the table on Jones and need to hit on that pick if the current regime is to remain intact. One game this early int he process should not determine that, but the Giants’ brass needs some kind of sign that they are headed in the right direction.

Jones coming out an laying an egg in Washington and getting outdueled by Haskins could cause John Mara to decide to flip the switch on his floundering organization.

New York Giants vs Washington Redskins Week 16: The Chase Young Bowl

Will the New York Giants draft Chase Young in 2020?

The New York Giants are tied for last in the NFC East with a 3-11 record. The Giants are tied with the Washington Redskins. New York also currently owns the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, despite having the same record as Washington and Miami.

The Giants played the Miami Dolphins last week and gained their third victory of the season and tying the two teams’ records. Despite this, the New York Giants still own the second overall pick in the draft because they have the weakest strength of schedule. But this week, the Giants have another key matchup with significant draft implications.

The Giants vs. Redskins Tank Bowl

The Giants and Redskins face off this week in an ultimate tank bowl. The team that loses will more than likely end up with the higher draft pick in April. If the Giants beat the Redskins in Week 16, then Washington’s record will be worse than New York’s, giving them ownership of the second overall pick. If the Giants lose, they all but cement themselves as the owner of the second overall pick.

The loser of this game is the long-term winner in the draft sweepstakes for the Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young. Chase Young is an electrifying player and 2020’s top draft prospect. Whoever ends up losing this game will get the first chance to draft Ohio State’s next NFL superstar. Of course, the team with the second overall pick could pass on Chase Young for a different position of need, but since both Washington and New York need a pass-rusher, it is hard to imagine either of these teams passing up on the draft’s best player.

Chase Young: The Best Player In The Draft

Chase Young will be one of those elite prospects that meet a position of need for either one of these teams. Through 11 games in his 2019 junior season, Chase Young has been a record-breaker. He has totaled 16.5 sacks, setting a new single-season sack record for Ohio State University.

Chase Young gets in the backfield at an insanely high frequency. He has been the most consistent down-to-down pass-rusher in the country and was a Heisman Finalist. According to Pro Football Focus, Chase Young recorded 51 pressures with a 27.6% pass-rush win rate (1st in the nation) and an 18.8% pressure rate. Young has also forced 7 fumbles and defended 3 passes. His 96.7 overall Pro Football Focus grade is one of the highest grades they have ever given.

There will be a higher number of Giants fans cheering for a loss this week than usual. This week’s matchup has significant draft implications, and they all revolve around Chase Young. If he does declare for the draft (which he is expected to, despite him stating otherwise), then he will be the dream pick for either of these teams. Chase Young could be the player to turn a team around. So, to those fans that refuse to cheer for a loss, do not judge those who do so this week. It is all in hopes of landing a franchise-changing player.

New York Giants: An Extra Bad Year To Be Extra Bad

New York Giants, Pat Shurmur

The New York Giants, once again, are eliminated from playoff contention. The Giants are 2-10, and no matter how many games they win between now and the end of the year, their season is over. This will be the third year in a row that the Giants finish with ten or more losses and without a spot in the playoffs.

This year, though, the Giants are extra bad. Unfortunately, their division is, too. The NFC East is once again the NFC Least. If the Giants were even an average team this season, they would be in playoff contention. 2019 was a really bad year for the Giants to be really bad.

The NFC Least

The NFC East has a combined record of 16-33. Not a single team in the division has a winning record. The Dallas Cowboys are currently leading the division with a 6-7 record after a bad loss to the Chicago Bears on Thursday night. The Philadelphia Eagles are 5-7, one game behind, and their next matchup is against one of the worst teams in the NFL (the Giants).

If only the Giants had been average and had been able to win a few of the easy games on their schedule this season. They are eliminated from the playoffs with a 2-10 record and only have three more losses than the team winning their division. Even the Washington Redskins, who are 3-9, have yet to be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

The New York Giants were .500 in September. After Week 4, New York was 2-2. It has been all downhill from that point on. The Giants squandered their playoff chances and are now on an 8-game losing streak. For the first time in franchise history, the Giants failed to win a game in the months of October and November.

The Giants are historically bad this year. If only they had chosen any other year to be this bad. Of course, it had to be this year: the year their division is historically bad, too. This should serve as a wake-up call to the New York Giants. They need to make significant changes in the future.

New York Jets Opponent Preview: Washington Redskins

Could the New York Giants draft Dwayne Haskins with the No. 6 overall pick?

The terrible New York Jets are set to face off against an even worse Washington Redskins team in a Week 11 matchup.

It’s been four years since the Jets last played the Redskins. In 2015, the Jets trounced the Redskins 34-20 in a game that saw Ryan Fitzpatrick throw two TDs and run for another one.

The Redskins are 8-3 all-time against the Jets, however, the Jets have won the last two matchups between the teams. The Jets are 2-1 this season against the NFC East, while the Redskins are 1-2 against the AFC East.

