New York Giants: Post-Draft Musings

The dust has settled from the 2021 NFL draft, so here are a few post-draft, Giants specific thoughts.
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We've had almost a full 24 hours to let the events of the 2021 NFL draft sink in. And after sleeping on the way the draft unfolded, I still feel pretty good about what the team did, even though they didn't address the offensive line.

Let's start there since I brought it up. Like many of you, I was surprised that the Giants didn’t draft an offensive lineman. But in having slept on it, I am not as bothered about it for a couple of reasons.

First, drafting an offensive lineman doesn’t automatically mean the guy will turn out to be a stud. Just look back at the Giants' history of drafting offensive linemen over the last decade, and I’m sure you’ll join me in expressing disgust over how many swings and misses this team has had in its attempt to draft offensive linemen in virtually every round of the draft.

Second, let me point out a quote from head coach Joe Judge that I think was very telling in this instance.

"None of the guys drafted are ready...they are not 'plug and play' or 'day one ready.' All of them need NFL training, physical conditioning, and slowly getting their feet wet in real games. It's a two-year process for most rookies," he said.

Given that quote, do we honestly think that had the Giants drafted an offensive lineman in the first three rounds, he would have erased any lingering concerns we might have about the unit?

Two things make or break an offensive lineman—or any player for that matter. The first is how badly the player wants to succeed. The mental aspect is more than 50% of the game, and I have seen throughout the years draft picks that were content collecting an NFL paycheck and others who have worked their fannies off to become a player.

An undrafted free agent shouldn’t be discounted as a potential solution. Nick Gates went undrafted, but he wanted it badly and worked for it and earned his payday. Long before him, Shaun O’Hara and Rich Seubert both went undrafted, and both worked non-stop to build themselves into quality starters.

The other point is the coaching. Judge has tweaked his coaching staff to pour more resources in that direction as needed. He added Rob Sale, who will hopefully end the early (and unplanned0 revolving door the Giants have experienced (not to mention finally get that young talent in which the Giants have so much confidence in on the right track).

So no, the Giants didn’t draft an offensive lineman this year, but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. As Jude likes to say, let these guys get in the building, and we’ll go from there as to what they have or don’t have.

Will The Giants Get the Last Laugh Over Philly?

I confess that I muttered a few unkind words about the Eagles after engineering a swap with the Cowboys and then grabbed Alabama receiver Devonta Smith, a Giants target, right out from under New York's nose.

But again, after sleeping on it, I have a different perspective.

Is anyone out there going to argue that the return on investment they got from their trade with the Bears (which I suspect never would have been made if Smith or Jaylen Waddle were on the board) doesn’t exceed the value of either of those players?

Think about this for a moment. The Giants now have a major cache of picks next year to move up in the first round depending on their greatest need, including quarterback if Daniel Jones doesn't pan out or edge rusher, which is supposed to be deep next year.

While I realize that won’t do them any good this year, roster-building isn’t just about the current year; it’s also about the future.

As with anything, time will tell who got the better of who. My early guess is that once the smoke clears, the Giants will have won this year’s first-round over the Eagles (who, by the way, still don’t appear to have a definitive answer at quarterback on their roster).

I think that whatever happens this season, the Giants have finally set themselves up to sustain any success they can build this year, and it's all thanks to their deciding to make lemonade out of the lemons the Eagles served them.

Something I Found Interesting

After the Giants selected edge Azeez Ojulari in the second round, my timeline was flooded with people who wanted them to take a guard in the third round. Yet I found it interesting that by the time the Giants go to the third round, only one guard and two centers had been selected.

Why did I find that interesting? Because it reinforces the notion that the value and need didn’t match up.

“This Draft was a Joke”

An unhappy Giants fan fired off a lengthy letter after I published this morning’s mailbag complaining about the Giants’ 2021 draft haul, that Dave Gettleman went heavy on defense and didn’t draft offensive linemen, Saquon Barkley is damaged goods, and the Giants organization is a joke.

