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Thanksgiving Day NFL Schedule 2017: Previewing Cowboys, Lions & Turkey Day Games

It’s never too early to start formulating your plans on Thanksgiving, and the NFL offered a helping hand with Thursday’s official schedule release.

In keeping with tradition, the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys will once again play host on Turkey Day. Their opponents, as well as the third matchup for Nov. 23, remained unknown until the league rolled out the upcoming year’s regular-season slate.

Below is a brief preview for the trio of Thanksgiving Day NFL Games.

Matchup Time (ET) TV Location
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions 12:30 p.m. Fox Ford Field
Los Angeles Chargers at Dallas Cowboys 4:30 p.m. CBS AT&T Stadium
New York Giants at Washington Redskins 8:30 p.m. NBC FedEx Field
Source: NFL.com

The Washington Post‘s Master Tesfatsion noted the Redskins have played nine times on Thanksgiving, but this is the first time they’ll be the home team.

The Redskins and Giants split their two head-to-head meetings in 2016. Washington drew first blood with a 29-27 Week 3 victory, and New York returned the favor with a 19-10 win in the final week of the regular season.

While the spotlight will be on the quarterback matchup between Eli Manning and Kirk Cousins, the running game may determine the outcome of Washington and New York’s Thanksgiving clash.

In the Redskins’ win, Matt Jones ran for 65 yards, 43 of which came on the drive resulting in Dustin Hopkins’ go-ahead field goal. In the second meeting, Jones was out, and Robert Kelley went for 33 yards on 12 carries.

While Cousins is coming off a Pro Bowl season in 2016, Washington would likely struggle if he has to do it all on his own against a team that ranked fourth in passing-defense efficiency, per Football Outsiders.

On paper, the Dallas Cowboys will be heavy favorites on Thanksgiving against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Cowboys went 13-3 last year and boast two of the brightest young offensive stars in the NFL: quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Chargers, meanwhile, haven’t reached the playoffs since 2013 and will likely face a year of transition as they adjust to playing in their new home.

Few teams will be happier to see Adrian Peterson away from the Minnesota Vikings than the Detroit Lions. In 14 games against Detroit, Peterson averaged 106.4 yards per contest and scored 11 touchdowns.

The Vikings signed Latavius Murray to replace the seven-time Pro Bowler, and Minnesota will expect Murray to replicate Peterson’s success against the Lions. Detroit allowed 106.3 yards a game on the ground and ranked 23rd in run-defense efficiency, per Football Outsiders.

The Green Bay Packers will likely be considered favorites to win the NFC North when the 2017 season opens.

The Lions and Vikings’ head-to-head games may determine which of the division’s teams are wild-card contenders. Last year, the Lions beat the Vikings 16-13 on Thanksgiving. Detroit finished one game better (9-7) than Minnesota (8-8), claiming the final wild-card spot in the NFC.

Source : bleacherreport.com

New York Giants Football 2017 Fantasy Preview

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Last season, the Giants made the playoffs for the first time since 2011. However as Fantasy players, our main concern is with the individual components of the Giants roster and how they can help us win a Fantasy Football championship.

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Using projections of potential Fantasy points allowed by Giants’ 2017 opponents, FantasyPros.com estimates that their RBs have the eighth easiest schedule among Fantasy backs. Conversely, Giants’ receivers are expected to face the fourth toughest schedule among Fantasy pass catchers.

Regardless of those projections, the Giants have one of the best Fantasy receivers on their roster, and a sophomore RB poised for a potential breakout campaign.

Quarterback

Eli Manning

After consecutive seasons with at least 4,400 passing yards and 30 TDs, Manning regressed in his third year playing within head coach Ben McAdoo’s West Coast offense. His 26 touchdowns were the least he’s thrown since 2013, and Manning accounted for 20 of the Giants’ 27 turnovers. On the positive side, Manning has started 199 consecutive games, and the additions of WR Brandon Marshall and TE Evan Engram complement a passing attack already featuring Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. The Giants offensive line still needs improving (ranked 28th by ProFootballFocus.com), but the addition of blocking specialist TE Rhett Ellison and 2013 first round pick OT D.J. Fluker could help. Manning is ranked 17th according to NFL.com (which defaults to a standard scoring format), with an average draft position (ADP) of 139.59. He’s typically selected in the 12th round of a 12 team draft, making him a backup Fantasy QB in one QB leagues. Armed with new weapons, Manning could bounce back, making him a potential Draft Day bargain.

