The time is near for the Giants and Jets to decide which prospects they want to add to their rosters. While both franchises have been heading in different directions in recent seasons, they both have a lot of the same needs.
Thursday night’s first round could potentially yield immediate help for both teams – the Giants with the No. 10 pick and the Jets sitting at No. 20.
Provided that the top two picks are quarterbacks, as most expect, there will be eight top-notch prospects from which Big Blue can select. And just as luck would have it, all represent needs.
If the Giants seek defensive line help, there’s Oregon’s DeForest Buckner or Clemson’s Shaq Lawson. The linebackers likely available include Georgia’s Leonard Floyd, Ohio State’s Darron Lee, or UCLA’s Myles Jack. The top remaining offensive tackles – after the likely early selection of Ole Miss’s Laremy Tunsil – are Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley or Michigan State’s Jack Conklin.
And as for wideout (Laquon Treadwell of Ole Miss), cornerback (Vernon Hargreaves III of Florida), and running back (Ezekiel Elliot of Ohio State) there’s talent to be had.
Whichever of these players becomes the newest Giant, general manager Jerry Reese will have a guy who he expects to be an immediate contributor to a team coming off back-to-back 6-10 seasons.
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New head coach Ben McAdoo is confident in that happening. Preparing for his first draft, McAdoo noted that the process has been long and arduous, as he added there are plenty of quality players to choose. When asked of a specific wish list, specifically if he wanted an offensive player considering his offensive roots, the neophyte head coach declined to specify. He reasoned that with his new position, he needs to be concerned with all aspects of the roster.
He said he feels confident in the collaborative effort of paring down the list to finding the best available player, regardless of position.
“It’s been a little bit different. My involvement in the draft is complete. Now it’s offense, defense and special teams, so the full responsibility is there. It’s something that I’m enjoying the process and I have an opportunity to give some input. That’s exciting,” he said. “But my main job and my main role is to coach the team, and that’s what I’ll do, first and foremost.”
His counterpart, Jets head coach Todd Bowles, has a similar role within the organization. While general manager Mike Maccagnan will ultimately call the shots, Bowles – a longtime friend – will also have some input on the team’s needs.
There’s been so much made about the Jets’ quarterback woes since Ryan Fitzpatrick is still unsigned and all the team has at the moment is the disappointing Geno Smith and the very green Bryce Petty. Maccagnan knows that’s one of the team’s priorities. And judging by his recent revelation that they tried to move up to the No. 1 pick, it’s safe to say that something will be done soon – maybe even on draft night – to secure a quarterback. That potential move up the board could be for Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch, who is widely regarded as the third-best signal caller in the draft.
But should quarterback be bypassed, there are still holes to fill on a roster that was very close to playoff contention last season. If the Jets stand pat at No. 20, Maccagnan’s options will obviously differ from Reese’s, but it won’t lack from solid prospects.
Among the likely remaining players, the Jets will have a chance to fill a hole at either pass rusher (Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah), offensive line (Ohio State’s Taylor Decker), cornerback (Houston’s William Jackson III or Ohio State’s Eli Apple), or inside linebacker (Alabama’s Reggie Ragland).
It’s reasonable to think that both New York teams will nab a player that’ll have an immediate impact and hopefully be a home run. The rest of their respective picks, however, also need to be solid singles and doubles if each franchise wants to end their postseason droughts.
Big Blue notes:
- Food for thought: Reese has never traded down in the draft, but he acknowledged that if there is the right offer, he would consider it. The Giants currently have six picks, so if he was to receive an offer from a team like the Tennessee Titans (13th pick) or the Miami Dolphins (15th) and perhaps add an additional second, third, and/or fourth rounder, it may be an offer too good to pass.
- This week’s Giants workouts, which were called “jog-throughs” by McAdoo, had a more uptempo pace than ones under Tom Coughlin. The new coach made sure there was loud music blaring in the background throughout. He credited Ed Triggs, the team’s football operations project coordinator, for a balance that included tunes by the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Led Zeppelin – and even the theme song from 1990’s sitcom the Fresh Prince of Bell-Air: “He [Triggs] does a great job dialing up some great music for us, and making sure we keep it at the right rating, which is a challenge sometimes,” McAdoo said. “He does a great job of mixing it in. We like to have a little something for everybody out here.”
- The Giants had a good turnout for these voluntary workouts, but not all participated, including a handful who were injured last year and were kept out of the drills. That list included wideout Victor Cruz, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, linebacker Devon Kennard, and defensive back Bennett Jackson. Young safeties Nat Berhe and Mykkele Thompson, who like their fellow safety Jackson missed the entire 2015 season, were seen working.