2011 NFL Minicamp: New York Giants Edition

April 18, 2011

NEW YORK – It’s been a crazy off season for football fans in 2011. You have to wonder if the teams will even hold minicamps this year because of the lockout which has now been going on for 38 long and painful days. The Giants began their mandatory minicamp on June 15, 2010 last year. That’s about 8 weeks away from us now using the current 2011 calendar. The rookie minicamp started even earlier then the mandatory one. It looks like they will need to get this lockout thing straightened out soon or else. I believe the owners have a date set in their mind. They will be willing to negotiate until the alarm date goes off on their iPhones, blackberry devices or Get Smart shoes.

There was some good news put out there today. The NFL will release the 2011 schedules tomorrow at 7:00 PM EST. This is always a fun 20 minutes when you make a cup of coffee and go over the new schedule. Check out who has the hardest strength of schedule and all of that. It is a nice and relaxing information gathering session. The fact that fans already know the opponents makes it a little less exciting but getting to find out the bye week is a plus. Perhaps, they will include all of the preseason dates and times as well. They released the preseason games last week but not the entire preseason schedule with dates and times.

The minicamps are important. Just like the training camps are important. Each piece to the puzzle is important no matter how insignificant it may appear to others. I’m sure Tom Coughlin and his coaching staff are watching too much film and climbing the walls right now at this very moment. Some of the staff might be up at 3 A.M. in a zombie-like state, watching film on the 7th round possibilities at the fullback position. It gets pretty ugly for staff this time of year and I applaud you all who do it everyday. You’re going to need a nice mini-vacation after April 30, 2011.

Do you think the NFL lockout will extend beyond the NFL Draft and into late summer? Will NFL teams hold their annual minicamps in 2011?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org


2011 NFL Draft: Best Available vs. Immediate Need

April 15, 2011

New York – There is one question every football fan hears at least once every April. That question is, should their team draft for best available or immediate need? I hear this more then enough from tons of people. I have a philosophy to answer this very question. It is based on logic and an understanding of the New York Giants roster and because I am a fantasy football beast. Who should the Giants invest in the most? The offense or the defense? Well, they were both very good in 2010, regardless of missing the playoffs. My guess is that 3 out of 5 rounds will be drafted for defense within the first 5 rounds in 2011.

Which of the two is a better drafting style? I say drafting takes a little bit of both but only because it means drafting for need first in the early rounds. You do this by simply drafting the best available immediate need player. Save the drafting by “best available” for mid to late rounds. Again, this is only my philosophy on drafting in 2011, I’m not claiming to be Nostradamus or anything. I just think it makes a lot of sense to draft this way.

Round 1: I honestly think a team should draft for need in round 1 without question, there is no debating this topic with me. Take the best LB available if you need a LB. The reason I feel this way (particularly with being a Giants fan) is because let’s say a really good defensive end is on the boards at the 19th pick of round 1, he is the Giants highest rated player on their war room board. I would be shocked if the Giants took another DE to add to an extremely deep group of talented guys running the show in that department. Especially in this years draft, if there is a solid 10-year Center or aggressive DT available, take one of those guys please. Don’t just take the highest rated player. If this is what Jerry Reese does then I apologize and mean no disrespect but I think he knows what I mean. I also think he is smarter than that. The players surely do and so do the fans.

Round 2, 3 and 4: These rounds are a bit more tricky. Personally, I am sticking with drafting for need in rounds 1 and 2 (using the best available player at need of course). Rounds 3 and 4 could be a mix of both. I also think there could be some positions that should not be considered at all. Such as the defensive end position in 2011. There is just too much talent on the team to waste a high draft pick on a DE. With Osi, Tuck, Kiwanuka and JPP alone, the Giants pass rush is insane. There has to be one position on offense and defensive that should not waste anyones time. Still send the scouts out and gather all the intel but get some other positions in the mix come draft day.

Rounds 5, 6 and 7: These rounds should all follow the draft by “best available” philosophy to the letter. Considering the reality that 2 out of the 3, drafted in these three rounds, might not make the team. Always take a WR or CB in the 7th round and be sure he is an excellent special teamer. Stack that area for the next three years/drafts, this includes returners and punters now that it has become a problem area.

If someone came up to you and said “Hey, you can only draft 2 defensive positions within the first 5 rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft. What would those positions be?” For myself, I would have to say defensive tackle and linebacker. Canty and Bernard have a lot to prove in 2011. Cofield hopefully stays and gets paid. The LB group has a lot to prove in 2011 too. We need to see some guys step up including LB Clint Sintim who has the fans on his side. LB Phillip Dillard who looked promising last training camp before going down with an injury. LB Adrian Tracy is another young man who suffered an injury but needs to show up in 2011. What about bringing back DT Jay Alford to help out if he is available?

