It seems like all the experts seem to be thinking offensive line for the New York Giants. In many mock drafts including a recent one by ESPN’s Todd McShay, the Giants take offensive tackle from Iowa, Brandon Scherff. Today I’m going to play devil’s advocate to the popular consensus that Scherff should be drafted by the Giants.
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The most obvious thing to point out is that the Giants had the 31st ranked defense in 2014. The offense was ranked 7th in the NFL.
While the Giants often put on an offensive clinic last season, their defense was often an utter disaster. Not addressing the defense in the 1st Round would be equivalent to the devil buying matches. It just makes no sense.
The Giants need a pass rusher. The Giants need a big bad wolf on the defensive line. They need an upgrade at the linebacker position. The secondary is not the prettiest picture either. The Giants simply cannot pass up on a top 10 talent to improve their defense. They just can’t.
Jerry Reese has neglected the needs of the defense for a while now. For three consecutive seasons the Giants 1st Round draft pick was an offensive player. Can you even remember the last time the Giants drafted a good linebacker in the early rounds of the NFL draft? The Giants should be proud of how they built their offense. It’ll probably be even better in 2015 and that’s great. The problem is that defense wins championships and the Giants defense isn’t winning anything at the moment.
Aug 16, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys centerTravis Frederick
(72) talks with guard Zach Martin (70) during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Scherff looks more like a guard than a tackle in my estimation; in fact he is being compared to Zack Martin. The Dallas Cowboys drafted Martin last year and moved him to guard, where he had a Pro Bowl rookie season. Is it really the Giants way to mimic the Cowboys?
In a draft where you could draft a starting caliber guard in the 3rd or 4th Round, drafting Scherff would not be a high value.
Scherff is a very good football player, in fact he is the best run blocker in this draft class. He is not a dominant pass blocker and he will struggle some with quickness off the edge if he plays offensive tackle. But Scherff is a good player. I have him as the 13th best player in the draft and the 3rd best offensive lineman.
The Giants have the 9th overall pick. In a draft loaded with pass rushers, great defensive tackles and exciting defensive backs the Giants will have incredible options to improve their defense. If the Giants can get a Vic Beasley or a Dante Fowler Jr. to sack opposing quarterbacks, do you really want Scherff? These are incredible pass rushers with game changing talent. Do you really want to draft a tackle that probably is best suited to play guard? With a top 10 pick? Really?
Jan 2, 2015; Tempe, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies defensive lineman Danny Shelton (55) following the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2015 Cactus Bowl at Sun Devil Stadium. Oklahoma State defeated Washington 30-22. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Danny Shelton is a dominant defensive tackle who will improve the run defense and create double teams that would give an advantage to the Giants pass rushers. He also has pass rushing abilities of his own as a Haloti Ngata look alike.
Dominating the line of scrimmage would be the incentive for drafting the incredible Shelton (ranked #2 on the GMENHQ Big Board). The Giants would get more out of Shelton than they could get from Scherff
If the Giants pass on Trae Waynes, the St. Louis Rams will gladly take him 10th overall. Waynes is the potential shut down corner from Michigan State.
Landon Collins, the strong safety from Alabama would also be a better draft selection than Scherff. The Giants need to improve their secondary and here are two great options to do so. That’s okay though, take Scherff.
If the Giants felt like they had to go offensive line in the 1st Round, they could take Andrus Peat or La’el Collins. These are two offensive tackles that I like more than Scherff. You could probably sell me on Ereck Flowers too if you pitched it well. The point is that Scherff likely won’t be the best offensive lineman available.
Feb 24, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (13) talks to media as he leaves after he worked out for spring training at Yankees Minor League Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants have so many great defensive options and so many defensive needs. Just because an expert on ESPN (who I do have a tremendous amount of respect for by the way) says it does not mean you have to agree with it.
The Giants need help on defense like Alex Rodriguez needs a new public relations manager. It is literally that gloomy for the Giants defense.
The Giants cannot justify drafting Scherff and they cannot justify passing on a top 10 defensive prospect. It is that simple.