New York Giants 2018 Draft profile

The 2018 NFL Draft is just over a month away, which means that Draftmas is back. Draftmas will take a look at each NFL team heading into the NFL Draft, what their needs are and who they could be targeting. You will find it here. Draftmas will continue with the New York Giants 2018 NFL Draft profile. 

Summary

The New York Giants rode into 2017 hoping to repeat playoff runs. New York finished the 2016 season 11-5 with a Wild Card appearance.

Many Giants fans were shocked at the 0-4 start to the 2017 campaign. This was the second and final season under head coach Ben McAdoo. What finalized this was McAdoo’s decision to name backup quarterback, Geno Smith, as the starter during Week 13.

New York Giants 2018 NFL Draft profile

Photo from bigblueview.com

This snapped Eli Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive regular season starts. This move inevitably drew league-wide ire to say the least, especially when one considers Manning’s laundry list of contributions to the organization. The Giants ended their 2017 campaign 3-13.

On offense, the Big Blue averaged only 15.4 points per game and 314.2 yards of total offense per game. On top of that, their running game left no silver linings in this black cloud, averaging just 96.8 yards per game.

Those numbers did not get any better in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams. Giants Pro Bowl wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., suffered a fractured left ankle. Furthermore, this injury landed No. 13 on the injured reserve for the rest of the season.

The emergence of rookie tight end, Evan Engram, was a bright spot for the Big Blue. Engram tallied 722 yards on 64 catches, along with six touchdowns.

Defensively, the G-men gave up 24.6 points per game and gave up 373.2 yards per game. Additionally, they ranked in the bottom 10 for rushing and passing yards allowed per game. The only standout from the defensive front was strong safety, Landon Collins. After racking up 104 total tackles and two interceptions, Collins was the lone Giant on last year’s Pro Bowl roster. It was his second Pro Bowl in just three years in the league.

Picks and Needs

The New York Giants have five picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. New York should be able to claim impact players early, along with potential dark horses in later picks.

First round (1 pick): 2

Second round (1): 34

Third round (1): 66, 69

Fourth round (1): 108

Fifth round (1): 139

Sixth round (0)

Seventh round (0)

Offensive needs:

Quarterback – Eli Manning’s days as a quarterback are not infinite. Despite having loads of franchise records to his name, along with two Super Bowl titles, the Big Blue will need to find a dependable successor to their 37-year-old field general.

Running back – The Giants have yet to find a workhorse in the backfield in recent seasons. The recent addition of Jonathan Stewart from the Carolina will improve the picture. But there might not be a lot left in the 31-year-old former Panther.

Offensive line – Although the o-line last year was not terrible, they were not great either. Adding former New England Patriot tackle, Nate Solder, can help bring leadership to this young crew. But in a division full of linemen that are more than formidable, the G-men will need more.

Defensive needs:

Defensive line – The Giants’ defense racked up 27 sacks last season, which was just 29th in the league. In addition, they have allowed almost 2,000 yards on the ground (1,933, sixth most in the league). This, along with Jason-Pierre Paul now being a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, means the defensive line will need more sparks and fury in the lineup.

Targets

These names are the ones the Giants can realistically bring in come draft time.

First round:

Pick No. 2: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame

New York Giants 2018 NFL Draft profile

Quenton Nelson (Photo from CBS Sports)

The New York Giants should not go with running back Saquon Barkley if the Browns pass him up. Why? Because someone like Barkley won’t big noise with an offensive line that forced only 1,549 yards on the ground all season is unlikely. Though they are better at pass blocking, they need to grow and mature as a unit.

Even with the addition of Solder, this is a very young offensive line. They still need time to establish their footing. The best interior lineman in the draft, Quenton Nelson, can bring much needed enforcement both in run and pass protection. His frame, strength and technique will be much-needed utility in increasing offensive production. His leadership showcased at Notre Dame can rally up the troops and bring the pain like never before.

Second round:

Pick No. 34: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State

Rashaad Penny can be the next big workhorse for the Big Blue, similar to Tiki Barber. With a balance of size and speed, Penny brings a high motor on the ground game. Penny rushed for 2,248 yards and 23 touchdowns last season at San Diego State. Along with being a hard and patient runner, he could also be a surprise weapon on special teams.

Third round:

Pick No. 66: Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis

Though projected as a fifth or sixth-round pick, Riley Ferguson can bring much-needed depth to the thin quarterback roster in New York. He has thrown 70 touchdowns and just 19 interceptions as a Tiger, in just two seasons. He also completed over 63 percent of his passes in both seasons. Ferguson certainly has potential to be a steal in this draft. In addition, his ability to throw on the run is not something to overlook.

