NFL free agency has been good to the NY Giants, but the team still lacks offensive playmakers. Are there any out there, or must the G-men rely on the draft to find their next star? Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part two of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.
The question of play makers is tough because the New York Giants don’t know what they have quite yet.
David Wilson is an option at running back…theoretically. And if he’s healthy, he is a huge play maker, fumbles or not. However, it is conceivable that he never plays football again with his neck injury. So where does that leave the running back position? If Wilson is back, we’re fine. He and Rashad Jennings form a great combo. If Wilson is out or done, there’s a hole there. Jennings, or anyone for that matter in today’s NFL, can’t carry the whole load by himself.
The re-sign of Peyton Hillis was, I suppose, in case of a Wilson emergency replacement situation. I don’t see it though. Hillis was nearly useless last season. If Wilson’s future is in doubt, New York needs to spend at least a late-round draft pick on a back they like. There is no need to reach for one, but someone else at the position should be added. Maybe a Lache Seastrunk or Tre Mason are still around in the mid to late rounds of the draft. Someone outside of the top few at the position who has upside.
As for wide receiver, you are certainly correct in feeling dubious of Mario Manningham’s contributions. He is not an answer to who will replace Hakeem Nicks. However, that doesn’t mean that player isn’t already on the roster. Rueben Randle has tremendous upside and could fill in opposite Victor Cruz in the starting lineup. I also liked what Jerrel Jernigan was able to contribute towards the end of last season. However, like running back, we aren’t quite sure if either man is up to the task. So, receiver might need to be addressed in the draft as well.
The Giants attempted to go after some of the second-tier receivers in free agency, such as James and Jacoby Jones, but they were snapped up by other teams. However the draft is ripe with top-end wide receiver talent this season. The likes of Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Marqise Lee, Brandin Cooks and others are all likely to be first round picks. But again, like running back, I would be more in favor of NY stealing someone later who has some upside value.
I really like Kelvin Benjamin out of Florida State. There were also a number of highly touted receivers heading into 2013 that stumbled a bit during the season, lowering their stock for the ’14 draft; someone like Brandon Coleman out of Rutgers is a good example.
The reason I am hesitant to say the Giants should use a high pick on running back or wide receiver is because of the situation at tight end; namely, they don’t have one. The tight end has become one of, if not the biggest matchup problem in the league today. Brandon Myers was a bust last year for New York. The only tight end of note in free agency is Jermichael Finley, but he is attempting to return from that scary injury he had last year that almost ended his career, and whispers have him joining the Seattle Seahawks anyways.
Luckily for NY, this draft has a couple of high-caliber tight ends. Of course, it would mean using a first round pick on the position, which may be something Giants brass doesn’t wish to do. Nevertheless, grabbing one of these elite tight ends, either Eric Ebron or Jace Amaro, may be the last step necessary to solidify the play making core. I also like Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who could be had with a second round pick most likely. Any of these super athletic tight ends would come in and immediately make Eli Manning’s job easier.
And there you have it. It’s not very hard to create a roster full of play makers. The Jets should take notes.
Your logic and reasoning are fairly sound, but with a now stable defense and strong veteran quarterback the Giants would be smart to snatch any high caliber playmaker that’s available in the draft.
Waiting to grab a running back in the later rounds is definitely preferable to risking any early round pick on a reach, but they need to get some offensive talent with their early picks. Eli Manning needs a “Mr. Reliable.” He needs either a tight end, receiver, or running back out of the backfield who he can count on in check down situations. Manning was scrambling a ton last year and presumably that will change, but he needs new blood in the offense.
I agree the Giants should look to the tight end position first, but for your sake and Eli’s they can’t wait until the third round to draft a skill position player.