A Month of Fundays

A New York Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers and other stuff blog.

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Monday, May 02, 2016

Giants Draft Review Pt.1

This past week, the Giants drafted like a team that did not have a problem on their offensive line, even though they do. And believe it or not, that was absolutely the right way to go.  The Giants very clearly stuck with their board and took the highest guys available in each round, regardless of crying need.  And because that they got great value in almost every round.  And they still have three or four months to fix the OL. Let's take a quick look.

In the first round, the Giants took Eli Apple. Rumor abounded that they wanted Leonard Floyd or Jack Conklin, but both were gone.  Some cry that they passed on Laremy Tunsil, but that guy was a walking talking red flag.  Not only did he have the almost meaningless gasmask video floating around, but he'd been goaded into beating up his step father, which got him investigated and, but he also missed games with a myriad of injuries, and was suspended for receiving illegal benefits. There were much bigger things not to like than the pot stuff, which was just silly. So, the Giants stuck with their board and got the best pure corner in the draft (Ramsey is probably best at safety), and the kid is just 20 with massive upside.  He's big for a corner, but he has great hip flip and is already outstanding in man coverage, and pressing and redirecting guys at the line.   He still has to master zone, but he's big and once he does he'll be manning a forbidden zone.  Imagine what Terrel Thomas might have been without all those knee injuries.  You'd take that 10th overall in a draft, wouldnt you?

Next, the Giants took my favorite player in the draft, Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard. He was going to be my favorite player in last year's draft but he decided to stay in school another year. Sterling is absolutely somewhere on the Victor Cruz-Odell Beckham Jr. talent axis.  Not the biggest guys in the world, but fully capable of playing outside as well as from the slot. And as pro-style as Oklahoma's system was, I think Sterling stil has upside.  He's been at Oklahoma his whole life, and now, he's not only going to learn the NFL, but he'll be tutored by Victor and Odell. Both of them made big splashes when they hit the field and he will, too.  Odell even called the Sterling pick "a steal" on Twitter.  Checkmate, NFL.

In the third, the Giants probably made their pick that was most round appropriate, when they took FS Darian Thompson from Boise State.  Darian had a ton of int's in college, and also scored a 29 on his Wonderlic, so he's a smart, productive player.  Unfortunately, he's not a workout warrior, and compounded that by fighting through an illness during his combine workout and posting a scary for a safety 4.69 40.  Fortunatel, he was able to shave that down into the 4.5's at his pro day, and one of the points of interest of this week's rookie camp will be Darian's apparent speed. It will also be interesting to see what a really bright guy can do in the Giant's deep patrol.

In the fourth round, the Giants took their mike of the future. BJ Goodson was a tackling machine this season while playing the middle for Clemson. And he also added a couple of picks and 5.5. sacks. Remember, Kennard can bring it from the second level, too. Anyway, Goodson is more athletic than Antonio Pierce was an has some similarities to Jeremiah Trotter, the old Eagle pain in the ass.  He should really help the run d right off the bat, and eventually the pass d as well.  Felt like he could have gone in the third.

Next, the Giants took UCLA RB Paul Perkins and this kid is fantastic. Though maybe a little undersized, he can do it all, including run between the tackles, get around the tackles, block, and catch passes like a wideout. He'll be the best all-around back on the Giants the moment he suits up -- by the way -- I think there's gonna be some turnover or a trade -- from the RB core, because the Giants also signed UDFA RB Marshaun Coprich from Eastern Illinois, after the draft, and he's an even faster back, who can do it all.  Perkins will definitely make the team, and Coprich probably will, too.

And with their final pick, the Giants took South Carolina TE Jerrel Adams.   Adams is a big, smooth pass catcher, with great speed for his size.  He's also a very willing blocker, though he can use technique work in both areas. He was an absolutle steal in the 6th round and yet another point of interest in this week's camp.

So, by not chasing OL's who didn't match value, the Giants were able to really improve the back seven of their D, as well as add three more impressive playmakers.

The Giants are also killing it in UDFA, though who's been signed and who's a tryout could still use some clarification.  What they are doing; however, is loading up on WR's, DL's, DB's and RB's.  I told you about Coprich, but there are WR's, DL's and DBs who could make it, too.  If the rookie camp roster gets clearer in the next day or so, I'll write a part two.

