Q: What is your take on what the Giants have done so far in free agency? JF: I'm not doing cartwheels down 6th Avenue over these transactions, but they had some needs and JR went out and covered most of them. They needed depth and diversity at RB and I think they got that with Shane Vereen. He's a winning player that brings another dimension to the offense along with key intangibles. They needed to get deeper on special teams and LB and Jonathan Casillas and JT Thomas will help towards that. Of course the signing of KR/PR Dwayne Harris serves a duel purpose - giving the Giants a quality return man while taking a key player away from Dallas. OL Marshall Newhouse is an upgrade over the other backup lineman the Giants have had the past few seasons. So, overall, I believe these moves make the Giants a better team. Not sexy, but an efficient use of cap space. Five guys that will make the roster, as well as make it better and deeper.
Q: What is the plan at safety now that Antrel Rolle has moved on? JF: They chose not to continue on with Rolle, not because they didn't want him back, but because they didn't want to give him more than a two-year deal. He got three years from Chicago and the Giants chose not to match. They will miss him for sure, but as part of their new "young and cheap" philosophy, they didn't want to be paying Rolle past his prime. If you believe they will go into 2015 with Nat Berhe, Cooper Taylor and Thomas Gordon as their safeties, think again. I see them re-signing Stevie Brown and possibly another veteran. They also can spend an early round pick on a safety. For some reason, I have this crazy notion that they might draft Washington OLB Shaq Thompson and make him a box safety. The kid is a great prospect.
Q: The offensive line still needs to be upgraded. Who can help the Giants in this draft?JF: There's a lot of talent at guard and center and even more at tackle, but it's raw. I see only one safe OL pick at No. 9 for the Giants and that's Iowa's Brandon Scherff. But he's projecting more as a guard than a tackle and the Giants need tackles. He can certainly help the Giants but that would mean keeping Justin Pugh at RT and the Giants are aiming to move Pugh inside this year. Sure, they can roll the dice on one of four OTs: Ereck Flowers, Andrus Peat, DJ Humphries or TJ Clemmings. I think of those four, Flowers is the one that might be able to hit the ground running in the NFL.
Q: Are the Giants serious about taking a WR at No. 9?JF: If there are any doubts about Victor Cruz' return and the best player available on their board is a WR when their turn comes, they will not hesitate. In fact, there might be two WRs staring them in the face at No. 9. But....I think if teams are doing their homework, Amari Cooper and Kevin White will be gone in the first eight picks. I don't think the Giants would take DaVante Parker at 9, but might not be able to pass on Jaelen Strong at No. 41.