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Giants Earn an ‘B’ for Their Draft According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

The draft grades from ‘Draft Guru’ Mel Kiper Jr. are out, and one team that got a very good grade is that of the Giantss, who according to Kiper got an ‘B’ for their collection of players over the two days.

Here’s what he had to say:

You can love the player but question the pick. That’s the issue with Saquon Barkley at No. 2. I always say to look for running backs after Round 1. That’s where the value is. Look at last year. Dalvin Cook and Joe Mixon went in Round 2, and Kareem Hunt and Alvin Kamara went in Round 3. Those are fantastic three-down backs with much smaller contracts than Barkley. Barkley will probably be great — and the Giants haven’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2012 — but he’s taking hand-offs from a 37-year-old quarterback in Eli Manning, who has been objectively pretty bad in recent years for long stretches. So that’s why I would have gone with Sam Darnold here. Get the quarterback who’s going to take Eli’s place because the Giants don’t pick this early ever.

Again, though, I like the pick of Will Hernandez at the top of the second round (pick 34). He’s going to help pave the way for Barkley, and he fills a need after losses in free agency. Lorenzo Carter (66) is a good outside linebacker who is a fit in New York’s new 3-4 defense. I thought he could sneak into the top 40 picks after he ran a 4.50 40 at the combine. He’s not a true pass-rusher, but he could play inside. B.J. Hill (69) is a powerful nose tackle who started 44 games at NC State.

Grabbing Kyle Lauletta at No. 108 is good value, but he doesn’t have an NFL arm at this point. He’s a touch passer, and he has to get stronger. He’s going to compete with last year’s third-round pick Davis Webb to back up Manning, and maybe the Giants will find their quarterback of the future there after a couple of years of development. RJ McIntosh (139) was one of my favorite underrated players, and he could be a steal. He’s quick and athletic, and he has a motor. He’ll likely play end.

Again, I’m not going to crush GM Dave Gettleman’s first draft in charge of the Giants. I like the players he got, and we clearly have a different philosophy.

Round/Pick Name Pos College
1/2 Saquon Barkley RB PENN STATE
2/34 Will Hernandez G UTEP
3/66 Lorenzo Carter OLB GEORGIA
3/69 B.J. Hill DT NC STATE
4/108 Kyle Lauletta QB RICHMOND
5/139 RJ McIntosh DT MIAMI

Giants Draft Penn State RB Saquon Barkley with the #2 Pick in the 2018 NFL Draft

The pick for the Giants is in, and they are grabbed Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in Thursday’s 2018 NFL Draft.

Here’s a quick look at Barkley


Ht. 6-1

Wt. 233 lbs

40-yard dash: 4.40

Bench press: 29 reps

Vertical jump: 41″

Broad jump: N/A

3-cone drill: N/A

20-yard shuttle: 4.24
A Look at Barkley from

Every-down running back with the ability to alter the course of an offense and become a face of the franchise-type player. Barkley has the rare ability to create additional yardage through elusiveness, speed, vision and feel for space in the open field. While he has been tasked with carrying a heavy load at Penn State, their decision to limit his carries somewhat this season could help Barkley headed into his rookie season. Barkley is a buffet runner who thrives with the more plates you give him and he has a chance to become an early All-Pro no matter which team takes him.

Giants RB Paul Perkins Had Surgery This Offseason to Repair Pectoral Injury

Giants running back Paul Perkins suffered a pectoral injury this offseason that required surgery according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Word of the injury first surfaced when Perkins was spotted with his left arm in a sling during minicamp this week. The 23-year-old apparently suffered the injury while working out on his own this spring but it is not known exactly when he underwent surgery. The fact that he underwent surgery indicates he likely suffered a tear and the typicla recovery time is six to eight months.

Originally a fifth-round pick out of UCLA in 2016, Perkins showed some promise in his rookie season but was a major disappointment in 2017with only 41 carries for 90 yards and no touchdowns in 11 games. Especially with the Giants expected to draft a running back early, perhaps even with the No. 2 overall pick if Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is available, it seems unlikely Perkins will have any meaningful role with the team in 2018.

Pat Shurmur Expects Odell Beckham Jr. to Be with the Giants in 2018

Odell Beckham showed up for the first day of optional offseason workouts on April 9. Beckham and was here for Tuesday’s start of the Giants’ extra voluntary three-day minicamp granted to first-year head coaches, even going through a morning walk-through with teammates — “He’s here, and he’s been here,” coach Pat Shurmur said.

And Shurmur said Tuesday before the Giants’ first of three non-contact practices that he “absolutely” expects Beckham to be a Giant this coming fall, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reports.

“Absolutely. He’s an excellent player, he’s part of our team and he’s a very valued member of our team,” Shurmur said. “Everybody that’s out here, I’m planning on them being here.”

