SNY NFL Insider

Ralph Vacchiano

Ralph Vacchiano, award-winning sports reporter and columnist, joined SNY in 2016 as its NFL Insider. Vacchiano will cover the Giants and Jets beats for SNY.tv and be a regular contributor to "Daily News Live" and "GEICO SportsNite." Vacchiano comes to SNY following 15 years as the New York Giants beat writer and columnist for the New York Daily News.

 

Born in Brooklyn and raised on Long Island, Vacchiano graduated from Syracuse University in 1991 and began his professional career covering the Buffalo Bills for the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and later covered the Giants and Jets for the North Jersey Herald & News in Passaic, N.J.. During his 19 years at the Daily News, he also covered the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils (1997-2001), and in 2008 he wrote his first book, Eli Manning: The Making of a Quarterback (Skyhorse Publishing).

 

Vacchiano lives with his wife, Kara, and his daughter, Alexandra, in West Caldwell, N.J.

 (Kevin Jairaj)
(Kevin Jairaj)

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Drafting good players in the first round is easy. Doing it in other rounds is hard. And the general managers who run the most successful NFL franchises know they really earn their money in Round 2 and beyond. That's where they not only fill out their roster, but can find hidden gems that everyone else overlooked. Those may be hard to find late in the draft -- and even after the draft -- but when one is uncovered, the player is truly a scout's delight.

With that in mind, here are my choices for some of the top draft steals in Giants history …

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 (James Snook)
(James Snook)

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The first round of the Draft couldn't have worked out much better for the Jets. A player atop their board, whom they didn't think they'd get, ended up falling right into their lap. And for the second time in three years, they stood pat at No. 6 and ended up with a Top 3 player.

Could they have a similar stroke of luck in the second round?

It's entirely possible with the Jets slated to pick seventh when Day 2 of the draft resumes on Friday night. They will have three picks over two rounds -- 39th overall in Round 2, and 70th and 107th overall in Round 3 (the latter is a comp pick and the final pick of the night). And there are a whole bunch of players still available that many considered first-round talents...

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 (Christopher Hanewinckel)
(Christopher Hanewinckel)

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Drafting a successor to Eli Manning was never really in play for the Giants on Thursday night. There were quarterbacks they liked as an option in the first round -- particularly Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes -- but they were long gone by the time they picked at 23. So they never really had a chance to find their Quarterback of the Future.

Of course, that was only Day 1.

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 (Noah K. Murray)
(Noah K. Murray)

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The Giants have picked up WR Odell Beckham, Jr.'s fifth-year option, the team announced Thursday.

It was not much of a tough decision at all.

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

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The Giants have never been very good at hiding their intentions when it comes to the first round of the NFL draft. Usually by the time Draft Day rolls around, either their pick is pretty clear, or it's been narrowed down to a small handful of names.

That is most definitely not the case this year for a very good reason: In the days leading up to the draft, even the Giants didn't seem sure of what they were going to do.

Don't mistake that for confusion, though. It's more a reflection of their options. They don't have many areas of obvious need as they have in year's past. Also, they're picking lower than they've picked since 2012 and that always increases the variables. There's even more variety this year because a lot of scouts think the difference between the 10th and 30th player on most boards is pretty minimal. So with the Giants sitting at pick No. 23, they can't really be sure how the first 22 will go...

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GEICO SportsNite: Draft analysis 00:01:59
SNY NFL Draft Insider Tony Pauline joins Ralph Vacchiano to discuss whether the Jets should trade down and who the Giants are targeting.

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Many people around the NFL consider this to be one of the hardest first rounds to project in years. That's at least partly due to the uncertainty about where the quarterbacks will go, but also because of deep top tier of talent (perhaps 10 or 11 picks deep) and because many scouts don't see much of a difference between players ranked in the 10-15 range and those they rank down near 25-32.

