This offseason has not been one of joy for the New York Giants.
During the 2018 regular season, it was exciting watching Saquon Barkley emerge as a top-class back, seemingly being the perfect complement to wide receiver and fan-favourite Odell Beckham Jr, with the two emphatic playmakers keeping defences honest and making space for each other. All that was needed was a viable quarterback, which was expected to come in the 2019 NFL Draft.
An early announcement that the Giants would be saying bye to popular pass rusher Olivier Vernon did not go down well with onlookers, so the front office decided to give the fan base something to really get upset about. To officially open up the offseason, general manager Dave Gettleman announced that the team had traded Vernon to the Browns, as well as the phenomenal Beckham Jr. Gettleman has since implored fans to trust that there is a plan, but all that’s come back in return is hisses, boos, and expletives, apart from the Browns contingent, who continue to party.
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) March 13, 2019
Over the winter, Giants fans had been examining the draft class to see which quarterback would be in the range of their sixth overall selection. But now, in a draft that’s stacked with talent on the defensive line and considering the team’s self-made need for a decent wide receiver, it looks like the fans will be without a new star quarterback and the ever-popular Odell Beckham Jr.
Undoubtedly still fuming with Gettleman, there is, at least, some intrigue as to what the Giants plan to do in the draft now that they have an extra pick in the first, 17th overall from the Browns, totalling six in the first four rounds and 12 throughout the whole draft.
What positions should the Giants target?
— NFL News Now (@NFLNewsNow247) March 7, 2019
As stated, quarterback was the focal point of the Giants’ sixth overall selection before, but with the loss of two of their best players at defensive end and wide receiver, the team has even more needs. Now, given the top-end talents available at the position, the Giants are expected to go for edge rusher Montez Sweat of Mississippi State. They can also snag one of the top wide receivers like D.K. Metcalf or A.J. Brown, at 17 and then perhaps a sleeper quarterback in the second round with the number 37 pick.
The best way to get the fan base hooked on the idea of the franchise rebuilding and developing into something newer and better than before is to take a top quarterback with the 6th overall selection. At this rate, that player would be the one who much of the fan base has been settled on for the last few months, Dwayne Haskins. Then, perhaps package the 17th overall and a couple of fifth-rounders to move up and snag an edge rusher.
Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, and Montez Sweat headline the edge rusher class of 2019, but the Giants could create a lot of buzz by trading up a couple of places to snag a member of the greatest college team of the last 121 years. The Clemson Tigers went a historic 15-0 to win the national championship last season and are the favourites at +175 in the American football odds to do it again next season. One of the standout players of the incredible Tigers campaign was edge rusher Clelin Ferrell, who is pegged to go in the top 15 of the draft.
This is a deep class of strong wide receivers akin to the class of 2014, and very strong players like Marquise Brown, Kelvin Harmon, and N’Keal Harry should still be floating around in the second round. As the Giants have an early second round pick, they could easily snap up a great weapon for their new franchise quarterback.
It’s going to be a long offseason for Giants fans, and nothing can redeem management for trading away Beckham Jr, but with the right moves in this draft, the New York Giants could have the foundations of an exciting team – until they trade its best player away in five years.