Injuries

The Redskins are dealing with a few injuries this week. The Redskins will be without starting WR Paul Richardson, starting TE Vernon Davis, RB Chris Thompson, and DL Tim Settle.

Two other Redskins are questionable for the game. Starting SS Montae Nicholson, and S/CB Deshazor Everett are both game-time decisions. Both were limited in practice on Friday.

The Redskins are also going to miss a number of key starters who have ended up on injured reserve at some point this season. TE Jordan Reed, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, ILB Reuben Foster, and QB Alex Smith will all be absent from this game.

Offense

The Redskins offense starts with the QB position. Alex Smith broke his leg in horrific fashion last season, and won’t play this season. That has limited what the Redskins offense has been able to do.

They began the year with Case Keenum at QB, and he was able to find a quick connection with rookie WR Terry McLaurin. McLaurin is on pace for nearly 1,000 yards and 10 TDs this season. Despite not winning many games the Redskins offense was at least serviceable with Keenum and Adrian Peterson leading the charge.

That hasn’t been the case in recent weeks. Since the Redskins fired head coach Jay Gruden the offense has sputtered. In the four weeks since the move, the Redskins have scored just two TDs, and are averaging just 8.75 points per game.

The Redskins are hoping that rookie QB Dwayne Haskins is going to be able to help them right the ship. He made his first career start last week and threw for 144 yards, 0 TDs, and 0 INTs.  He did complete 68.8% of his passes, though the offense only mustered nine points.

The Redskins offense has relied upon their running game. Adrian Peterson and Derrius Guice are likely to feature heavily against the Jets. Peterson ran for 108 yards against the Bill last week and Guice will be playing in his first game this season.

Overall the Redskins offense is 29th in DVOA, 27th in passing DVOA, and 30th in rush offense DVOA.

Defense

The Redskins defense has stood out this year. Despite poor statistical rankings they have performed well.

The Redskins are 24th in total defense DVOA, 25th in passing defense DVOA, and 19th in run defense DVOA. They are also 21st in scoring defense. However, those numbers are skewed. The Redskins have the lowest time of possession in the NFL. Meaning their defense is out on the field more than any other defense in the league.

That kind of workload makes it incredibly difficult for them to succeed late in games. That’s why the Redskins are 21st in the NFL in fourth-quarter scoring defense.

The Redskins have failed to get to the QB much this year. With only 21 sacks on the year. However, they do have some scary talent on their defensive line. Jonathan Allen has developed into an above-average DT, and Montez Sweat is a first-round rookie edge rusher who has yet to break out.

Sweat, in particular, could wreck the Jets this week. Sweat set the NFL combine record for a 40-yard dash for an edge rusher. The Jets lack athleticism along their offensive line. That could be a disaster for the Jets if they aren’t careful.

However, the biggest name to know on the Redskins defense is Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar is the Redskins number one CB, not Josh Norman. Dunbar has three INTs, five PD, an 84.2 passer rating against (12th in the NFL), and has an 88 PFF grade. If the Jets aren’t careful Dunbar could ruin their passing offense.

This isn’t a scary Redskins defense. It’s more potential than production, but that’s why the Jets need to be careful. If they haven’t done their homework, or don’t have the right game plan this Redskins defense has the potential to ruin their day.

How the New York Giants can beat the Minnesota Vikings in week 5

While the New York Giants have had relative success against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins with rookie quarterback Daniel Jones at the helm, the Minnesota Vikings present an entirely different challenge. Concerning the Vikings, the Buccaneers own the 21st ranked defense, and the Redskins the 28th ranked defense.

Minnesota sits at number six, allowing just 312.75 yards per game, but they do allow a 72.1% completion rating to opposing quarterbacks, ranking 27th. That should give Jones an advantage considering his accuracy thus far and efficiency on third downs.

Where the New York Giants might find it difficult to succeed is when they throw the ball downfield, as the Vikings rank seventh with a 5.9 pass yards per attempt. They also rank incredibly high in rushing yards per attempt with just 3.7. The Giants will, unfortunately, be without star running back Saquon Barkley to handle the load, so they will look to Wayne Gallman to supplement his loss.

Fighting for extra yards against a tough Vikings defense will be incredibly difficult, so we should expect to see Jones throwing the ball a lot and moving the chains on short completions.

Here are three New York Giants players than need to step up:

1.) Evan Engram

There is not a single linebacker in the NFL that can cover tight end, Evan Engram. The third-year player has totaled 167 receiving yards with Jones at the helm. His yards per reception skyrocketed from approximately 9 to 15 after Eli Manning was benched.

His influence will be essential in beating the Vikings, especially in the middle of the field, and creating bad matchups for opposing linebackers. He will also be a security blanket for Jones in the passing game, and we should expect to see him featured quite often.

His blocking will be necessary as well, especially for Gallman, who will find it tough to run against a stout Vikings defensive front.

