By Paul Wanecski
Out with the old, in with the new. Let’s get this out of the way early; the New York Giants are not rebuilding. The have plenty of cap space (over $40m) and they will be players in the free agent market in support of first year head coach Ben McAdoo. With the 10th overall pick, the only thing they won’t be doing is drafting a quarterback.
Head Coach: Ben McAdoo
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Sullivan
8th YPG, 7th Pass, 18th Run
Defensive Coordinator: Steve Spagnuolo
32nd YPG, 32nd Pass, 24th Run
The Giants, much like the Ravens, are spending top dollar at the quarterback position this year. The major difference is that rookie contract of Odell Beckham Jr, which will free up lots of dollars to spend elsewhere. They have plenty of roster cuts to make which will give them more cash to spend. Even after pretty nasty injuries to the starting offensive unit, they were still able to statistically put up great numbers. Now with the 10th overall selection in the upcoming draft, the Giants know they have a lot to consider.
WR Victor Cruz has been a major disappointment the last two seasons. The Giants will save $6.1m by granting him his release. After losing so much time to injury, it is of little doubt that he won’t be the blazing fast threat he once was. If he isn’t released, his deal needs to consolidated to a pay cut.
Not that they need the money but Will Beatty being released saves just over $4m.
It’s hard to say that after leading the league in yards per game given up in the pass defense that they would need to consider resigning some of the secondary players, but it is true. CB Prince Amukamara should be in the discussion to return. Buyer Beware on him however, as it is likely he will want a deal that pushes his salary into the $8.5m range which is simply too expensive. The free agent market has been light on skilled defensive backs, so they might overpay to retain him.
WR Rueben Randle is done in New York. The market will be packed with #2 WR options this year. Randle will do fine on the open market.
DE Jason Pierre-Paul is too talented to not offer a contract. Given his circumstances, it will likely be of the one-year variety. Perhaps this offseason has done him some good given the zany July he had in 2015.
Please cut Jon Beason. He is never healthy and has missed over 50 games in 5 years. His release will save about $4m.
It is no mystery that the Giants defense has always been predicated on the pass rush, a plan which absolutely exploded (pun intended) last year. The secondary was consistently torched because opposing quarterbacks had enough time to cook breakfast in the pocket. The Giants could trade down if anyone wanted this selection. News Flash, no one will. This pick is the last of the expensive 5th-year option players. We have lovingly named the 10th overall selection the "wingman-pick", because, well, someone has to take it.
Defensive End is without a doubt a need. With a thinning of the herd at the position in free agency, the Giants should be able to grab a difference maker early. Could they use offensive line help? Sure could but they will be addressing most of those needs in free agency. Watch them target Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Kevin Dodd (Clemson), and DeForest Buckner (Oregon). They will be going to the well a couple times in this draft someone be surprised if they throw a dart at the wall in the fifth round and select another pass rushing end
Cornerback depth in this draft might be the best value for them. Mackensie Alexander (Clemson), Vernon Hargreaves (Florida) or Jalen Ramsey (Florida State) might all still be on the board when the Giants are on the clock.
The team definitely needs support in the backend of the defense next to Landon Collins. No safety in the first round is worth the 10th overall selection. They might throw a mid-round pick at a safety along with signing one on the open market.
Linebacker has been a need but the type of player they desire will already be gone in all likelihood. They will draft a linebacker this year but not on day one.
Of course, it is possible they could snag WR Corey Coleman (Baylor). Since the team already has OBJr, Coleman would add a nasty weapon to McAdoo’s offense.
Running back is an issue. The Giants will look for a short term veteran to add to the mix here. Matt Forte would be a perfect fit with incumbent Shane Vereen. Alfred Morris would be a fit too.
WR Marvin Jones will definitely get a call from NY. McAdoo could use his ability underneath to open the outside for OBJr.
The market is really thin for 4-3 defensive ends. Mario Williams (if cut) or Oliver Vernon (if not resigned) are the top of the market. With more teams moving to 3-4 defensive fronts, they might have better luck getting a veteran and drafting.
Safety help will be brought in. If Tom Coughlin was still the head coach, I would have told you that Eric Weddle was going to be a Giant. He will be expensive. So will Eric Berry. Both might be high-end free agent targets
Linebackers will be a commodity the Giants need to be interested in. Trade partners may exist. James Laurinaitis played for defensive coordinator Spagnuolo when he was the head coach of the Rams. The knock on Laurinaitis is he was one of the worst linebackers in the league against the run. This signing makes a lot of sense and takes pressure off the team when the draft arrives.
A Quick Guide to the Rookie Wage Scale (First Round Breakdown)
On the Clock: 2015 New York Giants