After consulting with many NFL sources and experts (and my own imagination), here is my final answer on the first round: My SNY Mock Draft 3.0. I feel pretty good that the Cleveland Browns will indeed make the first overall selection. Other than that … no guarantees and I reserve the right to change my mind:

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Many people around the NFL consider this to be one of the hardest first rounds to project in years. That's at least partly due to the uncertainty about where the quarterbacks will go, but also because of deep top tier of talent (perhaps 10 or 11 picks deep) and because many scouts don't see much of a difference between players ranked in the 10-15 range and those they rank down near 25-32.

After consulting with many NFL sources and experts (and my own imagination), here is my final answer on the first round: My SNY Mock Draft 3.0. I feel pretty good that the Cleveland Browns will indeed make the first overall selection. Other than that … no guarantees and I reserve the right to change my mind:

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Jets eye DE, QB in late rounds 00:04:51
Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss which players the Jets could choose in the later rounds of the NFL Draft.

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They are coming off a miserable 5-11 season, released many of their most recognizable players, and they are beginning what looks like a complete rebuilding job.

So yes, the Jets need pretty much everything.

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GEICO SportsNite: NFL Draft 00:01:05
Jets GM Mike Maccagnan discusses the final days of preparation leading up to the NFL Draft on Thursday.

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One last look at the top players on the board for the Jets as they prepare to make the sixth overall pick on April 27:

1.CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State - He has been in the No. 1 spot on this board almost from the beginning because of his skill and because he seems likely to be there at 6. The Chicago Bears seem to like him at 3 and there's a chance the Tennessee Titans will take him at 5, but both teams seem to have other priorities. If he gets through to the Jets, it will be hard to pass up this 6-foot, 193-pounder who could give them the shut-down cornerback they haven't had since Darrelle Revis was still Darrelle Revis. (Last report: 1)...

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Who should the Jets pick at six? 00:05:25
Ralph Vacchiano and Tony Pauline discuss who the Jets will select with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

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After not doing a Mock Draft in about a decade, I've now done two versions in less than three weeks - with a third (and final) version still to come. So with eight days to go until the draft, here's my SNY Mock Draft, version 2.0. The information comes from NFL sources, draft experts, and in some cases my own mind:

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

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The Class of 2017: Quarterbacks 00:05:06
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and draft analyst Tony Pauline take a close look at the quarterbacks available in the 2017 NFL Draft

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After not doing a Mock Draft in about a decade, I've now done two versions in less than three weeks - with a third (and final) version still to come. So with eight days to go until the draft, here's my SNY Mock Draft, version 2.0. The information comes from NFL sources, draft experts, and in some cases my own mind:

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M

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Draft options for Giants 00:04:49
SNY NFL Insider Ralph Vacchiano and Draft Analyst Tony Pauline share some names for the Giants to consider later in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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The Giants are convinced that their 11-5 season in 2016 was only the beginning. They don't see it as a fluke. They see themselves as realistic Super Bowl contenders.

And when they look at their roster, they don't see many holes.

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Utah Utes offensive lineman Garett Bolles (72) celebrates a touchdown by Utah Utes tight end Evan Moeai (not pictured) during the second half against the Washington Huskies at Rice-Eccles Stadium. (Russell Isabella)
Utah Utes offensive lineman Garett Bolles (72) celebrates a touchdown by Utah Utes tight end Evan Moeai (not pictured) during the second half against the Washington Huskies at Rice-Eccles Stadium. (Russell Isabella)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

One last look at the top players on the board for the Giants as they prepare to make the 23rd overall pick on April 27:

1. OT Garett Bolles, Utah - The Giants know they need help at tackle, but they don't plan to reach for one if the value isn't there. This 6-5, 297-pounder might be the best fit, though. He's 25, but that doesn't seem to bother the Giants. More concerning is his lack of experience (only one year in FBS). The Giants have seemed to like him best among the top offensive linemen throughout this process. He might not get past the Denver Broncos at 20. Whether the Giants take him or not may depend on who else is there and how much "need" really matters to them this year.  (Last report: 2)

