The great philosopher of the ‘hood, aka Fred Rogers, said: “Simple and Deep is better than Complex and Shallow.” You want to win in the NFL? Here are 3 simple priorities you need to adhere to to win.
- Protect the QB
- Rush the QB
Is that simple enough? If you are doing those 3 things, you are competitive. If you are not doing those 3 things, you’re not. The NY Giants OL has been in decline/disarray for a decade. The last cog in that machine died when Chris Snee succumbed to back problems. It’s been a complete sh*t show ever since.
When the Giants lost control of the line of scrimmage, they started losing. OL doesn’t have the glorified transparency of statistics that other skill positions have. We have seen it in subtle and not subtle ways, like
- Eli Manning getting rid of the ball faster to avoid sacks
- Not being able to throw downfield on as many 7 step drops
- Saquon Barkley not being given adequate run blocking
- Lack of any push in short yardage
- Daniel Jones finishing in 17th place all time for rookie sacks (and having only started 12 games).
- Giants OL allowed 119 QB hits, ranking 3rd in the NFL in 2019
We are again on the precipice of another defining moment for the franchise. Gettleman, because he is a butcher, finds himself yet again near the top of the draft at 1.04. What to do? Keep it simple. It’s very deep.
You just put your future in Daniel Jones. Nate Solder has failed in his second year, just as Wonder predicted. Jones was not protected by his OL the entire season, and he started getting into the David Carr zip code. What to do? Keep it simple. It’s very deep.
Wonder has given us a preliminary look at the draft. Last year, as one example, he warned that the top of the crop didn’t have much at Offensive Tackle. But this year, it is a splendid crop with not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 excellent stud Tackles at the top. Wirfs. Becton. Wills. Thomas. Any or all has the potential to be elite “1” All Pro. Wirfs and Becton are projected to that level in his evaluation. What to do? Keep it simple. It’s very deep.
That list of the 3 things is not Gettleman’s list. Gettleman’s list is Run the ball, Stop the run, and Rush the passer. One out of three. Another great philosopher Dimitri Raitzin, my college fraternity brother, warns:
My rule of predicting Gettleman’s behavior: think of what will disappoint you most, that’s what he’ll do.
So here we are with LB Isaiah Simmons being dangled in front of us. Know full well I’ve been begging for a Round 1 LBer longer than anybody. It’s a luxury that the Giants cannot afford at this moment. I said the same thing about Barkley. Barkley and Simmons will have great careers. But that’s not where this franchise is right now. I will love Simmons if he is on my team. Yet what good does that do if Daniel Jones is in concussion protocol?
The OL has been woefully inadequate for many years. That’s directly correlated to this franchise’s inability to be consistent and competitive. The list. Protect the QB. Keep it simple. And deep.
The best move DG can do is trade down anywhere from 1.04 to a range of 1.05-1.12 and take one of these 4 stud tackles.
The second best move is to just take the Tackle you like the most at 1.04.
The third best move is to trade down to 1.15+ and get massive booty. You probably won’t get one of the 4 Tackles but you’ll get a lot of value in return.
The least preferred move is to take Simmons at 1.04. It will work. The Defense will do very well, and the combination of Dexter Lawrence plus Simmons will be the foundation for many years to come. It’s just a luxury that won’t matter if Jones gets hurt (or worse, his play is irreparably altered by bad habits learned from no protection) and/or Barkley isn’t leveraged.
A few posts back we discussed positional value, and explained economically why Barkley destroyed so much cap value at 1.02. Summarized, taking a RB (the cheapest average salary in the NFL) at 2nd overall made Barkley the 4th highest paid RB instantly. The beauty of ‘the 3 simple things you need to do to win in the NFL’ is that all 3 are also (shocking, NOT) completely aligned with positional value. Explained another way, if you take a QB, an elite pass rusher, or a lockdown Left Tackle at 1.04, you do not waste cap value at those 3 positions the way you will with Linebacker. Simmons lines up in any of 5 positions in college (ILB, OLB, Slot CB, CB and Safety), but Inside Linebacker is where he took the most snaps. The 1.04 salary is slotted at $8.15M/year. Giants 1.04:
- Offensive Tackle will be paid the 26th highest Tackle salary in the NFL.
- ILB (Simmons) will be the 15th highest ILB salary.
Football is a very simple game. The great Vince Lombardi lamented how (even in the 1960’s, well before the rule changes making this a pass happy league) there was unfortunately too much importance on one player in the team sport he loved so much. He was referring of course to QB. In 2020 it’s a QB league now more than ever. The second most important thing to having a QB is protecting the QB. The NY Giants haven’t been doing that for a long time, and it’s not a coincidence that the franchise has s*cked for a long time. It’s simple. It’s deep. Draft the stud Offensive Tackle.