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.
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
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Per the outdated Jimmy Johnson chart, the fair value to swap from 23 to 18 would have been less than a third-round pick.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
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
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
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
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
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.