2. LB Jarrad Davis, Florida - He might actually be No. 1 on the Giants' wish list, but his stock is seemingly rising to the point where the Giants might have to move up to get him (something they're not likely to do). He's a 6-1, 238-pound outside linebacker with the skills and intelligence the Giants have been looking for at that spot for several years. Scouts also rave about his character, which makes him even more attractive. It wasn't that long ago that some scouts pegged him as more of a second-round pick, but that doesn't seem likely anymore. (Last report: N/A)

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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

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Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has spent a lot of time this offseason looking at the quarterbacks in this draft. But that isn't necessarily unusual. In fact, he said, the Jets "feel pretty good" about the quarterbacks they already have.

"We have the two young guys (Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty) and we like both of them in terms of ability and potential," the Jets GM said during his pre-draft press briefing on Monday. "We feel pretty good about the guys we have."

That hasn't stopped him from looking, of course, and at least considering the possibility of the Jets drafting a quarterback with the No. 6 overall pick. They have scouted the top quarterbacks in the draft heavily this offseason and many believe the Jets will take one in that spot...

Tags: Bryce Petty, Calvin Pryor, Christian Hackenberg, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Boom or Bust: Jabrill Peppers 00:01:50
Jon Hein and Marc Malusis debate if the Jets would be smart to use their first-round pick to select Michigan's Jabrill Peppers.

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After initially being "open for business" with the sixth pick of the draft and admitting a desire to trade down, Mike Maccagnan seemed to close up shop on Monday. Now the Jets GM says "We feel pretty good at 6 right now."

And they should, because if the sudden frenzy over the quarterbacks in this draft is more than just a smokescreen, the Jets will end up with a better player at 6 than they previously believed.

For the longest time it didn't look like any quarterback would go in the first five picks of the NFL draft. The scouting world was down on all of the top quarterbacks in the draft and few believed any were worthy of even a Top 10 pick. The idea that any of them could end up as the top pick seemed crazy -- as crazy as the idea that two could go in the Top 10...

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 (Frank Franklin I/AP)
(Frank Franklin I/AP)

During his pre-draft press conference last week, Giants GM Jerry Reese used the phrase "best player available" nine different times. He made it clear, as he does every year, that will be the Giants' philosophy when they make their first-round draft pick.

And this year, he might really mean it.

Normally, "best player available" is a bit of a myth. The Giants, like most teams, almost always make their selections with "need" in mind, especially in the first round. They've done that with almost every first-round pick over the last two decades, to at least some degree. Even Reese admitted "You're always trying to tie 'best player available' with what our needs are."

The problem is that this year, one team source said "We don't have a ton of needs" -- and definitely none that match up well with the players who'll be available when they make the 23rd overall selection. They know they need help on the offensive line, but most scouts believe this is the weakest class of linemen (especially top of the class) in years. They know they need a play-making tight end, but the best one -- maybe even the best two -- might not reach them...

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New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. (Jeff Hanisch)
New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. (Jeff Hanisch)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

For the moment, Ereck Flowers appears to be the Giants left tackle by default. But Jerry Reese made it clear that is definitely subject to change.

The Giants general manager said the team will "experiment" with their offensive line lineup this spring in search of their still-to-be-determined starting five. At the moment, they have no obvious lineup, but they do have several players with the flexibility to play multiple positions.

Tags: Bobby Hart, Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants center Weston Richburg (70) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement)
New York Giants center Weston Richburg (70) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Weston Richburg was one of the bright spots on the Giants' offensive line last season, but that's not the way he saw it. The Giants center wasn't happy with his overall performance, which was due in part to an injury that he never revealed.

Richburg said he tore ligaments in his right hand in the Giants' second preseason game. He played the entire season with the injury, which eventually needed surgery.

Tags: Justin Pugh, Odell Beckham Jr., Weston Richburg, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates a sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) celebrates a sack of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Ed Mulholland)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

In the last two full games Jason Pierre-Paul played last season, he was a monster. He forced two fumbles, he had 5 ½ sacks. He was everywhere on the field, as disruptive as he had been in years.

