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Gettleman Master Plan

by Michael Stewart on Mar. 10, 2019

The recent transactions this past week for the Giants (releasing Landon Collins & trading Olivier Vernon) has shock waves spreading throughout the NFL. GM Dave Gettleman has indicated that he believes the Giants are a playoff caliber team just by adding few pieces; most notably the offensive and defensive line. By acquiring OG Kevin Zeitler, the Giants offensive line is now 80% complete with only a bonafide RT on the radar. Many believe the Giants will complete their line restructure quickly once free agency begins next week by signing OT Daryl Williams.  The money saved by not franchise tagging Collins would be allocated for Williams. However, there are other needs that the Giants must address along the defensive side after letting two of their best players depart.

The Giants currently have 10 picks for the 2019 draft, which is plenty of ammunition to restock and rebuild. However, with minimum cap space (roughly $35M before possible cuts), Gettleman must decide how to spend the money wisely and on which positions. (Keep in mind, roughly $10M will be used for draft signings). Once the RT position is addressed, which I believe will be the Giants first order of business, they must search the free agent list for affordable players at the DE/OLB & Safety positions. Players who could provide needed production and won’t break the bank could be:

  • (DE/OLB) Za’Darius Smith-6’4/272: Smith had his best season at the right time and would be an ideal fit for the Giants to replace Vernon immediately. Smith’s price tag would be slightly lower than what the Giants were paying Vernon (reportedly $8M-10M per), but many view Smith as a player with upside who will only get better.
  • (DE/OLB) Aaron Lynch-6’7/270: Lynch workload diminished once the Bears acquired Khalil Mack. However, when called upon in limited action Lynch (26 years old) played well enough, and could perform better if given more of an opportunity. Lynch would be an affordable option for the Giants adding depth along the defensive front 7.
  • (S) Adrian Amos-6’1/215: Amos would be a less expensive option over Collins and provides exactly what the Giants need, which are safeties that can defend in pass coverage. Amos was rated in the top 10 in two straight seasons at the safety position and would receive a lot of attention. He won’t be in Collins price range, but he should receive a hefty increase in 2019. Whether or not it’s within the Giants price range depends on Gettleman’s value assessment of him.
  • (S) Chris Conte-6’2/205: Conte could be an affordable option if Amos is considered out of the Giants' price range. Conte was equally effective in the run and pass, which was something the Giants lacked from their safeties. Conte injured his knee last season, but if he is cleared medically, he could be worth a look on a short term deal.

Gettleman’s plan will be to get talent in the trenches (both sides of the ball), and acquiring Zeitler is a good start. However, look for Gettleman to utilize the draft with at least two more linemen on his wish list, while also packaging some of the picks to get back into the 3rd round if a certain prospect is still on the board. The Giants will also look in the early rounds for an elite edge rusher and it could be as early as round 1. Look for Gettleman to add a couple of prospects from the secondary (safety and a cornerback) along with a big wide receiver. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see a run stuffing DT taken on Day 3, along with an OLB or ILB as well. Like 2018, this draft is extremely vital to the future success for the Giants. Gettleman understands this and has a history of being a good evaluator of talent.