Pick No. 69: Derrick Nnadi DT, Florida State

Derrick Nnadi can be a much needed accent for the Giants’ front seven. While a Seminole, he racked 165 total tackles, including 24.5 tackles for loss. He was also on the squad when Florida State won the Orange Bowl in 2016. The NFL has had quite a history of nose tackles at 6-foot-1 doing great under the lights. Given the right coaching and enough progress in off-season training, Nnadi can turn into a force to be reckoned with in the trenches.

Conclusion

The New York Giants will need to put their foot down in the 2018 NFL Draft, furthermore with free agency. With a new head coach and a young crew on board, the G-men will have much work to do for 2018 to avoid repeating the 3-13 result from last season.

Enjoy the days of Draftmas here at The Game Haus! Make sure to tune in tomorrow for the New York Jets 2018 NFL Draft Profile.

 

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Saquon Barkley giants

The Giants need a quarterback of the future, but need Saquon Barkley now

The NFL Draft is just over a month away. The predictions, prognostications and smokescreens are in full effect. While many of the usual suspects like the Browns and Jets are near the top of the draft board, a few teams are in an unfamiliar spot picking so early. This group includes the New York Giants.

With Eli Manning now 37 years old, New York is looking at quarterbacks with the second overall pick, and rightfully so. UCLA’s Josh Rosen is the signal caller who has been most linked to the Giants.

However, assuming Cleveland takes a quarterback with the first pick, there will be a player available to the Giants that they almost have to take. That player is Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

The Giants were awful last year, not Eli

Saquon Barkley Giants

Photo from cnbc.com

Last year, the Giants lost their two biggest pass catching threats for the bulk of the season due to injury. Also, second-year head coach Ben McAdoo was clearly in way over his head. Once the losses started piling up, he was literally at a loss for words during postgame press conferences and was fired before the season ended. Throw in cornerback Eli Apple being suspended for conduct detrimental to the team and the league’s 26th ranked rushing offense, and you get a 3-13 record.

Eli Manning was also bizarrely benched for a game, marking the first time he did not start a game for the Giants since 2004. With all of this going on, you would think Manning had a dreadful year. That is not true. All things considered, 19 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions is pretty impressive. Manning may not have much of his playing career left, but he can still play well.

Everything is slowly coming together 

Every quarterback has two best friends: a good offensive line and a solid running game.

One of these things helps create the other. The Giants offensive line was not terrible in terms of pass blocking last year. They ranked 12th in sacks allowed. However, getting the running game going has been a long-standing issue for the Giants.

The Giants have not finished above 18th in the league in rushing since 2012. Now, guys like Paul Perkins, Rashad Jennings and Orleans Darkwa are not exactly future Hall of Famers, but the offensive line is not blameless either.

Thus, New York wisely went out and spent big money on former Patriots left tackle Nate Solder in free agency. Solder has been protecting Tom Brady since 2011. The fact that he was given that responsibility that long tells you a lot. He immediately brings consistency to a unit that has been hit or miss in recent years. He should help a great deal in both the running and passing games.

This is where Barkley comes in. As noted above, the running back talent for the Giants has not been great as of late. There is no such thing as a can’t miss prospect in the NFL, but Barkley is without question a great talent. The Big Ten is one of the strongest defensive conferences in college football. Yet, Barkley never rushed for less than 1,076 yards in a season at Penn State. The two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year has also proven to be a decent receiver out of the backfield. He could be the star running back that the Giants have not had in a very long time.

Saquon Barkley Giants

Photo from nydailynews.com

Then, there is new head coach, Pat Shurmur. He failed as a head coach in Cleveland a few years back, but that should no longer be held against anyone. Shurmur was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota last year. His scheme helped the team reach the NFC Championship and turned Case Keenum into a hot free-agent commodity. After what he was able to do with Keenum, think of what Shurmur could do to revitalize the career of a borderline Hall of Famer like Manning.

Even without a new face in the offensive backfield, the supporting cast around Manning and whoever may wind up succeeding him in New York has gotten much better this offseason. Manning is certainly better qualified than Rosen or any other incoming rookie to take advantage of these improvements.

The New York factor

It may be overblown at times, but the New York media is different than most other places. The media firestorm around last year’s dumpster fire of a team was insane. The Giants cannot afford another three-win campaign. Drafting a rookie quarterback in the first round could be disastrous.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume the Giants draft Rosen. The second Manning has a bad game, fans and media calling for Rosen to step in would be all anyone talked about. That is damaging to any football team.

Manning is not getting any younger. Thus, the wise thing for the Giants would be to draft and develop a quarterback in the middle rounds without much fanfare and see if he can replace Manning in a couple years. They already have a decent defense. Put Barkley in the backfield behind a revamped offensive line, have Manning throwing to Evan Engram and a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. and you are suddenly looking at a team that could compete in 2018. That is exactly what the Giants have to do.