2.) Daniel Jones

Next on the list is inevitably Daniel Jones. The rookie passer has faced off against decent-to-bad defenses in his first two NFL starts, but the Vikings represent an entirely different beast. They are the number one team in spending on the defensive side of the ball and will utilize those assets to put pressure on Jones and force him to make mistakes.

Luckily, head coach Pat Shurmur is familiar with their defensive scheme. Hopefully, he can dial up some unique plays to get around their strengths. Jones must stay calm and prepared for this matchup.

We should expect to see the rookie under pressure a lot and need to utilize his legs. Ultimately, it comes down to third-down conversions, which he has been extremely advantageous with in the last two weeks. He has averaged over 50% on converting on third downs, where Manning was achieving just 21%.

3.) DeAndre Baker

DeAndre Baker is one of the highlights from the last two weeks as well, bouncing back from two terrible performances to allow just five catches and 35 yards. He completely shut down Chris Godwin, who thrashed the Los Angeles Rams defense for 173 yards and two scores only one week ago.

Baker will now have to face off against Stefon Diggs, who has publicly announced his displeasure with the Vikings team. That could cause him to feel a bit overwhelmed and underappreciated, giving Baker a mental advantage. The Giants need him to step up in this big game and lockdown his opponent as he is capable of doing.

New York Giants: Here’s a free agent linebacker that could fit the bill

Could the New York Giants consider free agent, Brandon Marshall?

After the devastating injury to rookie linebacker Ryan Connelly on the New York Giants, the position not only lost its best player, but the alternatives have not performed well this season. Both Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis missed week four with individual injuries, leaving Connelly to lead the defense.

The rookie out of Wisconsin finished the day with one sack and one interception before going down on a non-contact injury. Supplementing his loss will be extremely difficult, even if the two players mentioned return in week five against the Minnesota Vikings. Without him, the task of beating the Vikings will be tall and require a team effort. However, the Giants could look to free agents to compensate for the loss of their best linebacker and new leader.

The New York Giants would need to make some moves to consider signing a player:

The first thing to consider is if there’s available cap space for Big Blue — they are running thin in this facet. They would theoretically have to release some players to open up enough room to sign a capable free agent. They currently sit on $3.12 million of space. That is where the $23.2 million in allocations in the form of Eli Manning might come in handy.

The Giants, however, will not cut Manning before his contract expires after the 2019 season. There are other players that could be on the chopping block to open up space. One player that might be willing to take a loss on his contract would be veteran in linebacker, Brandon Marshall. Drafted in the fifth round by the Jacksonville jaguars in 2012, Marshall has been impressive at times in his career.

Just two years ago, he started all 16 games for the Denver Broncos, recording 106 combined tackles, 75 solo, six tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, 3.0 sacks, and four passes defended.

Last season, he suffered a significant knee injury that limited him to just 42 combined tackles. The Oakland Raiders released him before the regular season began just a few weeks ago, as Marshall essentially used training camp to rehab and work his way back to physical form.

The Giants would likely have to rely on Ogletree and Davis moving forward, two capable options that won’t blow anyone away. They also have David Mayo, a big body that played well at times against the Washington Redskins in week four. Kicking the tires on Marshall might be a decent idea considering his past success, and if he’s willing to take a lesser amount of money to join an NFL team, he could provide value on the defense.

EXTRA:

Keep a lookout for a second article recommending an alternative player, one that would cost far less and has the tenacity to be a physical player in the NFL.

Why the New York Giants should keep Saquon Barkley on the bench

New York Giants, Wayne Gallman

The moment New York Giants star player Saquon Barkley went down with a high ankle sprain, the optimism at the running back position took a hit. After winning their first game of the season in week three against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Giants looked into several veteran free agents to help compensate for the loss of Barkley. They brought in options like Zach Zenner, Bennie Cunningham, and Fozzy Whittaker.

At the end of the workouts, the Giants allowed them to go home without executing a signing. Head coach Pat Shurmur elected to stick with the options currently on the roster. They elevated Jon Hilliman from the practice squad and plugged Wayne Gallman into the starting role.

The New York Giants rolled with a familiar face to fill Barkley’s spot:

In his third season, Gallman recorded his first start. He finished the day against the Washington Redskins with the 63 yards rushing on 18 attempts, and 55 yards on six receptions. He totaled 118 all-purpose yards and secured two touchdowns, one on the ground and one through the air.

From a fantasy football perspective, Gallman had a fantastic day and helped the Giants to a 24-3 victory in week four of the regular season. However, moving forward it will be challenging to match up against the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots, two quality defenses.

Gaining back Saquon Barkley is undoubtedly a priority, but the Giants should not rush him and be cautionary with his recovery. Gallman is capable of handling the load despite his 3.5 yards per carry, a considering it was his first game as a starter, we should give him the benefit of the doubt concerning his deficiencies. Minnesota will likely be a tall task to handle, but Gallman is the running back moving forward for the Giants. In a season where a rebuild is underway, forcing an early return for you star player is not advisable.