"I was just getting warmed up, man," JPP said on Thursday. "I was just starting to get on a roll."

Tags: Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))
(Jasen Vinlove (USA Today))

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Jerry Reese was the one who first said back in January that the Giants would use this offseason to at least think about finding Eli Manning's successor. And he was serious about taking a look. In fact, the Giants GM said "I probably looked at more quarterbacks this time" than he has in year's past.

That doesn't mean the Giants will draft their next franchise quarterback next week, though.

Tags: Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Ralph Vacchiano
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Manning's memorabilia controvery 00:03:31
The DNL panel discusses the Eli Manning memorabilia controversy after he vehemently denied the allegations to reporters earlier today.

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An angry and hurt Eli Manning defended himself against allegations that he participated in a phony memorabilia scheme, insisting "I've done nothing wrong, and I have nothing to hide."

Speaking out on the subject for the first time -- and letting his emotions show for one of the few times in his 13-year NFL career -- Manning opened up his press conference on Thursday morning by proclaiming his innocence. He said that emails that purportedly show him participating in the scheme -- filed in Bergen County Superior Court as part of a civil racketeering suit against him, the Giants and their equipment managers -- were "taken out of context."

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brian Spurlock)
(Brian Spurlock)

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Here is the most up-to-date information on what the Jets have done during free agency, including contract details and salary cap information. The signing period will continue through the NFL draft and right up until the start of training camp in July, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for frequent updates.

JETS SALARY CAP SPACE

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 (Trevor Ruszkowski)
(Trevor Ruszkowski)

 

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Here is the most up-to-date information on what the Giants have done during free agency, including contract details and salary cap information. The signing period will continue through the NFL draft and right up until the start of training camp in July, so bookmark this page and keep checking back for frequent updates.

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Motivated Muhammad Wilkerson 00:02:29
The DNL crew discusses Muhammad Wilkerson's arrival at the Jets' Florham Park facility after coming off a disappointing 2016 season.

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For the first time in three years, Muhammad Wilkerson showed up for the start of the New York Jets' offseason training program.

The big defensive lineman was pictured at the Jets facility in Florham Park, New Jersey, on Monday morning, as the team officially kicked off its voluntary workouts. Last year, Wilkerson declined to participate because he wasn't happy with being tagged as the Jets "franchise player." He skipped them in 2015 as he hoped to pressure the Jets to give him a new deal.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Bryce Petty, Buster Skrine, Christian Hackenberg, David Harris, Eric Decker, Leonard Williams, Matt Forte, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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QB Mitch Trubisky highlights 00:01:06
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of former UNC quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Mitch Trubisky.

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The only consensus among the mock drafters on whom the Jets will take at No. 6 is that there is no consensus -- and that's unusual for such a high pick this late in the process.

But with only 10 days to go until the first round of the NFL draft begins, the picks in 32 mock drafts examined by SNY are split fairly evenly among eight players. The belief seems to be that the Jets will use the pick to fix their secondary (50 percent of the mock drafts have them going corner or safety), though some still believe they'll take a quarterback (32 percent).

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Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk speaks to the media during the 2017 NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk speaks to the media during the 2017 NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. (Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The world of mock drafters still believes the Giants will select an offensive lineman in the first round later this month, but it's not quite as convinced as it once was.

As of Monday, 53 percent of the 32 mock drafts examined by SNY have the Giants taking an offensive lineman in the first round, which begins in just 10 days. That's down from 60 percent just two weeks ago. The favorite player, though, remains the same. The consensus is that they'll take Wisconsin tackle Ryan Ramczyk, who was selected in 12 of the 32 mock drafts.

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 (Kevin Hoffman)
(Kevin Hoffman)

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The Giants wanted to bring Johnathan Hankins back and they did all the right things to try to make that happen. They made him a generous offer. They patiently waited for his response. They didn't seriously pursue other defensive tackles or (for the most part) publicly pressure him to take their deal. They let their offer sit there and gave him all the space he needed until he decided to make up his mind.