The new Giants head coach also stressed that he’s communicated to Beckham frequently and directly through what not long ago was a tumultuous offseason, with GM Dave Gettleman discussing possible trade offers for Beckham with other NFL teams just weeks ago as an alternative to re-signing Beckham expensively long-term.

Shurmur said he and Beckham even had a one-on-one Monday conversation to make sure he and his best player were on the same page.

“We constantly communicate,” Shurmur said. “We had a great talk yesterday. He came in and we sat down as we were getting ready for this mini-camp so we could talk about what we were trying to get accomplished. We’ve spoken on the phone. We text. It’s like any relationship. We’re very honest and open with one another, and we communicate frequently.”

Memorabilia Fraud Case of Giants QB Eli Manning Heading to Court Soon

Eli Manning’s memorabilia fraud case is headed to court in a few weeks, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ Advance Media reports.

A New Jersey Superior Court judge ordered a trial set for May 14 when issuing a summary judgment decision on multiple claims brought by three memorabilia collectors against Manning, Steiner Sports, Giants memorabilia, equipment manager Joe Skiba, Giants co-owner John Mara and others, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The gist of the civil lawsuit, which was filed in January 2014, is collectors allege items such as helmets and jerseys passed off as game-used were fakes.

The judge dropped most of the charges against Skiba, per ESPN, after agreeing with his lawyer’s arguments that he never profited from the in-question items. Skiba’s lawyers also argued he did not directly represent the items as game-used to consumers.

Manning has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing in the case, but his motion to waive the claim of consumer fraud was denied, according to the report. It also states that Manning is the only defendant who the judge found could have possibly violated common law fraud, which carries the extra legal burden of having to intent to deceive.

The 2018 Giants Season Schedule is Out – A Quick Glance at the Good and the Bad

The NFL Thursday evening released the entire slate for the 2018 NFL season, including the 16 game schedule for the Giants, an annual big day in the life of football fans everywhere.

Here’s a quick look at the Giants schedule, along with two quick thoughts on the good of the schedule, and the not so good.

The Good: If the Giants are going to make a playoff push, they will play two of their last three games at home, with the finale being against the Cowboys in what is always a huge game. The other home game late comes against the Titans, an AFC South playoff team from 2017.

The Bad: 3 of the first 5 games for the Giants are on the road, with the big showdown being the second game of the season, a game against the Cowboys in Big D. It could be a showdown between the Cowboys and possibly new Giants WR Dez Bryant if he comes to the G-Men sometime soon.

Former Cowboys WR Dez Bryant Says He Wants to Play for the Giants

Wide receiver Dez Bryant is out for revenge after being released by the Dallas Cowboys on Friday, and says he would welcome the chance to extract it with the Giants. an NFC East rival, Matt Lombardo of NJ Advance Media reports.

“The Giants got a hell of a defense, they’re going to pay OBJ,” Bryant told CBS Sports, via GiantsWire. “Playing with him, Sterling [Shepard] … the tight end [Evan Engram], [Eli] Manning? Crazy. … They draft [Penn State running back Saquan Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick]? That’d be crazy! You get to wear your nice winter coats on the streets of New York there.”

Before being released, Bryant caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns for the Cowboys in 2017, and has 531 receptions for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns while averaging 14 yards per catch in 113 career games.

The Giants can free $5.1 million in cap space by releasing veteran wide receiver Brandon Marshall, which could make room for Bryant.

Giants Gab 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: USC QB Sam Darnold

The hype for USC quarterback Sam Darnold has b3en growing by leaps and bounds the last few weeks, to the point where many feel he’s going to be the first overall pick in the NFL Draft in April.

At 6-4, 220 pounds, he’s got the look of a player who with some time learning could be a very good to excellent quarterback in the NFL, but time will tell when he might get that chance.

In his final season at USC, Darnold threw for 4143 yards, with 26 touchdowns to go along with 13 picks. This after throwing 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions the season before.

Here’s a look at Darnold and what various places are saying about him in our latest scouting report.

