The Giants are already into their offseason conditioning program, which means for the guys already on the roster, they can officially put last season’s dreadful season in the rearview mirror.
As for the upcoming draft later this month, Big Blue’s brass is in the final stretch of player evaluations and ranking their big board. General manager Jerry Reese was busy at the onset of free agency, reloading a defense that was historically bad. While he spent more than $200 million in upgrades, it doesn’t mean he’s done with the facelift.
The offense has been ignored a bit during this offseason, which also means anyone is in play when the team selects 10th overall on April 28.
Reese always likes to say they’ll select the best player available, regardless of need. But with an offensive line still incomplete, Reese just may have to select a top offensive line prospect.
As their roster is presently constituted, only the left side seems stable, with center Weston Richburg, guard Justin Pugh, and tackle Ereck Flowers. That means there’s still work to do on the right side of the line – a side that currently consists of holdovers like John Jerry, Adam Gettis, Marshall Newhouse, and Bobby Hart. None of the aforementioned should be considered opening weekend starters for the team.
Pugh said he’s confident that the left side is essentially locked down and ready to go, but added that in order for the Giants to improve on last season’s paltry short-yardage and red-zone numbers, they’ll need the right side to be just as good.
“This year Ereck and I are looking to pick up where we left off,” Pugh said. “But it’s got to be all five guys firing on all cylinders. We have a ways to go, but it was a very productive first day.”
The pressure is on for Reese to make sure the right side is as good as the left. And with a draft that has some stellar linemen available, that 10th pick could very well be the team’s next great protector, following last year’s first-round pick of Flowers.
Metro takes a look at the three most likely prospects to be added by Big Blue with the 10th pick.
1. Jack Conklin, offensive tackle, Michigan State: Conklin will likely still be there at No. 10, as depending on the ranking system, he’s either the second of third-best tackle prospect. He’d be a very good – if not safe – selection for Reese. But being a top-10 selector, Reese cannot afford a mistake. Conklin, though, is not only a safe pick – and would fill a huge need at right tackle -- but he would be the nasty bookend worthy enough to play opposite the very nasty Flowers.
2. Vernon Hargreaves, cornerback, Florida: He’s the cleanest cover corner in the draft, and may be the second-best defensive back prospect, behind Jalen Ramsey. Since the Giants still have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the newly-inked Janoris Jenkins, Hargreaves would instantly be slotted into the nickel package and be an improvement over whatever the Giants threw out there last season. Hargreaves is a legit top-10 pick who earned first-team All-SEC honors in all three of his seasons in Gainesville. And Reeves likes adding star players from major conferences, so he fits the bill.
3. Laquon Treadwell, wideout, Mississippi: He’s an interesting prospect, as many pundits are torn about his potential. Some may think No. 10 is too high for a possession receiver, while others believe he’s the perfect – and polished – complement to Odell Beckham Jr. Throw in the fact that like quarterback Eli Manning, he’s a fellow Ole Miss star, and the chemistry may be a hit right off the bat – just like the Manning to Beckham connection has been.
Big Blue notes:
- The Giants have upgraded its weight room, and so far it’s been a hit with the players. “There’s definitely some cool things going on in the new weight room,” said Pugh.
- During the Phase 1 of the offseason program, offense and defense aren’t allowed to go against one another. This maiden session is only for weight training, rehabbing, and conditioning.
- Since the Giants have a new head coach, they can have an extra minicamp which they will later this month.
- The team announced the signings of linebacker Kelvin Sheppard, offensive lineman Byron Stingily, and running back Bobby Rainey.