 

Running Game

Paul Perkins

Despite an overall mediocre 2016 season, Perkins finished strong, averaging 4.81 yards per carry (YPC) in his last three games. Perkins doesn’t have the power and speed possessed by some elite RBs, however his impressive footwork allows him to seamlessly change directions, and makes him an elusive runner. He’ll start the season as the Giants’ primary three down back, and Perkins’ excellent pass protection skills ensure he’ll get plenty of snaps. However, in order to provide maximum Fantasy value, he’ll need to improve his red zone efficiency (0 TDs in nine red zone carries). NFL.com lists him as the 31st back taken in drafts with a 96.93 ADP, making him a ninth round pick.

Shane Vereen

Vereen is coming off of an injury riddled season, but he’s caught an average of 52.66 passes between 2013 and 2015 and will be the Giants’ primary pass-catching back. He has increased value in leagues using PPR scoring formats. He is the 63rd back taken in drafts, with a 150.43 ADP.

Fourth round pick Wayne Gallman and fourth year back Orleans Darkwa round out the rest of the Giants RBs. Neither has immediate Fantasy value, however Gallman should be monitored as Perkins’ potential handcuff.

Wide Receiver

Odell Beckham Jr.

Beckham is the first NFL player with at least 80 receptions and 1000 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons. Although his catch rate, receptions per game, and yards per game have decreased in each of those seasons, on the other hand, his reception totals (101 in 2016) have increased during that time. Beckham has been diagnosed with a sprained ankle suffered in the Giants’ second preseason game and there is speculation that he could miss one or two games of the regular season. Monitor his progress, but when healthy, he is arguably one of Fantasy Football’s top four receivers. Emotional outbursts and immaturity remain his biggest enemy, and both have been used against him by opposing defenders. Beckham is a first round pick with an ADP of 6.41.

Brandon Marshall

Marshall had the worst statistical season of his career in 2016, but much of that could be attributed to poor quarterback play and lingering injuries. He’s motivated to play for the Giants, and provides Manning with a veteran receiver whose caught at least 100 balls six times in his career. Marshall’s presence should help Beckham, as opposing defenses will have to respect his big play ability, and take some of their focus off of OBJ. The Giants are hoping that history repeats itself, as Marshall has enjoyed early success with each of his last two new teams. He posted 1,500 plus receiving yards and double digit TDs in his debut seasons with the Bears and Jets. Marshall injured his shoulder in the Giants’ second preseason game, but X-rays came back negative and he should be ready for the season opener. He’s the 33rd receiver coming off the board, and his ADP of 100.44 makes him a ninth round pick.

Sterling Shepard

With 65 receptions and eight TDs, Shepard enjoyed a solid rookie season, and will again be the Giants’ primary slot receiver. Although Marshall’s presence and the addition of rookie TE Evan Engram might cut into his TD production, Shepard will still have a significant role in the Giants’ offense, and should be able to at least match last season’s reception total. His 146.62 ADP makes him the 53rd receiver selected in drafts. On average he is taken in the 15th round.

The Giants used the NFL’s highest percentage of three WR sets last season (91%), but if any of their top receivers are forced to miss time, Tavarres King, Dwayne Harris and Roger Lewis are likely next in line to take their place.

Tight End

Blessed with speed, good hands, and excellent route running skills, Giants first round pick Evan Engram, has drawn comparisons to Jordan Reed. Rookie tight ends have often struggled in their inaugural seasons, but Engram has looked good in limited preseason action, and it appears that the Giants want him to have an immediate role in their passing game. Free agent blocking specialist Rhett Ellison doesn’t have much Fantasy value, but could steal some of Engram’s playing time as he helps bolster the Giants’ offensive line. NFL.com lists Engram as the 21st TE coming off the board in the 15th round, with a 147.76 ADP.

Defense

Led by standouts like DB Landon Collins, CB Janoris Jenkins and DE Olivier Vernon, the Giants defense scored the fifth most Fantasy points overall. They join the rare breed of Fantasy defensive teams that are matchup proof, and can be started weekly. Their unit is currently being drafted as the eighth ranked defense.

Kicker

Rookie Aldrick Rosas and veteran Mike Nugent, are currently competing for the Giants’ place kicking job. If you want to roster the winner on your Fantasy Football team, do so with your last pick.