Walter Football

Naturally accurate passer
Fits passes into tight windows
Excellnt ball placement
Throws a catchable ball
Pocket presence
Has poise
Advanced anticipation; instinctive thrower
Throws with good timing
Can accelerate his throwing motion
Quality arm strength
Pushed team to wins
Good internal clock
Throws very well on the run
Throws accurately off platform
Displays some feel in the pocket
Not easy to sack
Can hurt defenses on the ground
Can make all the throws required
Can pick up yards on the ground
Threads passes into tight windows

Ball security
Too many interceptions
Too many fumbles
Had some confidence issues in 2017
Doesn’t secure the ball well when getting sacked
Good enough not doesn’t have elite arm strength
Throwing mechanics are a bit unorthodox
Needs to start games faster

Summary: Darnold took college football by storm during the 2016 season, and even though he wasn’t eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft, the redshirt freshman had scouts buzzing about his pro potential. After a 1-2 start to the 2016 season for USC, Darnold was made the starting quarterback. For his debut season, he was an extremely efficient passer who led the Trojans to a 10-3 record. Darnold lost his first-ever start against a good Utah team, but after that he led his team to ripping off a nine-game win streak to close out the year, including impressive wins over Colorado, Washington, and a comeback Rose Bowl win over Penn State. Darnold completed 67 percent of his passes in 2016 for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

The 2017 season was more of a mixed bag for Darnold. The redshirt sophomore completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,143 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He had an up-and-down season with too many turnovers – fumbles were a particular issue beyond the interceptions. Darnold also made some beautiful anticipatory throws with excellent accuracy in just about every game.

There is a lot to like about Darnold as a future starter in the NFL. First and foremost, he is an accurate pocket passer who throws with good ball placement and is very precise in the short to intermediate part of the field. Darnold has excellent anticipation to know when and where receivers are going open. With his feel and timing, Darnold hits receivers on the run, leading them to picking up yards after the catch. He also regularly will throw receivers open and help them to find space to beat tight coverage. Darnold is a natural rhythm thrower who would fit best in a West Coast system to maximize his ability to throw accurately in the short to intermediate part of the field. He is a smooth precision passer who can be deadly when he gets into a good groove.

Darnold is comfortable in the pocket, but also has the ability to move around to buy time. While he is not a running quarterback, he is functional to avoid sacks and will move around to help his offensive line and receivers. Darnold made a number of really nice plays during the past two years when things went off script as he got creative to move the ball for his offense. Routinely, Darnold would buy time with his feet and then make an accurate throw downfield with the rush closing in on him.

The Drafster

In my eyes, Sam Darnold is a very odd prospect. Talked about as a number 1 overall draft pick. Talked about as the best Quarterback coming out of college this year. However, I am not seeing any of this. When I watch Darnold, I see one of the most streaky Quarterback play I think I have seen in awhile. At time looks very hesitant to throw, missing an opportunity. Other times he looks too eager and makes a bad decision. He has his good moments, but then a play later he will have a combination of bad plays. Moving in the pocket too early and too often, inconsistent accuracy, and staring down a play for too long are major turn offs to me.

The first thing I notice about Darnold when watching him is that he seems to ignore his dump off routes. He seems so locked in on making a big play, he forgets about the guys that are 5 yards away from him. I can respect wanting to make a big play for the team, but after staring downfield for eternity it’s time to hit your shallow routes. At least LOOK at them to see if they are open. There is no shame in taking an easy three to five yards. Not every throw has to get the crowd on their feet.

The second thing I notice is how much he likes to move around in the pocket. And that is just not his style. I get running to avoid a sack, but too many times I saw him run with a clean pocket. Multiple times he would take off to the outskirts of the pocket, making it easier for defenders to get off their block. He seems to just panic unless he has the cleanest pocket one could possibly have. If he would stand tall in the pocket and deliver, his accuracy issues would go down as well. His deep balls are inconsistent, and the times he does go to dump it off, those are not always pretty either. His best throws come from his 10-15 yarders. Which always happen to be when he stands his ground.

I will say though, 4th quarter Sam Darnold seems to be a better player than in other quarters. He reads the field better, has better ball placement, and doesn’t try to run around as much. It just seems something clicks a bit better for him during the 4th. Like he has calmed down. He just needs to be able to play similar to that all game if he is gonna be the number 1 overall pick this upcoming draft.

I think Darnold has a lot to work on. Personally there are 4 other Quarterbacks I would take before drafting him. He does good things, unfortunately, his good things just are not consistent enough and are overshadowed by his flaws. I believe if he can work on sitting in the pocket longer instead of trying to escape right away (while not holding the ball for too long), a lot of his issues will start fading. I think Darnold will have a real rough start to his career, but if keeps his confidence and keeps fixing his game, it will work out for him in the long run.

Cover 1 Scouting Report


Darnold’s entire game is predicated upon his ability to create. Darnold is an athletic player; he is able to pull the ball down and gain chunks of yardage with his legs. His agility and change of direction catch many defenders off guard.

That is why offensive coordinator Tee Martin built an offense that maximized his legs. USC ran a heavy dose of run pass options (RPOs), a concept that gave Darnold many options pre- and post-snap, and he absolutely flourished. On a majority of their plays, Darnold had the ability to give the ball to star running back Ronald Jones, keep it as a runner, or throw it to one of his many weapons outside. This multi-dimensional structure of a play was obviously super productive. His decision making was very good all season, especially on these RPOs. He can process the coverage, find the conflict defender, and distribute the ball quickly.