Look, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and it's not my job to defend the organization contrary to what some of you might think. With all due respect to the individual in question, I could not disagree with the sentiments expressed more.

Since when does defense not matter? And did I miss it, or did the Giants have two solid cornerbacks in their backfield last year and a consistent pass rush that turned pressures into sacks to where they didn’t need to upgrade those two spots?

The Giants defense is now worlds better, which is going to help them out a lot. As for the offense, as I noted above, how about we give the new offensive line coaching staff a chance to put their fingerprints all over this more experienced group of linemen before we start playing the laugh tracks?

If the individual who sent me the letter is reading this, if you want to see a draft that was a joke, go back and look at some of the Giants classes from 2012 onward that often failed to produce fruit. Those draft classes were jokes--the only thing is no one was laughing.

In Case You Missed It

Jaguars head coach Urban Myer admitted to having his heartbroken when the Giants picked wide receiver Kadarius Toney at No. 20, five picks before the Jaguars went on the clock for the 25th overall pick.

“I’ve gotten to know him over the last couple weeks and obviously my connection with [Gators] coach [Dan] Mullen and those guys,” Meyer said via ESPN. “You watch [Toney] play, he’s a human highlight reel.”

Meyer and the Jaguars managed to get Clemson running back Travis Etienne instead, reuniting Etienne with quarterback Trevor Lawrence, chosen with the first pick overall. 

“This Draft was a Joke”

Yep, I knew it was coming. An unhappy Giants fan whose identity I’ll withhold actually fired off a lengthy letter after I published this morning’s mailbag complaining about the Giants’ 2021 draft haul because Dave Gettleman went heavy on defense this year and didn’t draft offensive linemen, that Saquon Barkley was damaged goods, and that the Giants organization is a joke.

Look, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and it's not my job to defend the organization. But it is my job to be objective and open minded and with all due respect to the individual who sent the letter to me, this is about as ill-informed an opinion as any I’ve seen. 

Since when does defense not matter? And did I miss it or did the Giants have two solid cornerbacks in their backfield last year and a consistent pass rush that turned pressures into sacks to where they didn’t need to upgrade those two spots?

The Giants defense is now worlds better which is going to help them out a lot. As for the offense, as I noted above, how about we give the new offensive line coaching staff a chance to put their fingerprints all over this more experienced group of linemen before we start playing the laugh tracks?

If the individual who sent me the letter is reading this, if you really want to see a draft that was a joke, go back and look at some of the Giants classes from 2012 onward that often failed to produce fruit. Those draft classes were jokes--only thing is no one was laughing.

In Case You Missed It

Jaguars head coach Urban Myer admitted to having his heart broken when wide receiver Kadarius Toney was picked by the Giants at No. 20, five picks before the Jaguars went on the clock for the 25th overall pick.

“I’ve gotten to know him over the last couple weeks and obviously my connection with [Gators] coach [Dan] Mullen and those guys,” Meyer said via ESPN. “You watch [Toney] play, he’s a human highlight reel.”

Meyer and the Jaguars managed to get Clemson running back Travis Etienne instead, reuniting Etienne with quarterback Trevor Lawrence, chosen with the first pick overall. 

Young Gets His Day in the Sun

The late George Young, who built the Giants into a contender within three years after being hired in 1979 (thus ending an 18-year playoff drought), was finally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Look, Young had his faults--he lost his touch in the 1990s and never did quite grasp how to manage the salary cap. And yes, he was responsible for nearly firing Bill Parcells (but he didn't) and hiring Ray Handley after Parcells quit.

But Young guidance in rebuilding the once-proud franchise that had deteriorated beyond recognition back into a modern-day contender is often underappreciated by Giants fans and has gone underappreciated by the Hall of Fame for far too long. So good for George for finally being enshrined; I just wish he had lived to see it.


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