In the end, he found his riches elsewhere. They always knew that was the risk.

Tags: Damon Harrison, Jason Pierre-Paul, Jay Bromley, Johnathan Hankins, Olivier Vernon, Ralph Vacchiano
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GEICO SportsNite: Eli Manning 00:01:09
Eli Manning received the Ernie Accorsi Humanitarian Award at National Football Foundation Awards dinner.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Eli Manning has played with plenty of talented receivers in the last decade - from Steve Smith to Victor Cruz to Hakeem Nicks to Odell Beckham. But for the last eight years something big has been missing from his targets.

Size.

That has mattered more than the 6-foot-4 Giants quarterback has admitted throughout the years, but this year that has changed. For the first time since the 6-5 Plaxico Burress was released, the Giants have a truly viable big receiver. They signed the 6-4 Brandon Marshall in February, and Manning is excited as everyone else in the organization seems to be to have a truly big target on his side.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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RB Leonard Fournette highlights 00:02:11
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former LSU running back and NFL Draft prospect Leonard Fournette.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

I don't remember doing a mock draft any time in the last 20 or so years (though I did find internet evidence of one in 2010). I'm still interpreting my record in all the other years to be perfect -- no misses. But, as they say, "No guts, no glory". It's time to put that streak on the line with my first Mock Draft for SNY. It won't be my last, either. I'll be revising this up until Draft Week. So keep checking back. This is simply version 1.0:

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Yeah, they need a quarterback, but he's the best player in the draft and they have a decent young QB on the roster. Plus they have the No. 12 pick (so stay tuned).

2. San Francisco 49ers - Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford
They need a quarterback too, but they have a new coach and GM on long-term deals. They can wait until there's a better QB crop.

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Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk (65) during the Lambeau Field College Classic against the LSU Tigers at Lambeau Field. (Jeff Hanisch)
Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk (65) during the Lambeau Field College Classic against the LSU Tigers at Lambeau Field. (Jeff Hanisch)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

I don't remember doing a mock draft any time in the last 20 or so years (though I did find internet evidence of one in 2010). I'm still interpreting my record in all the other years to be perfect -- no misses. But, as they say, "No guts, no glory". It's time to put that streak on the line with my first Mock Draft for SNY. It won't be my last, either. I'll be revising this up until Draft Week. So keep checking back. This is simply version 1.0:

1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Yeah, they need a quarterback, but he's the best player in the draft and they have a decent young QB on the roster. Plus they have the No. 12 pick (so stay tuned).

2. San Francisco 49ers - Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford
They need a quarterback too, but they have a new coach and GM on long-term deals. They can wait until there's a better QB crop.

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RB Leonard Fournette highlights 00:02:11
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former LSU running back and NFL Draft prospect Leonard Fournette.

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When Leonard Fournette, the star running back at LSU and a possible target for the Jets with the sixth pick of the draft, weighed a surprising 240 at the NFL scouting combine in early March, he blamed it on drinking way too much water.

Apparently, all that water weight is now gone.

Tags: Bilal Powell, Calvin Pryor, Marcus Gilchrist, Matt Forte, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets center Nick Mangold (74) against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Former Jets center Nick Mangold is making his first known free-agent visit to meet with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, according to a report.

The 33-year-old, who was released by the Jets in February, was expected to arrive in Baltimore late Tuesday night, according to ESPN. The Ravens traded their starting center, Jeremy Zuttah, to the San Francisco 49ers last month but did not bring in a replacement.

They do have two in-house candidates - John Urschel and Ryan Jensen, both of whom are 25. If healthy, the 33-year-old Mangold could conceivably compete for that job, or at least provide a veteran mentor to help the young centers.

Tags: Nick Mangold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jamal Adams highlights 00:01:05
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of LSU safety Jamal Adams.

