Welcome to the weekend, Giants fans! Things over the next few days are bound to be relatively quiet as all 32 teams prepare for the NFL Draft, so enjoy the brief moment of peace and quiet. Also enjoy your Saturday morning coffee over the following Big Blue headlines.
The Giants seemingly filled many of their roster holes with a free- agency haul that added 16 players who played elsewhere last season. Fortified, the Giants should have more freedom to select based on talent and not need heading into next week’s NFL Draft.
General manager Jerry Reese does not agree with that assessment.
“The draft is what it is, it stands alone,’’ Reese said Thursday at his annual pre-draft press conference. “We try to pick the best players we can in the draft. You try to fill some holes in free agency. In the draft you just try to pick the best players.’’
The Giants should improve throwing the ball this season — they can't be much worse than 2013. New offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who was an assistant with the Packers since 2006, will bring his version of the West Coast offense to New York. That should help Manning, who is coming off a miserable year, because he needed a change from Kevin Gilbride.
We hope the Giants will improve under McAdoo, and there's still plenty of talent on this roster for the passing game. It will fall on Manning to make it all happen, and hopefully he can turn back the clock to 2011.
Temple defensive tackle Levi Brown visited the New York Giants, according to a league source.
Brown is a 6-foot-2, 310-pounder who ran the 40-yard dash in 5.22 seconds at his campus Pro Day workout.
He bench pressed 225 pounds 33 times.
NFL personnel men often say offensive linemen are the toughest prospects to evaluate. That’s why an elite left tackle – the protector of a quarterback’s blind side – is paid so well. Since 1997, just five non-quarterbacks have been drafted first overall. Two of those players were defensive ends. The other three were offensive tackles, including Eric Fisher last year and Jake Long in 2008. If you can’t pass protect in the modern NFL, you can’t win. Of the top seven teams in sacks allowed last year, none of them made the playoffs.
This could be the Giants' most important position of need heading into the draft. The team could use help at center, a strong backup — and eventual starter — at left tackle and one heck of an insurance policy at center. Trusting Will Beatty (broken leg), Chris Snee (hip surgery) and JD Walton (did not play in 2013, ankle) is not the way to kick off Ben McAdoo's new offense. Look for the Giants to lend strong consideration to Zack Martin and Taylor Lewan in the first round, and Joel Bitonio in the second — if he lasts that long.
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