Rangers Stuff

The Rangers have announced that they've re-upped their backup goalie, Antii Raanta for another season.  This makes it unlikely that any of the kid goalies are in the plans for next season.  In other news they seem to be in on some of the collegiat free agents, as they are most years.  Also seems like no coaching change is forthcoming. Alas, more Glass.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

This Week on the Blog

So, May begins without Ranger playoffs for the first time in years.  The NFL Draft is over and we don't get the other three Drafts till June.  So it's basically just us and the Yankees for now.  Stay strong.

Giants:  I'll produce a draft review later today or tomorrow.  I will say this: the Giants drafted as if they didn't have a major problem on the OL.  Thus, they avoided reaching for anyone and got six good players.   That said, they still have a major problem on the OL. Rookie Mini-camp starts Thursday.

Yankees:  The Yanks just had their worst April in decades.  Their rotation lacks consistentcy and they can't hit at all.   They don't grind and they don't take their walks.  And their Manager is on auto-pilot see: Betances to Ortiz, with Miller in the bullpen.  He should be choosing the innings by specific needs instead of specific innings numbers.  They should get Aroldis Chapman back this month and that should help Girardi think better, but it probably won't.

Rangers: The Rangers have been quiet as church mice, but it's probably just the calm before the storm.  They need a big offseason and they are cap strapped as currently constructed.  Buchnevich's KHL deal expired today, they ought to get him signed right away.

Knicks: The Lakers got Luke Walton. The Knicks will have a retread for a coach. They still need to move Carmelo and start building around Porzingis.

Have a great week!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Giants Take TE Jerell Adams in Round 6

With their last scheduled pick, the Giants have selected Jerell Adams, the TE from South Carolina.   Adams is an all around TE who can catch run and block.  His career at SC was hampered by poor QB play, but he still managed 15 yards a catch and excellent blocking in the run game.  This guy has major upside and completes a draft class that has really upgraded the offensive skill positions.

Now, unless the Giants trade back in, they are done, and can begin romancing an important UDFA class.   What's more, they have four or five months to come up with an alternate solution for the OL.   I'll begin my draft review when we're sure they're done and have a good handle on the UDFA's.

Giants Take UCLA RB Paul Perkins

The Giants just drafted dual thread RB Paul Perkins out of UCLA.  This is another really good player.  Very tough, but can also make you miss and catch the football.  Probably their best 5th rd running back pick since David Meggett, but he will remind you more of Tiki Barber.  May be the best back on the Giants right off the bat. They're having a really effective draft.   But they still have to fix the OL for any of this to work.

Giants Take LB BJ Goodson

BJ Goodson was a Clemson captain, who was very instinctive and productive.   He had a big pro day where he ran faster than expected, after being known for his quickness.   Great against the run, has work to do in coverage.  First LB pick of the McGovern era.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Giants Take S Darian Thompson in the Third

Boise State is one of the college programs I follow, and for years I've been wondering when the Giants would grab a Bronco in the draft.  They just did by taking Free Safety Darian Thompson in the third round.   Darian is a big interception guy, who can also tackle and hit.  Darian ran a bad 40 at the combine, but he plays faster than that, and also is one of those guys who just knows how to play.  Sort of like Will Hill was but without the apparent off field interests.   He'll probably end up a starter eventually, but will certainly up the competition in the Giants young Safety group right off the bat.  They're having a terrific draft.

Giants Take WR Sterling Shepard at 40!

I am so psyched.  This has been my guy since before he opted out of last year's draft. Combining Sterling with Odell and maybe Cruz, and it will be impossible to defend.  Each of them has elite body control, route ability and run after catch. This is yet another EXPLOSIVE WEAPON for the Giants.  We did it again in round 2!

Giants on Day 2

Today, the NFL will run rounds 2 and 3 of the 2016 Draft.    That's a mixed blessing for the Giants, as well as the audience.   The Giants have historically just MURDERED the second rounds of drafts, getting guys like Marshall, Strahan, Tiki, Snee, and on and on.  It's been phenomenl.  The third round, not so much.  Justin Tuck, Greg Jackson and some filler.  Anyway, the Giants will do it again tonight as there are a lot of good players left.  I'm hoping for Sterling Shepard as I now believe our OL fix could best be served by a trade.   Go Giants!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Giants Take Eli Apple at 10

After seeing their top 3 targets disappear - two by virtue of teams leapfrogging them the Giants were left to pick from injured, disgraced and red chip players.  The move to make was a trade down, but who knows what was available.   Apple should have been available after a trade down.  I happen to like him a lot, but not at 10.  He's the kind of big, physical CB that the Giants have done well with over the years.  Nice enough player, but just an awful start to the draft for the Giants.   Leapt over twice!!