 

Featured image from yardbarker

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Stack your money Sundays: Week 10

Week 9 Review (1-1-1) Overall: 16-9-2

Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) @ New York Giants

Los Angeles Rams 51 New York Giants 17

What a romping. Once New York gave up a 52-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-33, this game was over. The Rams continue to run the ball with ease, and had their second game of the season in which they did not turn the ball over. Jared Goff threw for over 300 yards, his first time eclipsing 300 passing yards since week one. This was also Goff’s first career four-touchdown game. Los Angeles’ offensive line continues to dominate, as they did not allow a sack.

Not sure if this game was more about the Rams dominance or the Giants struggling. Ben McAdoo might lose his job, and Eli Manning will most likely be gone after next season. If the Giants continue their poor play, they will be in line for a top pick in next year’s draft, in which they could draft a future quarterback. No offense to Davis Webb, but I don’t see him as the future of this team.

Atlanta Falcons (-2) @ Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers 20 Atlanta Falcons 17

This is now two weeks in a row in which the Falcons have failed us. Atlanta is suffering from a serious Super Bowl hangover. A team that finished fifth in rushing yards a season ago, ran for a grand total of 53 yards against Carolina. The Falcons offense struggled on third down, and were unable to convert on all three of their fourth down conversion attempts.

MJ or Cam Newton? (SB Nation)

Cam Newton had a beautiful rushing touchdown in which he pulled off his inner MJ and dunked the ball as he crossed the goal line. However, this win was more about Carolina’s defense. They completely shut down the run, and now have the number one ranked defense in terms of yards allowed. They are allowing the fourth fewest points, second fewest rushing yards and sixth fewest passing yards. In other words, Carolina’s defense is elite.

Tennessee Titans (-3) @ Baltimore Ravens

Tennessee Titans 20 Baltimore Ravens 17

Our second push of the season. It really looked like the Titans had the cover in the bag until they gave up a last-minute touchdown, which cut their lead down to three. Going into this game, the Ravens were allowing over 130 yards on the ground, and all of a sudden, they limited the Titans, a powerful run team, to only 71 yards. Just shows how hard it is to predict some of these teams.

Solid win for Tennessee, as they move to 5-3 and are tied for first place in the AFC South. If they want to make some noise, the Titans defense needs to defend the pass better, and Mariota needs to step up his play.

WEEK 10 PICKS

Time to get back on track!

Minnesota Vikings (-1) @ Washington Redskins

PICK: VIKINGS TO COVER

WHY THE VIKINGS WILL SUCCEED

Case Keenum, average but efficient (Houston Chronicle)

  • Coming off a bye, extra week to prepare
  • Sixth in the league in third down conversions
  • Defense is legit: third fewest points per game allowed, fourth fewest yards, second fewest yards per play, second in opposing third down conversion percentage.
  • Allowing the fewest touchdowns per game, also rank third in opposing red zone scoring percentage on drives ending in a touchdown
  • Defend the run well, third fewest rushing yards allowed per game
  • Offense is efficient, seventh in completion percentage, fourth fewest turnovers.
  • Kai Forbath: 21/22 on FGA

WHY THE REDSKINS WILL STRUGGLE

  • 24th in opponent points per game
  • 19th in opposing third down conversions
  • Allow 4.2 yards per carry on the ground
  • Allow 6.7 yards per pass (20th in the NFL)

 

New England Patriots (-7.5) @ Denver Broncos

PICK: PATRIOTS TO COVER

WHY THE PATRIOTS WILL SUCCEED

  • Extra week to prepare because of bye
  • 12-5 under Belichick in game after a bye (Outscoring opponents 436-285 in those games)
  • seventh in points per game
  • third in the league in third down conversions
  • third in the league in yards per pass
  • fifth in completion percentage
  • Second fewest turnovers in the NFL

WHY THE BRONCOS WILL STRUGGLE

  • They don’t have a QB
  • Defense is 25th in points allowed per game
  • 22nd in points per game, 27th in completion percentage
  • 25th in yards
  • Second most turnovers in the league

 

New York Jets @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5)

PICK: BUCCANEERS TO COVER

WHY THE BUCCANEERS WILL SUCCEED

  • Ryan Fitzpatrick has higher completion percentage, and higher QBR than Jameis Winston.
  • Tampa Bay ranks eighth in yards per play
  • second in passing yards per game
  • third fewest penalty yards per game

WHY THE JETS WILL STRUGGLE

  • 22nd in opponent yards per play
  • 24th in opponents yards per game
  • 30th in opponent touchdowns per game
  • 22nd in yards per game
  • Second most penalty yards per game

 

Featured image by ESPN.com

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Fantasy football quarterback sleeper: Eli Manning

Last year, Eli Manning had a decent season. He threw 26 touchdown passes and had 4,027 passing yards. He was considered a top 10 fantasy quarterback. However, he finished well outside the top ten in points. But in 2017, there’s a lot of promise for Manning in fantasy and this year he is my quarterback sleeper.