For defense, I’m most confident in our defensive ends followed by our safety group. The cornerbacks come in third on that list to round out my top three. On offense, I am most confident in the QB followed by the wide receivers. The running backs come in third on my top three list. I’m most concerned with the offensive line followed by the tight end group on offense. Hopefully, FB Madison Hedgecock returns to full strength or I could see FB becoming a problem too.

What do you prefer when it comes to drafting, best available or immediate need?

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org


2011 NFL Draft: Only Two Weeks Away Giants Fans

April 14, 2011

NEW YORK – We are now only 14 days away from the 2011 NFL Draft. This is a very exciting time of the year for the die-hard and true blue fans. You can immediately tell who knows what they are talking about come draft day. The bull crap gets cut quick when you try talking junk to a knowledgeable fan. Radio City Music Hall in New York during the spring, does it get any better then this? I hope some of the rookies catch a Yankee game or a Knicks game while they are in town. I’m sure they get hooked up with some nice tickets and other cool events to check out. I hope they decide against that much rumored boycott of the draft by rookies. Just show up and have some fun.

As of today, my needs assessment remains pretty much the same and I will list my position picks for rounds 1-7 below again. You can flip flop players in the late rounds and any position you draft makes sense and can be justified. It’s the first three rounds that get you respect. If you can predict those first three rounds correctly, then you can consider yourself on the same level as any other Giants writer or expert out there. Do it more then once and establish some consistency, publicly. You will be getting paid for your opinion sooner or later if you’re consistently “in the race” with your opinions and correct most of the time.

We will be doing a ton of coverage over the draft weekend (4/28/11 – 4/30/11). Be sure to come back and check out player analysis that whole weekend as well as other LIVE reports throughout all rounds of the draft!

New York Giants: 2011 Draft picks by position.

Round 1 pick – Center or Defensive Tackle (Center is clearly the bigger need here but the draft is stacked with talented DT’s)

Round 2 pick – Defensive Tackle or Linebacker (they have some nice talent at LB on the team already but DT could end up being an issue)

Round 3 pick – Cornerback (there is a lot of talent at the CB position but Fewell needs some new blood to work his magic on, depth as well)

Round 4 pick – Offensive Lineman (this could be a tackle or a guard, the o-line will need help soon and depth doesn’t hurt)

Round 5 pick – No 5th Round Pick, traded away for RB Darius Reynaud (5’9″ 201) who is used as a returner.

Round 6 pick A – Tight End (the team has a mission to get QB Eli Manning as many weapons as possible)

Round 6 pick B – Running Back (they need to add a young RB into the mix and GM Jerry Reese is good at finding talent late)

Round 6 pick C – Linebacker (keep stacking talent until you find the golden 3 that fit the best)

Round 7 pick – Cornerback or Wide Receiver (this guy should be used on special teams, get the most talented special teamer available here)

Feel free to leave a comment below with your own picks and predictions.

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org


These So-Called Giants “Experts” Are Trying to Sell Newspapers

April 4, 2011

NEW YORK – If I hear one more New York Giants “expert” say that the G-Men “need” to draft an offensive tackle in the first round, I’m going to freak out on an embarrassing level. The Giants DO NOT need to use their first round pick on the OT position. I would draft a DT (very deep draft at DT) before I took an OT in the first round this year. Now, if they took an offensive lineman (center) I wouldn’t be surprised but it shouldn’t be an interchangeable OT/OG/C, it should be a true Center. I wouldn’t be surprised if they took C Mike Pouncey, who seems to be the best available center when the Giants draft at the 19th overall spot in round one. But to say that OT is the area of most need in this years draft and worthy of the 1st pick is insane. Don’t believe the hype! (thanks Chuck)

It makes me angry when I read about the lack of respect for the current group of Giants offensive tackles. I think they have some good young talent at the position and have enough experienced players to do just fine in 2011. OT William Beatty and OT Adam Koets will be better this season. OT David Diehl and OT Kareem McKenzie are veteran players and OT Shawn Andrews can contribute in certain situations very well. They also have a couple of guys on the reserve squad that will get work. Yes, the team will need to use a high draft pick on an OT one year but not this year.

Clearly, the center position needs to be addressed. To be blunt, it is because all-world C Shaun O’Hara, whom I have tremendous respect for, is getting a bit older. They need to get a young true center into the system this year. I am still hoping the team can get C Stefen Wisniewski. Maybe use the 19th overall pick on a LB or DT then trade back up into the back end of round one or frontside of round two to grab Wisniewski. Could you imagine if the G-Men were able to draft LB Akeem Ayers and C Stefen Wisniewski by trading a 2nd and 6th round pick to move up for Wisniewski? That would be a very successful first two picks for Big Blue.

If you are one of the believers that think the team needs to draft an OT in round one, you’re going to have to leave a comment below and explain why it needs to be done in this years draft. I’m sick of all these cliquey Giants websites who think they know everything and are never open to debate. Gimme some elbow room. They want to generate website traffic at any cost. These are the same websites that feel the need to monopolize the market and suppress any new talent that seeks their advice or council. Let’s have a debate and see who can come the closet to correctly calling the draft by position this year. Of course if RB Mark Ingram is available at the 19th pick, all bets are off.