Source: NewYGiants

Five New York Giants Make ESPN’s NFLRank Top 100 in Football

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In another continuation of annual projects, ESPN released their NFL Rank Top 100 Players of 2017 list. The project featured 53 ESPN football experts to rate players based solely on how they’ll perform in 2017. Unlike rankings done after the season, this is more projection than looking back. Voters were also asked not to weigh positional value, only judging how each player will do in the upcoming season. The was a 100-point scale used, with 100 implying an all-time great season, 90 standing for All-Pro level, and 80 as a “very good” year.

New York Giants Football 2017

Five members of the New York Giants made this list. Odell Beckham Jr., the only member of the offense, was the highest ranked at ninth overall. Beckham had a rating of 91.92 — well into All-Pro territory — and he improved upon his ranking of 13th from 2013. He was the third-highest ranked wide receiver behind Antonio Brown (fifth) and Julio Jones (sixth).

The next-highest ranked Giant was safety Landon Collins at 29. Collins wasn’t ranked in last year’s version and his average rating among voters this season was 87.55. He was the third safety listed behind Kansas City’s Eric Berry (17th) and Seattle’s Earl Thomas (19th). In a companion piece on ESPN Insider, Collins got some more love from some former NFL defensive backs. Matt Bowen named Collins the most underrated player on the list with an argument that Collins should have been Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 and that he expects another huge season in 2017. Domonique Foxworth listed Collins as his player most likely to be in the top-25 for next year’s list. Both are right and Collins probably should have been higher this year. As great as Berry was in his return to the field, Collins has claim for a bigger impact on the defense, though so does Thomas, who should still hold the title of top safety in the league.

Further down the list, the next three Giants are fairly close together. Olivier Vernon came in at No. 61, Janoris Jenkins was No. 65, and Jason Pierre-Paul was No. 74. Vernon’s rating average 84.25 and he improved 30 spots from last season’s rank of 91. It does appear some are catching on with the value Vernon brings to the defensive line. He was also mentioned by Field Yates as the most underrated player on the list.

Jenkins was either the eighth or ninth highest-ranked cornerback on the list, depending on how you want to classify Arizona’s Tyrann Mathieu at No. 59. While Jenkins had a breakout year in 2016 (he wasn’t ranked on last year’s list), it’s hard to place him among the top corners in the league with the likes of Patrick Peterson, Richard Sherman, and Chris Harris Jr. He probably does have an argument to be placed over No. 44 Josh Norman and No. 56 Malcolm Butler, who was Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz’s most overrated player in the ranking.

The last Giant was Pierre-Paul, who was not ranked last year. His 83.19 average rating still indicates many expect an excellent season from the edge rusher.

Notable Giants left of the list include Eli Manning, Damon Harrison, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and Ereck Flowers — kidding about the last one. Twelve quarterbacks were on the list that excluded Eli, even though Manning ranked 11th in ESPN’s QB Tiers ranking that came from those who work in the league.

Harrison was Dan Graziano’s pick as his top snubbed player, who should have been within the top-100.

Source

New York Giants schedule 2017: Games and dates

The New York Giants have had their full 2017 schedule released.

 New York Giants schedule 2017

The Giants Football will open the season Sept. 10 at the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in a game that also will serve as their NFC East opener.

The Giants will play the Dallas Cowboys again in their NFC East home opener on Dec. 10.

The Giants will have their bye week Oct. 29 between the Seattle Seahawks (Oct. 22) and Los Angeles Rams (Nov. 5) games. They will close out the regular season against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 31.

Game times/dates for Weeks 5-17 games are subject to change.

The Super Bowl will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

New York Giants schedule 2017

Sept. 10: at Dallas Cowboys (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

Sept. 18: Detroit Lions (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Sept. 24: at Philadelphia Eagles (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Oct. 1: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX)

Oct. 8: Los Angeles Chargers (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Oct. 15: at Denver Broncos (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

Oct. 22: Seattle Seahawks (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS)

Oct. 29: BYE

Nov. 5: Los Angeles Rams (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Nov. 12: at San Francisco 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

Nov. 19: Kansas City Chiefs (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Nov. 23: at Washington Redskins (8:30 p.m. ET, NBC)

Dec. 3: at Oakland Raiders (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

Dec. 10: Dallas Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

Dec. 17: Philadelphia Eagles (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Dec. 24: at Arizona Cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET, FOX)

Dec. 31: Washington Redskins (1 p.m. ET, FOX)

Preseason

Aug. 11: Pittsburgh Steelers (7 p.m. ET, NFL Network)

Aug. 21: at Cleveland Browns (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Aug. 26: Oakland Raiders (7 p.m. ET, WNBC-4NY)

Aug. 31: at New York Giants (7:30 p.m. ET, WNBC-4NY)

What Does 2017 Offseason Hold for New York Giants?