The “ELI-te” Manning

For fantasy owners, Manning might not be on your list given his struggles last season when he finished as the No. 20 fantasy quarterback in standard leagues. There has only been one other time Manning has finished in the 20’s at quarterback which was in 2013.  But let’s not forget the past years of Manning such as 2014 and 2015 when he was a top 12 fantasy quarterback.

Quarterback Sleeper: Eli Manning

Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. (Photo by:cbssports.com)

In that two-year span, he was excellent in fantasy football. In 2014, he threw for 4,410 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The following year improved as he had 35 touchdowns and 4,436 passing yards and matched his interception total in 2014. He also had a six-touchdown game that year.

After having one of the worst seasons of his career in 2013, we saw Manning having maybe the best two seasons of his career. We have seen him rebound from a bad season and have a great season. Time and time again we saw Manning do well with less around him.

Manning in those two seasons had something he hadn’t had since 2012. He had a healthy No. 1 target in Odell Beckham Jr. His fantasy numbers started to improve when Beckham broke onto the scene. Beckham was the only reliable option when many parts of the Giants offense were inconsistent. Another part of his success was the change in offense with new plays and sets with new coordinator Ben McAdoo.

2016

In 2016, Manning didn’t have a bad year, he just didn’t have the success he had the previous two seasons. Even though the head coaching change put McAdoo in charge, the offense was still the same. He still had Beckham. Victor Cruz was finally healthy. They drafted another weapon in rookie Sterling Shepard. What was so different for Manning in 2016?

Quarterback Sleeper: Eli Manning

Eli Manning (Photo by:giantswire.usatoday.com)

One major factor of his decline to some was the success of the defensive side of the ball. In the offseason, the Giants were spenders in free agency adding Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Janoris Jenkins. They also brought back Jason Pierre-Paul. The defense was it’s best since 2011 when they reached the Super Bowl.

Parts of the defense came to life as these signings panned out in addition to Landon Collins improving to be a top safety in the league that season. Unlike 2014 and 2015, Manning didn’t have to come back in games forcing him to throw the football many times more then they would have liked to.

Another factor is the offensive line. The Giants have struggled protecting Manning. Ereck Flowers has been a bust, struggling at the left tackle position. He had a new right side in 2015 with Jon Jerry at guard and Bobby Hart at tackle. The offensive line struggled in the run game, something the Giants hadn’t had to worry about for a long time.

Some of his decline could be because of his age. He entered in his 12th season at age 35 and for some quarterbacks the strength and accuracy go away. Sure his numbers declined, but not drastically. I don’t think age was a factor for Manning. We have seen him have his best seasons over the age of 30 and his best seasons came when he was in his 10th and 11th seasons. 2016 may have not been his best but he led the Giants to the playoffs and he still produced a solid year.

optimism in 2017

There is reason to be excited about Manning in 2017. The Giants looked to offense in the offseason like they did last year on the defensive side.

Quarterback Sleeper: Eli Manning

Brandon Marshall (Photo by:giants.com)

The Giants gave him a new weapon in free agency after signing Brandon Marshall. The positive about Marshall is that Manning hasn’t had a big receiver like him since Plaxico Burress.

In the past two seasons, Marshall has been in the top 10 in targets inside the 20-yard line. In 2015 he had a great fantasy year finishing third in points with 109 catches, 1,502 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also finished sixth in yards (97) and fifth in touchdowns (9) inside the 20-yard line.

Marshall could have the same success with Manning throwing him the ball becoming a new red zone target and sometimes taking coverage to open up other receivers.

Along with Marshall, the Giants also have Beckham and Shepard at receiver. This is probably their strongest group of receivers since their Super Bowl XLVI championship season with Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham.

He will also have an offensive weapon at tight end in rookie Evan Engram. Manning will have Shane Vereen back and Paul Perkins progressing in his sophomore year. Assuming that the offensive line holds up and the plethora of weapons pan out, Manning could have the potential to having a breakout fantasy year.

I expect Manning to have a bounce back seasons with all these additions. Although at 36 years old, one thing every fantasy owner can expect from Manning is consistency. He hasn’t missed a start in his 12-year career. He will also throw in the range of 25-30 touchdowns and have over 4,000 passing yards.

You should be able to get Eli Manning late in your fantasy drafts. You won’t have to reach for him, and you will enjoy the late-round rewards. Manning should rebound as a No. 1 fantasy quarterback in all formats.

 

Featured image from marketwatch.com

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