On the Clock: 2018 New York Giants
by Rich Bystron
2017 saw the NY Giants implode. After a season-ending injury to OBJ, it seemed like their season was doomed from the start, and to no one’s surprise, it was. Before the season even ended the Giants at an unexpected 2-10 the Giants fired Coach Ben Macadoo and General Manager Jerry Reese and were looking for a new Head Coach and General Manager. The New York Giants finished the 2017 season a paltry 3-13 earning them the 2nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Head Coach: New Pat Shurmur (10-23)
Offensive Coordinator: New Mike Shula
Defensive Coordinator: New James Bettcher
General Manager: New Dave Gettleman
Gettleman and Shurmur will be heading into their 1st season at the helm for the Giants. And while Gettleman has had plenty of success as the General Manager for the Carolina Panthers, the hiring of Shurmur is what had many talking about. The coordinators also will be under the microscope especially on offense with the Giants coming off one of the worst offensive seasons since Eli Manning has been the signal-caller. Shurmur comes off probably his best job as Offensive Coordinator of the Vikings in 2017. But had very little success as the Cleveland Browns Head Coach in 2011-2012 amassing an underwhelming 9-23 record.
The Giants are in cap trouble entering the 2018 season. After the shocking trade of JPP to the Tampa Bay Bucs, the Giants have a very minimal 8.15 million in cap space. The bigger issue is the fact their rookie contracts (assuming they stay where they are) will cost them a little over 9 million dollars, it doesn’t take a CPA to understand there have to be some serious cuts for the Giants to get where they need to be. There are some massive contracts that can either be restructured or players just cut in the upcoming weeks. Players like Olivier Vernon (17 million dollar cap number) Eli Manning (22.2 million dollar cap hit) Janoris Jenkins (13 million dollar cap hit) all can and should restructure to clear up space, otherwise, the Giants will have a very difficult time even signing their rookies.
Unfortunately, the Giants have absolutely no money left after signing players like Nate Solder (4 years, 62 million), Kareem Marin (3 years, 15 million), Jonathan Stewart, (2 years 6.9 million).
The Giants have a ton of holes to fill through the draft. They desperately need help on the offensive line, running back, edge rusher, corner and need to seriously need to start to think about replacing an aging Eli Manning. Luckily with the 2nd pick in the best quarterback class since possibly 1983, they are in prime position to do just that.
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: Assuming Sam Darnold will be the first selection to the Browns in the 2018 draft, I think it would be extremely foolish for the Giants to pass up on a franchise player like Rosen. Rosen very much actually reminds me of Eli in many ways. He is a prototypical pocket passer that can move in the pocket and extend plays. He is also much more athletic than many give him credit for. The only knocks on Rosen are the 2 concussions he suffered last season at UCLA and that some question his dedication to football and his coachability.
Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame: Nelson will be a plugin 12-year all-pro player for whoever he is drafted by. I can not remember a more impressive combine from anyone let alone an Offensive Guard. The Giants couldn’t run the ball or pass protect to save their lives last year, which is a massive reason they were 3-13. But Nelson is an absolute freak of nature and might be the best player in this draft when all is said and done.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: The last time you saw a running back in the talk as not only the #1 overall pick in the draft but just flat out the best player available was Adrian Peterson, who has had a Hall of Fame Career. Saquon, in my opinion, is a better overall player than Peterson. He was without a doubt the most electric player in college football in 2017. He can run as well as any back available, but also can return punts, kickoffs and has good hands to catch the ball. He is in the discussion as the 1st selection in the draft and with good reason. One of the drawbacks to him is the contract value. A top 5 selection would make him a top 10 paid player at the position in the NFL. Is he worth the money?
Bradley Chubb, Edge Rusher, NC State: Trading JPP to the Bucs was shocking, especially when you blow open a monster hole in your defense. Bradley Chubb can not only fill that void, he can do it for 25% the cost of JPP. Chubb dominated while at NC State, and as noted by Mario Granata (Hashtag Sports) his combine stats are eerily identical to Mario Williams. Chubb has all the tools to make a GM drool, and while stud defensive ends don’t grow on trees, neither do franchise Quarterbacks to replace a 37-year-old Eli Manning.
Sunday Drive: New York Giants in Cap Jail
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