Here are my draft picks by position. We can call this the “Damien Draft 2011” from the Omen film because of the three 6th round picks they have. I don’t like that omen and hope they trade away a pick or two, so they can move up for better talent in the early rounds. Of course, any trades before the draft could change everything entirely. This also includes if the Giants trade picks to move up, this list is based on todays roster only.

New York Giants 2011 NFL Mock Draft by Position

Round 1 (19th pick) – DT or Center/OL

Round 2 (52nd pick) – LB

Round 3 (83rd pick) – CB

Round 4 (117th pick) – OL

Round 5 pick – traded away for RB Darius Reynaud

Round 6 (185th pick) – LB

Round 6 (198th pick) – TE

Round 6 (202nd pick) – RB

Round 7 (221st pick) – CB

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org


New York Giants Get 2 Compensatory Picks in 2011 Draft

March 26, 2011

NEW YORK – After a news drought on NFL news the past couple of weeks, fans finally learned about the compensatory picks yesterday. Because the Giants lost QB David Carr and DT Fred Robbins in 2010, the NFL has awarded the team two 6th round picks (No.198 and No.202 overall). Not very exciting considering the level of talent that will be available in round six but none the less some good news. Having three 6th round picks tells me that the likelihood of a trade or moving up to get a coveted player is better then average now. Personally, I would have rather gotten one third or fourth round pick instead of two sixth round picks but the world doesn’t revolve around me.

Losing David Carr and Fred Robbins were both big blows to the team. The Giants have not been able to replace Carr yet with a backup QB of equal caliber and Robbins was a fan favorite who could have easily contributed to the team in 2010. The Giants are much deeper at the defensive tackle position then they are at the backup quarterback spot. They will need to correct that before the season begins. Even though QB Eli Manning has an Iron Man streak going for most consecutive starts (behind only big brother Peyton Manning), the team will still need to be prepared in case the worst possible scenario plays out.

Giants GM Jerry Reese will take what he can get. I’m sure he will turn these extra picks into something special on draft day by using his jedi mind tricks. Hopefully, this silly NFL lockout will be over in time for fans to see these rookies play in a game. The lockout has entered its 15th day and there seems to be no end in sight. How will this effect the draft, minicamp and training camp? Nobody knows. One thing I know for sure is the fact that the fans are really fed up with this lockout business. Let’s hope they settle their differences and get back to work soon.

– Everyone here at nygreporter.com would like to say Congratulations to Eli & Abby Manning on the birth of their first child this week. The Manning’s had a baby girl they named Ava. Something tells me that Easy Eli will be playing with a new purpose this season and I fully expect him to have a career year. CONGRATS!

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org


nygreporter.com and shop.giants.com forge Merchandising Partnership

March 11, 2011

NEW YORK – We have finally locked down a partnership with Shop.Giants.com. That means you can now find official New York Giants merchandise on our website. This is something that I have wanted to do for a while and think our readers will appreciate the convenience of going straight to the official New York Giants team store if they decide they want to buy something. If you want to learn how you can do this for your own website, using your own favorite team, I suggest you check out an affiliate program and learn how to Find a sponsor for your web site. Get paid for your great content.  You get a percentage for using team ads. You will need to get approved and once you do, just become a partner with a merchant, such as shop.giants.com. As you can see, there are no minefields of advertising to maneuver around on nygreporter and we intend to keep it way. However, we do want the fans to have access to Giants products.

You all know that too many advertisements can ruin a good website. Pop ups and the loud ones are avoided like the plague. That is why I will not let ads ruin our website. You will only be able to purchase New York Giants merchandise on this website. Of course, NFL gear for the NFL Draft, NFL Pro Bowl and the Super Bowls to be included too. But you will never find the clutter we have all come to loathe. You can be sure your getting official Giants gear when visiting us here. I mean, think of the possibilities, you have Eli Manning jerseys and  Steve Smith jerseys and you have a host of other Giants jerseys you can choose from as well. You can always get a team hat if you need a gift for a sports fan. You never see anyone get mad over getting a hat. Other items that nobody ever gets mad at receiving are team T-shirts, just make sure you know the right size.

It’s nice to know that you can always just go straight to specific catalog areas if you feel like browsing too. After all, it can get pretty cold in East Rutherford during the winter at New Meadowlands stadium and people will need to dress warm while they wait for the game to start, tailgate gear might be just the thing you’re looking for. I am proud to have Giants products available on my site, I know our readers are people who represent their team to the fullest. All of this talk about “stuff” has me wondering what your most prized Giants possession is? Mine revolve around meeting a player usually but what are yours? Feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

What is your most prized New York Giants possession? My favorite is a helmet that Michael Strahan personally signed for me.

RD – nygreporter.com

Please support the Eric LeGrand charity walk this June 4, 2011! Check it out at http://www.awalktobelieve.org