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1) Let’s face it, as it is now constructed, especially on the defensive side, this team cannot make the playoffs. What do you see as the best remedy for this: Free Agency or The Draft or a mixture of the two.
2} With the apparent departure of Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz, leaving us 3/5th of a starting OL (Flowers, Pugh, and Richburg} would you like to see the Giants target someone like Mitch Schwartz or other FA OT’s out there?
3} Do you foresee Bobby Hart as a starting right guard for the NY Giants in 2016?
4} Do you think the Giants will use the #1 draft pick on a defensive player and also will a majority of the picks be on the defensive side of the ball?
–Mark M., Inside Football Subscriber
Good questions, Mark, and ones that I know I’ve seen from other readers, so let’s run down each.
Regarding your first question, I think the Giants will use a mixture of free agency and the draft. Remember, they’re only going to have six picks this year barring any trades, comp pocks, etc.
Six picks for a whole lotta holes on the roster isn’t enough so I think when you also consider cap space that could top $60 million and the seldom-known rule that says that NFL teams have to spend a certain percentage of their cap floor else rebate the NFLPA for what they don’t spend to meet this criteria, it’s pretty obvious how they’re going to address the roster holes.
I’ll answer No. 2 and No. 3 together. First, I believe that Bobby Hart will enter the spring penciled in as the starting right guard, no question. I got the impression they liked what they saw of him last year, and while we’re talking a new coaching staff, the tape is the tape.
Regarding what they do at right tackle, I have said this before and will say this again. Signing a right tackle isn’t necessarily a slam dunk, though it is probably the route they will take if they truly want to leave Justin Pugh at left guard (which I would do if I’m making up the roster.)
Now with that said, what happens if in their review of the tape, the coaching staff says, “Gee, Brett Jones looked very promising at guard before suffering his knee injury.”” Do the Giants move Jones to left guard and kick Pugh out to right tackle?
It’s a longshot, mind you, at least as of this writing, but a possibility that cannot yet be ruled out. (And by the way, I think where Pugh ends up playing is why they won’t look to extend his rookie deal this year.)
Lastly, as for No. 4, as of this moment, I do think the Giants draft defense with the No. 10 pick in the draft for reasons I explained in yesterday’s “30 Questions” column. Will they predominantly go all defense in the draft? Again, as of right now, that would appear to be the case; however, as I have said a zillion times, you need to see what moves are made first in free agency before you can really drill down what they do in the draft.
I remember the year they signed Antrel Rolle, they desperately needed a safety, and most everyone in fact was predicting a safety to the Giants in a draft. Rolle, who became a last-minute cap cut by the Cardinals, erased that need.
This is why I plead with readers to hold their horses regarding the draft. It’s too soon to predict what a team will do with their first round pick unless that team has a top-3 pick, which makes it a little easier.