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It's the home stretch, with just a little more than three weeks to go before the start of the NFL draft. So here's SNY's weekly look at the top players on the board for the Jets as they prepare to make the sixth overall pick on April 27:

1.) CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State - By all accounts the Jets are very high on this 6-foot, 193-pounder with outstanding speed and cover skills. The only question may be whether he's still there at 6 -- and that might hinge on whether a quarterback is taken in the Top 5. Even if one goes, there's no guarantee Lattimore will last. He's got shutdown corner capabilities and there's not another corner worthy of a Top 10 pick, according to most scouts. Starting with a corner like him would be a great way to begin rebuilding the defense. (Last report: 2).

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Sep 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;New York Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (58) chasing down New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) in the first half at MetLife Stadium.  (William Hauser (USA Today))
Sep 1, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA;New York Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (58) chasing down New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) in the first half at MetLife Stadium. (William Hauser (USA Today))

 

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Maybe Owa Odighizuwa isn't leaving the NFL after all?

Tags: Owa Odighizuwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Tight end David Njoku highlights 00:01:34
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays from former Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

It's the home stretch, with just a little more than three weeks to go before the start of the NFL draft. So here's SNY's weekly look at the top players on board for the Giants as they prepare to make the 23rd overall pick on April 27:

1. OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin - If Bolles isn't the top tackle on the board, then it's likely this 6-6, 314-pounder. For all the reasons listed above, he figures to be in play on the Giants' board too. The only question, really, is whether either of these two - or both - will be available at 23. The offensive tackle class is generally considered weak, but it's such a primary position that one figures to go in the Top 10 or 15. And sometimes when one goes, more go (The old "Dance of the Elephants," as the late George Young used to call it). (Last report: 2)

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 (Tim Heitman)
(Tim Heitman)

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The Giants are going to take an offensive lineman in the first round of the NFL draft, if you believe the experts. In fact, they've even figured out which one.

An impressive 60 percent of the 30 mock drafts examined by SNY have the Giants taking a lineman with the 23rd overall pick, and 13 of those 18 believe the one they'll take is Wisconsin's Ryan Ramczyk. That 43 percent of the mock drafts have zeroed in on the same player is a remarkable consensus considering there are still more than three weeks to go until the first-round begins.

Beyond that consensus, though, there was uncertainty with 14 players at seven different positions being mocked to the Giants -- including two quarterbacks. That variety is due partly to the fact that it's hard to forecast a team picking that low in the draft so long before the draft begins. It's also because the Giants, despite coming off an 11-5 season, still have plenty of needs...

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Marshon Lattimore highlights 00:00:35
SNY.tv takes a look at the highlights of Ohio State CB Marshon Lattimore.

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

The Jets may not have a franchise quarterback, but that's not enough to convince the experts that they're going to take one in the first round of the NFL draft.

Only 37 percent of the 30 mock drafts examined by SNY have the Jets taking a quarterback with the sixth overall pick in the draft. And the 11 mock drafts that gave the Jets a quarterback split their picks among three different quarterbacks. Overall, North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky and Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore were tied for the favorite pick of the mocks, with six picks apiece.

But with nine players split among the 30 mock drafts, it's clear that a consensus has not emerged for the Jets yet - which is somewhat unusual given how high they'll be picking. Of course, it's not even clear yet if the Jets will be making that pick, since Jets GM Mike Maccagnan initially indicated he's "open for business" and hoping to trade down.

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Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

Click here to read Part I of the Giants Notebook.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Ben McAdoo offense last year - besides his play-calling - was the fact that they used "11 personnel" (three receivers, one tight end, one running back) on more than 90 percent of their plays. It led to cries that the Giants were too predictable and not nearly imaginative enough.

Tags: B.J. Goodson, Devon Kennard, J.T. Thomas, Jonathan Casillas, Keenan Robinson, Nikita Whitlock, Orleans Darkwa, Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field after the win against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)
Dec 11, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles leaves the field after the win against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium. The New York Jets defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports (Kelley L Cox)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Click here to read Part I of the Jets Notebook.