UPDATE:  If the Giants can go on to fix the OL, this could still work out beautifully for the GMen.  Eli is just 20 years old, but some of the metrics services had him as the best DB in the draft.  That augers upside, and in a few years, he could be a great Giant.

Giants: Draft Day

So, the NFL Draft is finally here, and I've never been less excited.   It think it's a couple of things.  First, I don't think the Giants did enough in UFA before the draft to take the pressure off the picks.  So they're heading into this with major needs, not just wants.  Second, because of the inturies to Jaylon Smith, Myles Jack, and others, the top 10 of the draft, and indeed the first round is talent challenged.  Third, for over a month, there's been a persistent rumor that the Giants are taking Georgia LB Leonard Floyd, and he's tackle challenged.

The smart offseason would have seen the Giants fix the OL in the first two days of UFA, then target Zeke Elliot in the first round.  However; that's not what they did, and they now go into the draft having to find a starting caliber RT.  So Jack Conklin makes a ton of sense for them at 10.  He's been a riser, but frankly, Ronnie Stanley who I loved last year, had a down final season and questions about his want to and toughness arose.  So Conklin is the guy they should target.  No questions about his toughness or character.

The concern is is they'll draft Floyd. Floyd is a talented guy, who can rush the passer and run with receivers and TE's.  He blew the the doors off the combine and is an official freak.  Also, he has an impressive wonderlic for a front 7 defender. The Giants have been looking for a player with those traits for a generation.  The problems with Floyd are sort of two fold, first, he'll be 24 when the season starts, second, he can't tackle and isn't physical.

Having said all that, I can absolutely understand the Giants excitement about getting a "swiss army knife" or a player who's like the "queen on a chessboard" in terms of attack angle.  But they are going to have to teach him to tackle, and that fact that he will already lived 24 years without doing so, will make it a real challenge

In any event, I'd still pick Zeke Elliott and hope to get lucky with a right tackle in round two.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

This Week on the Blog

Ugh, the Rangers season just ended several weeks earlier than we'd been used to. Should be a very interesting week coming up.

Rangers:  The Rangers just looked pedestrian and ambivalent as they were eliminated in 5 by the morally corrupt Penguins.  Just a terrible turn of events and one that you could see coming or could also see the opposite coming with this bunch of weirdos.   They need changes, and the first should be a coaching change.  AV is a good coach, but he's not a good coach when it comes to mixing in youth. It cost the Rangers in the Finals two years ago and has cost the Rangers every year since.  And the Rangers have to figure out what to do with Girardi and Staal, as well as Nash, and also have to find the cap room to keep Kreider and others.  It will be yeoman's work, but must be done.  We'll stay on top of it and on top of them.  There may or may not be a little gap here between winning seasons because of all of the missing draft picks.

Giants:  The Giants will draft more players this week.  Unfortunately, they still have a lot of needs, notably on the OL, and more or less everywhere on the defense.   Also, WR, RB and TE.   As of right now they only have 6 picks.   What will they do?

Yanks: Yanks will go for the sweep against Tampa tomorrow.   But their hitting has not been able to support their starters - even when the starters offer quality starts, which keeps them from maxing their overwhelming bullpen and could ultimately lead them to being .500ish team with an historically great BP.

Knicks: The Knicks are already performing their coaching search or pretending to.  Rambis was a disaster but several writers are pushing the narrative that he'll be back.  Blatt is another candidate, and  I'd rather see Luke Walton.  There will also be trade talks, with the name Darren Collison coming up today.   We'll see how really any of it is by July.

Alright, been busy, but will try to do my usual NFL Draft stuff, and cover any breaking Rangers or Knicks moves. If there's time, I might be able to write something about the Yankee minor league system.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Giants Bring Back Josh Brown

I posted a pic of P Brad Wing, because he also signed his tender.  I don't think anyone was panicking, but not having either signed before the draft, would have created some fear of pick squandering, so a bit of a relief.  Wing must become more consistent, and Brown pretty much has to stay the same, though he did miss a big kick or two toward the end.   Still, when you're in the top 10 of every round, you don't want to be taking punters and kickers.