Yes, you still had more questions about what the Giants are doing and what they did in the draft. In Part I of my SNY Giants Mailbag I answered as many as I could with a focus on the offensive side of the ball. Here, in Part II, I'll shift the focus to the defense (mostly) and the Giants GM himself:
Giants have gone a full decade without taking EDGE with either of their 1st 2 picks. Last 4x they did were JPP, Kiwanuka, Tuck and Osi. Had one of the most dominant rushes ever, won 2 SBs. Then they stopped & D has sucked ever since. Formula's clear, why don't they seem to get it/care? -- @WillPresti
I find it hard to defend the Giants' drafting in the last years of the Jerry Reese era. I think you're right, he should've loaded up on pass rushers a little more than he did. In his defense, he thought he had one in 2013 when he drafted Damontre Moore in the third round, and again with Owa Odighizuwa in the third in 2015.
I guess that's not really defending him, since both of them were busts. He did spend $85 million on Olivier Vernon, though.
But I get your point. Having spoken to Dave Gettleman about this, I think he does, too. The problem is finding a Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck or Osi Umenyiora isn't easy. They would've taken Josh Allen last year, but they felt the need to get their QB first. They would've jumped at Chase Young if they could've gotten him in this draft, but that was never going to happen. I don't think they were crazy about any of the others. They also had a more glaring need along the offensive line. Fixing that was more important to Gettleman.
You're right, though. The pass rush needs help, and this defense isn't likely to become championship-caliber without it. I don't think they can do anything about it now, but that will undoubtedly be the focus of next offseason unless someone on their roster unexpectedly develops into a pass-rushing star.
How is the depth chart for Giants defensive backs looking like now with regard to who plays outside CB, slot CB, and the safety positions? -- @ewright_Fielder
I think the depth looks pretty good, but it of course depends on how the young players develop. It is a very young secondary and filled with a lot of unproven players. So we'll just have to see.
But I think you can count on Jabrill Peppers and Xavier McKinney being the starting safeties. Just how they'll be used depends on the scheme of new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. But McKinney probably fits more in the center field role, which could allow Peppers to play more near the line of scrimmage.
At corner, James Bradberry and DeAndre Baker are the likely starters. I think they believe Baker is more suited to the outside, so I'd guess they'd both stay there in nickel defenses. The slot corner job is pretty open. Sam Beal, rookie Darnay Holmes, and maybe even Corey Ballentine will have a shot at it.
Any chance Golden comes back? Have they even tried to negotiate a deal? -- @J6Leez
Had you asked this question a week ago I would've said they had no intention of bringing Markus Golden back. And I would've been wrong.
Hopefully you saw the news this week that the Giants put the "May 5 tender" on Golden, which allows them to retain his rights if he doesn't sign elsewhere by the start of training camp. The tender is worth $4.125 million, so basically if Golden can do better than that, he's gone. If he can't, he'll return to the Giants. And, of course, at any point the Giants can up their offer or talk to him about a long-term deal.
So basically, they want him back, but only at their price. They value him, but not at more than $4.125 million. They've now made that clear to everyone and put the ball in Golden's court.
Given how deep the WR class was, why didn't the Giants take one given their lack of depth and Sterling's concussion concerns? -- @arkel_81
I have to admit, I've heard from a surprising amount of fans about how the Giants should've taken a receiver. I honestly didn't see that as a need. I think a top three of Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton is pretty good. I'd prefer some depth, but a fourth receiver can be found.
So I was OK with their prioritizing other positions in the early rounds. With five picks in the last two rounds, though, including four in the seventh, I'm kind of surprised they didn't draft at least one receiver. They loaded up on linebackers, which is fine, but they won't have the room to keep all of them. So I would've liked them to take one receiver late.
For what it's worth, they did add a couple of undrafted free agents that I liked -- Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor, both of Ohio State. And I had been touting Victor as a possible seventh-rounder for them for weeks. Maybe one of them can emerge as the fourth receiver they obviously need.
If the Giants go 4-12 this season, but show vast improvement on all sides of the ball, will that be enough to keep DG moving forward? Assuming that his draft picks pan out -- @hecm205
The future of Gettleman is going to hang over this entire season no matter what. That's partly because he's 69 years old and there's a lot of speculation that he nearly retired after last season. But it's mostly because John Mara, after deciding to bring Gettleman back, said his GM's "batting average has got to increase."
That's not exactly a win-or-else mandate, but it's about as direct as Mara is ever willing to get on that point.
He is absolutely expecting better than 4-12. I can't imagine that the Giants could show "vast improvement" and still be 4-12. I think if that happens, Gettleman will be nudged into retirement at the end of the year. What I don't know is where Mara's line is, and I'm not sure he does, either. If the team shows "vast improvement" and it looks like Gettleman's draft picks are working out, but they finish 7-9? Maybe that's enough. As long as they're in the playoff hunt in December, it probably will be.
But I wouldn't guarantee that, either. Right now, I'd say the only way for Gettleman to be absolutely sure he has the option of returning in 2021 is if the Giants reach the playoffs. Anything else and it may well depend on Mara's mood at the end of the year.