New York Giants fell flat in their first playoff appearance since 2011. The Green Bay Packers poured it on the helpless defense, and an ineffective offense once again reared its ugly head. The 11-5 regular season record is a promising springboard into New York Giants 2017, but 0-1 is the only record the Giants should care about. This offseason, improving upon that mark will be the number one priority.

New York Giants 2017

New York Giants 2017

This offseason, unlike those of the past four Giants seasons, both management and players can look to the past season as reason for optimism. Recent history has forced the team to dismiss the previous season and look toward a future that may be brighter than the past. An 11-5 record, multiple All-Pro and Pro Bowl designations, and an elusive playoff berth all point to a team on the ascendancy. Not to mention Ben McAdoo, the rookie head coach who led them to 11 or more wins for only the fourth time this millennium.

The foundation of the team is laid for a championship run; money certainly buys talent and the 2016 Giants are an example of that. But for all the strides the team made, when the time came to step onto Lambeau Field and prove themselves, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers vastly outplayed and thoroughly embarrassed the visiting Giants.

Offseason Headlines

The week leading up to the game had its share of headlines; following the game, many of these story lines needed resolution. These resolutions, ranging from Eli Manning’s continual down slide to the correlation made between a certain boat trip and some untimely drops, garner interest but do not address what this team must do to improve this offseason. Or even adequately address what this team did wrong throughout the course of the game, and to a larger extent the season, that led to its many shortcomings.

A few prominent topics surrounding this Giants’ offseason is how to “deal” with Odell Beckham and acquiescing that Eli Manning’s future is no longer a concrete part of the Giants plans.  These are two relatively straight forward issues for the Giants; Beckham and Manning will both be with the Giants next year and are their greatest chance for success. The defense’s impressive rebound this season only proved to take the team so far before the offense’s stagnation caught up with the team. Beckham is the most explosive play maker the Giants have, and Manning possesses a mastery of the position that can only be acquired through 13 years of high quality play. There are numerous stories revolving around the futures of these two important players, but both must be part of the Giants future if the team is to find any success.

An Offensive Fix

There are several issues that the Giants must address this offseason to counterbalance the weight of winning games that so often fell on the defense’s shoulders. First and foremost, and this is directly from McAdoo himself, is establishing a strong running game and making the ground attack a force in the game plan. McAdoo preached the importance of a running game throughout the season, but the extent of this only ever culminated in one 100 yard performer this year.

The Green Bay game showed that the Giants lack both the ground game to control the clock and the firepower to keep up with Aaron Rodgers.  A gash here and there by Paul Perkins and Rashad Jennings is not enough to keep defenses honest. The current Giants’ offense does not appear predicated on the run game. But the threat of a rushing attack is vital for any quarterback, especially one that thrives on play action and quick passes.

Will Johnson, who was placed on IR before the season even began, may have spelled the demise for any semblance of a running game. Brought over from the Steelers, Johnson was in line to play the H-Back role, a tight end type who could run routes out of the backfield and lead block for tailbacks. His stint never materialized and the Giants were forced to press Larry Donnell, Will Tye, and later Jerrell Adams into more traditional blocking roles that do not fit their pass catching proficiency. Donnell was effectively benched near the end of the season and Adams was injured for the play off game.

The running game that McAdoo preached was non existent against the Packers, and an offense that had not scored more than 28 points during the season was forced to play catch-up. Personnel wise, finding a competent run blocker and sure handed receiver out of the back field is much more important than any discussion about the immediate futures of Odell Beckham and Eli Manning.

Thinking Outside the Numbers

Sticking with the offensive side of the ball, the Giants must also address the wide receiver position. Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham, the two leading receivers, averaged less than 14 yards per completion. Victor Cruz, who may have played his final game as a Giant, offered little in terms of a downfield threat. His inclusion on the roster this year was a redundancy, with an athletic slot receiver clearly in line to take his place.

While Shepard’s rookie season exceeded expectations, management’s decision to keep both Cruz and Shepard on the roster, while passing up on other, more physical down field threats, such as Michael Thomas, must be questioned. Obviously, the off season excitement revolving around Manning and his three receivers, never came to fruition. Perhaps their overlapping skill set and somewhat limited physicality had something to do with the marginal success.