The Jets were a mess last season and at times they seemed out of control -- as dysfunctional as they were bad. Through it all, though, Todd Bowles did his best to remain a steady voice and presence, publicly unmoved by the chaos that seemed to be swirling around him.

Tags: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Ben Ijalana, Bryce Petty, Eric Decker, Marcus Gilchrist, Muhammad Wilkerson, Ryan Clady, Sheldon Richardson, Wesley Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Brad Penner (USA Today))
(Brad Penner (USA Today))

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Don't think for a second that Todd Bowles hasn't noticed what's been going on up in New England this offseason. The Super Bowl champs have had one of the finest offseasons in the NFL. The rich have gotten much richer, and the gap between them and the Jets is as wide as it's ever been.

But at this point Bowles can't -- and doesn't -- see the Patriots as competition. Yes, if the Jets are ever going to be serious contenders again they'll have to dethrone the monsters of the AFC East. They just have bigger problems at the moment -- getting their own franchise turned around...

Tags: Charone Peake, Devin Smith, Muhammad Wilkerson, Quincy Enunwa, Ralph Vacchiano
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Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III fumbles the ball as he's hit by New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III fumbles the ball as he's hit by New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

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The longer Johnathan Hankins remains unsigned, the more likely it seems that he'll return to the Giants. And if he does, credit the patient approach of GM Jerry Reese and his bosses. Because they read the market right, and played this perfectly.

They could've jumped to find a replacement for the 25-year-old Hankins, or tried to make him move by threatening to pull their offer. Instead they made him what a team source said they believe is a very fair, very lucrative multi-year offer before free agency began. Then they left it there on the table, convinced nobody would top it and that Hankins' agent, Kevin Poston, would badly overplay his hand.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Eli Manning, Jay Bromley, Johnathan Hankins, Paul Perkins, Ralph Vacchiano
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QB Mitch Trubisky highlights 00:01:06
SNY.tv takes a look at the best plays of former UNC quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Mitch Trubisky.

 

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The Jets will have a private workout with University of North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky on Thursday, according to a report from the NY Post.

One day after signing veteran quarterback Josh McCown last week, the Jets' search for their quarterback of the future continued in Chapel Hill, N.C., when they attended North Carolina's Pro Day to watch Trubisky. A group of scouts and coaches -- reportedly including new quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates -- were in attendance.

The Jets currently are slated to pick sixth in the upcoming NFL draft and Trubisky and Clemson's Deshaun Watson are the only quarterbacks most NFL scouts and talent evaluators consider to be potential Top 10 picks. Some don't think any of the quarterbacks are Top 10 worthy, which means they could be available if the Jets decide to trade down.

Tags: Christian Hackenberg, Ralph Vacchiano
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Is Geno a worthy successor? 00:03:35
Jon Hein and Dan Graca react to Ben McAdoo's statement that the Giants won't rule out Geno Smith being Eli Manning's successor.

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PHOENIX -- The New York Giants are admittedly on the lookout for Eli Manning's eventual successor. Is it possible they already found him when they signed Geno Smith?

It is, according to Giants coach Ben McAdoo, who raved about the former Jets starter during a 45-minute interview at the NFL Owners Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. He said it was "very exciting" to add a player as promising as the 26-year-old former second-round pick.

Tags: Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
(Ross D. Franklin/AP)

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PHOENIX - The Jets shed a group of veteran players this offseason, didn't make any big splashes in free agency, and the quarterback they brought in is a 37-year-old journeyman. Not surprisingly, the expectations for them this season couldn't be much lower.

Just don't try telling that to Todd Bowles.

Despite the look of his roster to outsiders, and the general perception that the Jets are beginning a total rebuilding job, the Jets head coach refused to downplay his team's chances heading into the 2017 season. He looks at the moves the Jets have made this offseason and believes they have given his team a chance to be competitive -- now.

