Author: Mark Zandanel
Ever since the picture of the New York Giant wide receiver core sitting on the front of a yacht a week before the playoffs, the Giants were looking forward to some darker days. I did not believe in the curse behind the picture, but here we are over two years later and it has been an absolute whirlwind. They got beaten down and humbled by Aaron Rodgers and then proceeded to bomb the next season, posting a three win season that gave us Saquon Barkley in the draft. I had no problem with the selection at the time and looking back the only other player I would’ve wanted was taken at the number one spot.
With Saquon, there came a new regime in New York, with Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman receiving the open roles after cleaning house as the head coaching position and general manager position respectively. There was some hope and even some hype behind the 2018-2019 season with a lot of pieces that could work together. Nope. The Giants went 5-11 and earned the sixth pick in the draft after a dismal season that I forced myself to keep watching because of the explosive walking highlight reel in Saquon. But here at the sixth pick, the Giants have some issues to take care of.
This pick is very important to the future of the franchise. They can start bolstering up the defense with a solid player in a large and talented draft pool for linemen. Or they could go for the Dwayne Haskins or Kyler Murray route with a new quarterback replacement. And yes, they should get a quarterback. I have not said his name until now, but Eli Manning is a problem at this point. He brought the city two championships and is probably the best quarterback the franchise has seen, but it is time. He is eating up cap space and eating turf almost every snap from our shaky offensive line. Eli doesn’t have it anymore and I think that it is time for a change.
This now brings up the giant question facing John Mara and Dave Gettleman. What is the plan? Gettleman has emphasized that there is a plan to everything, while also greenlighting some questionable decisions. He let Landon Collins walk and he proceeded to walk over to Washington, where they overpaid him. But we still need a safety, because no, Antoine Bethea does not count as a viable option. Olivier Vernon got shipped to Cleveland for Kevin Zeitler, which gives the line more support. These were both moves that I was able to tolerate and understand. Then they traded Odell Beckham Jr. And the return makes some sense, with a budding Jabrill Peppers with a strong sophomore year and the 17thoverall pick in this year’s draft. I just do not think it is enough for the star caliber talent of Odell to be gone and now Sterling Shepard is the number one receiver.
So again, what is the plan? The Giants have done a good job of being fairly secretive and not tipping their hand about their draft moves and free agent acquisitions. They are stuck in a weird purgatory that won’t let them compete because of missing pieces and fierce competition in the NFC. With Gettleman stressing the point that we have a plan and the OBJ trade was apart of it, there must be something up his sleeve or a model in his mind for how the franchise should be run. My prediction is that Eli is here for at least this season, maybe as a retirement tour or perhaps he really is delusional and thinks he still has it. If they do keep Eli for another season or not, I think the team is pointing its head towards the run game. With a once in a lifetime talent in Saquon Barkley, it would be childish to not use him to the best of New York’s ability. Imagine when the team has a legitimate offensive line with Barkley behind it, the results could be astonishing. I want to think or hope as a Giants fan, that they take a quarterback, preferably Haskins with the sixth pick and there would be a real shock if there weren’t a future QB1 drafted at either spot in the first round. I think they are fairly unpredictable in the direction they’re going in the draft and I am not sure if that is on purpose or if management is stumped too. And if they are stumped, then hold on another season Giants fans, it’ll be better eventually.