Watching Odell rip defenses with slants is certainly entertaining, and his athleticism and spatial awareness is incredible. But, at Eli’s peak, he had taller, and now it can be said, more sure-handed receivers to throw to on the boundary. The back shoulder fade that Eli and Plaxico Burress nearly perfected can not be run with Odell and the 5’10” Shepard. The presence Hakeem Nicks offered outside of the numbers allowed both him and Victor Cruz to flourish and even helped Mario Manningham sign an offseason contract with the San Francisco 49ers.

Acquiring a big bodied receiver, akin to Burress or Nicks, is imperative for the Giants moving forward. This receiver could already be on the roster, or the Giants could turn to the draft or free agency to find a receiver. Tavarres King and Roger Lewis have already gotten playing time and recorded touchdowns. Wherever this receiver comes from, a presence outside the numbers meshes well with Eli and allows him to push the ball down field.

2017: Playoffs or Bust

Of course, New York Giants Game the success of the passing game is directly correlated with the play of the offensive line and the running game. In past years, or years where the Giants have made the playoffs and won, both of these facets excelled. The offensive line, which has been under scrutiny for the better part of two years, has deservedly been critiqued. Ereck Flowers’ struggles encapsulate a unit that has no continuity and has trouble controlling the line of scrimmage for any duration of time.  A stark contrast from the play of the defensive line this season, but another off season of completely ignoring the offensive line will only lead to similar results.

2017 will have a different feel for the Giants; coming off a playoff berth with a team largely unfamiliar with the post season will have a profound effect on the team. This effect could be positive or negative. It remains to be seen, but the Giants have already shown the talent and ability to win. 11 wins is a tough mark to top, and with a few new pieces implemented and slight modifications to game plan and scheme, a deep play off run is a feasible and realistic expectation.

New York Giants Football 2017 Picks, News, Season Preview

New York Giants Football 2017 Picks, News, Season Preview. There’s often pushback on the ol’ interwebs over draft grades. You need a couple years to evaluate a team’s draft class, they say! Meh. That’s kind of like saying you can’t predict who wins the Super Bowl until you know makes the playoffs. There’s no bad time for predictions — it’s just that the earlier they are the less confidence we’ll have in them. And that’s OK!

One more hypothetical: if the Giants had drafted sixth-round pick Adam Bisnowaty with their first-round selection, would people say it was too early to judge? No, of course not. So we’ll be judging away today.

New York Giants Football 2017

Also: we’re not only evaluating the selections the team made in a given draft, but the choices the team made during the three-day extravaganza — more on that in our first-round evaluation. So without further ado, here are our draft grades for each of the Giants’ 2017 selections:

New York Giants Football 2017 Picks

Round 1: Ole Miss TE Evan Engram

Grade: C-

This grade has less to do with the player himself and more to do with Jerry Reese’s inflexibility, which came back to bite the Giants twice here. First, I believe Reese made a major error when he neglected to even try and trade up for O.J. Howard, a consensus top-10 player or so that could have fit the Giants perfectly and was tumbling into the teens. The Titans, at 18, might have been willing trade partners since they selected Adoree’ Jackson there, and he probably would have been available at 23.

Per the outdated Jimmy Johnson chart, the fair value to swap from 23 to 18 would have been less than a third-round pick. By Chase Stuart’s approximate value chart, a fifth-rounder would have more than sufficed. In other words: it was doable. And while I almost never advocate trading up, it’s worth it when a player has fallen far beyond where he was expected to go.

But once Reese elected to stand pat at 23, he made another error: not trading down. Evan Engram was considered a borderline first-round pick. Even if they really liked him, Reese should have traded down a few slots and netted himself an extra pick.

But of course he didn’t trade down. He never trades down. No, literally — never. In his 11 drafts as GM of the Giants, Reese has traded down exactly zero times. Considering all the research and evidence that shows that trading down, in general, is very valuable, Reese’s lack of action is almost criminal.

As for Engram, he may turn out to be a very nice player. And I actually take umbrage with one common criticism of this selection: some say that since Engram is a hybrid TE/WR, the Giants will struggle to get him and Sterling Shepard on the field at the same time. But hang on a minute. That’s because Brandon Marshall is also with the Giants, and Marshall is a straight-up band-aid. He won’t be here for the long term, but Engram will be. I don’t doubt Ben McAdoo’s ability to get these two pass catchers on the field at the same time over the next few years.