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Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

PHOENIX - The Jets' new offensive coordinator, John Morton, has never run an NFL offense before, never called plays in the league, and he hasn't revealed yet what kind of scheme he will run. But none of that should worry anyone, according to one of his former bosses.

Saints coach Sean Payton promised you'll be "impressed."

"Listen he's been around (Jon) Gruden, (Jim) Harbaugh, myself," Payton said on Wednesday morning during the NFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Owners Meetings. "He's very meticulous. I think he's going to be outstanding."

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 (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.TV

PHOENIX - The Giants may not have made the kind of free-agency splash that they made last season, but they have spent the last few days positively glowing about the addition of Brandon Marshall. To them, the addition of the 6-4 receiver is a big deal.

A really, really big deal.

"There are a lot of advantages to having a bigger receiver on the outside," Giants coach Ben McAdoo said on Tuesday afternoon at the NFL Owners Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. "You can throw it up, especially with someone like Brandon with his strength and his catch radius. He almost didn't fit through my doorway when he came into the building. He's a big man. He's like a tight end body out there. He's a big, strong man."

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. (Jeff Hanisch)
New York Giants offensive tackle Ereck Flowers (74) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. (Jeff Hanisch)

Ralph Vacchiano, SNY.tv

PHOENIX - It's looking more and more every day like the embattled Ereck Flowers will keep his job as the Giants' left tackle. And if he does, it sounds like he's got Ben McAdoo's support.

"I think one of the best games Ereck played all year was the playoff game, the last game of the season," McAdoo said on Tuesday at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, site of the NFL Owners Meetings. "He's working hard on his technique. I'm pretty confident that he's working pretty hard right now at being a better player, putting a lot of time and energy in to it. You get to see his face a lot. He's in and out of the building a lot. I know he loves the game and I have confidence in Ereck."

McAdoo's endorsement was undoubtedly sincere, after what was a very rough sophomore season for the 22-year-old Flowers. But it also was out of necessity, since it doesn't appear that the Giants have any other viable options beyond their former first-round pick. Giants GM Jerry Reese had indicated after last season that they'd explore the idea of moving Flowers to another position. But so far they haven't brought another left tackle in to compete.

Tags: Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Ben McAdoo watch from the sidelines during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Ben McAdoo watch from the sidelines during the second quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX -- Ben McAdoo's ability to call the offensive plays and be the New York Giants' head coach came under great scrutiny last season as what was once a top-10 offense plummeted to 25th in the league. Even McAdoo's bosses broached the subject of passing off the play-calling duties to his offensive coordinator.

But it doesn't sound like McAdoo is ready or willing to do that -- at least not yet.

Tags: Eli Manning, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo coaches against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Ben McAdoo never actually said the words, but his message couldn't have been any clearer. The New York Giants, coming off an 11-5 season, are serious about contending for a Super Bowl title this season, so he needs his players to get serious, too.

That means the days of their off-day trips to party on a boat in Miami are over.

"When we're at work we have to focus on football, and I think we do a very good job of that," McAdoo said during a 45-minute interview at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, site of the NFL Owners Meetings, on Tuesday afternoon. "When our players are in the building, they say 'yes' to football. Now, when we're not in the building we need to do a better job of saying 'no' to some other things, and making sure everything we're doing is aligned with our goal."

Tags: Odell Beckham Jr., Ralph Vacchiano
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Loud Mouths: Is Bowles the guy? 00:06:24
Marc Malusis, Jon Hein and Willie Colon talk about whether Todd Bowles is the right man for the job.

Ralph Vacchiano Facebook | Twitter | Archive

PHOENIX - The Jets weren't just bad last season, they were downright dysfunctional at times. Todd Bowles knows it. Everybody knows it. And the Jets coach expects that to change.

Just don't expect him to drop the hammer on his players, or tighten the rules on what at times appeared to be his loosely-run ship. Bowles, as a former player, understands that stuff happens. And he doesn't plan on taking control with some draconian approach.

Tags: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Ralph Vacchiano
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