But what is often overlooked is the accuracy and velocity needed on these kinds of concepts. At times, after the mesh with the running back or play fake, the passing lane is cluttered with defenders coming downhill to defend what they perceive to be a run. Once they realize that it is a pass, they immediately try to get their hands up in the passing lanes. Darnold makes these throws look easy. Standing at 6’4? and 220 pounds, he is able to place the ball in optimal locations, allowing his weapons to make plays.

At the next level, Darnold is going to make his money in the short area. While his elongated release and sloppy footwork will cause issues at times, something I will cover later, it isn’t an issue from 0-9 yards. That bodes well for Sam, because that is where football is won and lost on Sundays. His mechanics aren’t an issue because he is throwing in rhythm and not having to worry about mechanics.

According to SportsInfo Solutions (SIS), Darnold’s short game is phenomenal. From 0-9 yards, he had the highest completion percentage (75.4%), the 4th-most passing yards (1,534), 12th-most touchdowns (10), the 3rd-highest yards per attempt (7.6), and the 5th-highest rating (107.2).


As productive as Darnold was over his 27 games at USC, he has some serious flaws that need to be addressed, the first of which is turnovers. Darnold threw 22 interceptions over two years and added another 20 fumbles. This lack of ball security will get you benched quickly.

While the offense surrendered an average of 2.14 sacks a game and a grand total of 30 sacks in 2017, he admitted that he was pushing it too much.

Many of his turnovers are linked to his mechanics. Darnold has some of the worst mechanics I have ever seen from a quarterback. Let’s start with his delivery. Typically, a quarterback with an elongated delivery like Darnold’s will struggle at the next level. From the time he begins his delivery to the time of release is often the difference between a tight window completion and an interception. Defensive backs are just too good on Sundays. If he is slightly late anticipating a throw and needs to drive a pass, the split second longer that it takes to release the ball due to his delivery could lead to an interception, much like it did versus Washington State. The safety bails post-snap, baiting Darnold to throw the speed out as he gets the 1-on-1 coverage. The defensive back reads the route, breaks, and picks him off.

What Matt Miller says about Darnold – Ranking him as the #1 QB on the board

1. Sam Darnold, USC

A two-year starter at USC, Sam Darnold is widely praised for his toughness, football IQ and leadership. A coach with the Trojans told me Darnold only cares about football and not the benefits of being a star quarterback. He did turn the ball over 22 times in 2017, which should at a minimum send scouts back to the tape to find the context of each turnover. But Darnold’s tangible and intangible traits are tops in the class.

Scout’s Quote: “Crystal clean off the field. Smart, poised, tough, accurate. He might be the only one that could work in Cleveland because he won’t let the pressure go to his head.”

Coach’s Quote: “The release and turnovers bother me, but he has the makeup to be good. He’s better than [Mitch] Trubisky was last year but he’s not on the level of [Carson] Wentz or Jared [Goff].”

Scout’s Comparison: Tony Romo, retired

Darnold impressed at his Pro Day, throwing in the rain back on March 21st

Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman Looking for Game Changer with Second Overall Pick

Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman has a golden ticket with the second overall pick in next month’s NFL Draft, and with new head coach Pat Shurmur aboard, the team has got to get a play maker and a game-changer with the pick.

Via PFT, the GM spoke about the second pick on Tuesday.

“If I’m sitting on my big cheeks looking at the board and I’m saying ‘This guy has got it,’” Gettleman said, via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY. “You know, really? Is it hard?”

Giants coach Pat Shurmur admits an “urge” to find Eli Manning‘s heir apparent with the second choice. But Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson or Bradley Chubb could prove the generational player Gettleman seeks.

“Guys, this is the second pick in the draft,” Gettleman said. “We really have to picture this guy putting on a gold jacket. Because if we can’t picture that, really . . .”

Quarterback, running back, defensive end, offensive guard. The position doesn’t matter as much as how good the player turns out.

“It’s like when teams reach [and say], ‘We need a defensive tackle.’ Then they drop down and reach for a guy and maybe he’s a really good two-down player, a really good run player, and they’re hoping he’ll develop as a pass rusher,” Gettleman said. “No, you can’t do that. So that’s the conversation we’re having. When we set the board and have our conversations, is that guy worthy of being the second pick in the draft? Can we picture him maybe someday putting on a gold jacket?”

Video: Adam Schein of CBS Sports: Should the Giants Trade Odell Beckham Jr.?

Adam Schein discusses reports that the Los Angeles Rams are interested in trading for New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.