Round 2: Alabama DT Dalvin Tomlinson

Grade: B+

Tomlinson was a solid choice because he was selected right about where he should have gone and also perfectly replaces Johnathan Hankins. I mean, perfectly. Hankins was literally Tomlinson’s comp in Pro Football Focus’ pre-draft guide.

Alongside Damon Harrison, they should be able to stop the run while Big Blue’s two defensive ends get after the quarterback.

So why not an A? Firstly, for not trading down. Again, the evidence shows this is the often the best move. And second, I thought Temple OL Dion Dawkins might have helped a bit more considering the weakness of this offensive line class. Dawkins went eight picks later to the Bills.

Round 3: California QB Davis Webb

Grade: B

I’ve written pretty extensively about how Eli Manning is probably getting pretty close to the end of the line, so I think taking a first crack at finding his successor and using a mid-round pick to do so makes sense.

If it were me, I’d have gone with Josh Dobbs instead of Webb. I’m no scout, but I prefer the Tennessee QB because Football Outsiders’ QBASE projection system liked Dobbs as a potential sleeper in this draft … just like it did Dak Prescott a year ago.

Anyway, Webb was expected to be off the board by the time the Giants got him, so it wasn’t like they reached or anything. It’s basically a shot in the dark, but the more the team does that over the next couple years, the better chance they have of finding Manning’s successor when the QB does indeed hang it up.

Round 4: Clemson RB Wayne Gallman

Grade: A-

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t value running backs particularly highly. That’s why I think it’s smart of the Giants to cheaply fill a need by selecting the power back they required in the fourth round. Gallman should fit in nicely with Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen. Of course, this value would be negated if the Giants elected to spend real money on someone like LeGarrette Blount.

Round 5: Youngstown St. DE Avery Moss

Grade: C+

From a football perspective, he fits great. He can be a true 4-3 end that can rush the passer and backup Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon. Romeo Okwara flashed in that role last year, but you can never have too many guys that can get after the quarterback.

However, there is risk here because of his off-field transgression that raises a red flag. He exposed himself to a student worker at Nebraska and eventually was essentially forced to transfer out.

Round 6: Pittsburgh OT Adam Bisnowaty

Grade: A-

Any time you can get a potential tackle — even right tackle — this late in the draft, it’s worth taking a shot. Frankly, even if Bisnowaty turns out to be a serviceable guard this would easily be worth it, too. The reality is that the Giants barely addressed their struggling offensive line this offseason despite probably needing upgrades at left tackle, right tackle and right guard. Ereck Flowers gets all the attention but right tackle was a major problem for them so if they can get Bisnowaty to compete with Bobby Hart (and maybe D.J. Fluker?) this year or next that would be a win.

Giants Football 2017

The San Francisco Giants just won their fourth game in a row. It’s their longest win streak of the season and when you look at it, probably could not have come at a better time.

Five days ago, the Giants were the worst team in baseball. The three-time World Series champions, who many had locked in to their October picture, had suddenly fallen apart. On their last road trip, they were outscored 63-28. Their outfield looked fairly similar to a Triple-A team, and the team atmosphere was lackluster at best.

So what changed? Enter Brandon Crawford and Denard Span. After losing the two to the disabled list in mid-April, the Giants gained both back on May 11 to kick off the current home stand. Span provided an immediate boost to the leadoff spot and Crawford’s return reunited a Golden Glove caliber middle infield. But most importantly, the return of two of the team’s most sorely missed starters provided the Giants with a spark to play, one that they needed desperately.

Since returning from the DL, Span is batting .384, an immense improvement from Gorky’s Hernandez’s .172. For as well as Christian Arroyo handled shortstop, nothing beats having Crawford in the heart of the infield. The Giants are simply a better team with Crawford in the hole.

Another factor is Buster Posey’s recent power surge. After hitting just one home run in the second half of 2016 and one home run in April, the one-time NL MVP now has six homers in the month of May, and five in the last seven games. For a team that severely lacks right-handed power, these types of things certainly don’t go unnoticed. And you can’t forget about Matt Cain. With his win tonight, he is now 3-1 on the year with a 4.04 ERA — the lowest ERA on the starting rotation.

Don’t get me wrong, at 16-24, the Giants obviously have a long way to go. Although they have a temporary fix with Eduardo Nunez in left, they’re still battling injuries (the Bumgarner one to be specific) and the bullpen still needs some fine tuning. But it’s a start. And it’s a start that couldn’t have come at a more desperate time. The Giants finally got the ball rolling. It’s up to them on when it stops.