Injury and Risk

How do you incorporate injury information into a Drafting decision? NY Giants Underground blogger Glenn Warciski pored over video clips to get GM Dave Gettleman’s additional disclosures on what (tf) happened with the Sam Beal supplemental selection. Gettleman knew about the shoulder injury before the draft. That was all he would say. There was nothing more.

If we know about the shoulder injury to Beal and the significant risk (that he’d potentially be out 2018), the value in the pick is gone and I simply wouldn’t do that. If my MDs said that and that he would be 100% in 2019, I’d maybe use a R5 pick. Not a R3. It’s just not the same selection anymore. Remember, everyone (including us) praised the selection because it also addressed need… and we targeted contributions in the second half of the 2018 season.

Glenn brings up the analogy to Owa Odighizuwa. His reference is to the hip injuries (plural) he had in college before being taken in (coincidentally or not) Round 3 back in 2015. If you take a guy with an injury past, his pick has to drop. Think Armstead. Round 8. He was hurt in college. His value dropped. Another part of the dynamic is that those who are injured get reinjured elsewhere in their body. Like it or not, in football the strong survive and the weak get hurt. Some of that is in the Owa example. This is a Football GM’s life. The best place to start is at the draft. You need to get paid for the risk. Todd Gurley needed to fall. Josh Rosen needed to fall. When the Armsteads hit and they have long Pro Bowl careers, he was a steal. No he wasn’t. There are too many others out there who can’t stay healthy. They all need to fall. If Gurley tears another ACL and his career is shot, everyone who got out of the way will have been smart. If he is injury-free, the Rams are smart. The Rams took the risk and live with that.

What kind of shoulder injury does Beal have? Even now we “assume” it is the kind where a complete recovery is a given. If it is a more troublesome type of injury, Beal’s value drops further. Wonder explains that the shoulder for a CB is very important in tackling. Remember also that Beal is undersized. “If it’s an ACV joint or a labrum, that is a much bigger issue,” said Wonder. Once again, the Giants haven’t disclosed whether the injury was exacerbated by any activity that was reported in rookie pre-camp a week ago.

In the 2010 draft, Wonder had a difficult eval. Where do you draft JPP? He saw the immense upside but openly said I’m not drafting anybody in Round 1 who has 11 college starts. One of the reasons why is because you don’t know about how his body will hold up to the rigors of the game. So Wonder ranked him 33rd overall, at the beginning of R2, and we did not see the “value” in the pick (at 15) in R1. There was a risk/uncertainty that we needed to get paid for, argued Wonder. JPP had a back problem almost immediately (hide and seek?) and contended with many physical issues during his career. His contributions to the 2011 season (XLVI) were enormous, as there is no way the Giants win the title without him (think about the blocked FG vs Dallas alone!). Still, a Round 1 investment needs a pristine track record and the Giants realized both the upside AND the downside in that same selection.

The bottomline: injury issues are a major part of draft evaluation. Risks must be accounted for. The track record performance of a player on the field is scrutinized. The health of a player must be scrutinized just as well. Draft slots are currency. You need to get paid for injury risk when you know it is there. We don’t know all the facts behind the decision to take Beal, but given everything we do know, there was more risk than what was allotted in Round 3.

In Pads

First day of pads at training camp. I like reading the reports of Dan Schneier at 247sports.com He’s well informed and isn’t corrupted by the process. Here’s a summary and our takeaways.

1) It shouldn’t surprise anyone here that Connor Barwin and Lorenzo Carter are dominating the 2nd stringers on the OL. Why? Wonder told us. He said Connor Barwin was “a football player” when he was signed. That’s parlance for… “don’t worry about this guy holding up his end, he’s a gamer and a guy you want on your team all day long.”

As for Carter, the press and fans have been fawning over BJ Hill incessantly.. the other R3 pick. Wonder as a draft analyst isn’t perfect by any means, so we as Giants fans quietly rooted (and root) for Hill to do great things even if we were tepid on the pick. The other R3 pick, Lorenzo Carter, was the one that Wonder was raving about. Carter was an honorable mention in his Top 50 Draft Board, which implied a low 50’s ranking. He went 66th overall and we loved how he played the edge at Georgia. Wonder looked at the Giants depth chart and said on Day 2 of the draft that Carter would start on Week 1. Then a couple of days before camp, the Giants bring in Barwin, a football player. So if Barwin stops Carter from starting, we can live with that. You can’t have enough good LBers in a 3-4.

Now as for the other side of this, jeez Louise. The 2nd string OL. Good God. Cover your eyes. All we can say is, Giants fans pray that no one gets hurt. We liked Jones last year, as he and Fluker did a good job together getting a ground game going as the season wore on. Halapio has taken 1st string snaps. That makes Jones 2nd string. He’s the only guy that gives us any confidence in being a backup at Center or Guard. The rest? We’re praying. The good news is it’s early so maybe someone can improve and rise above the borscht.

2) Mara had one brief sentence about being worried about the hype over Barkley. Stop worrying. He’s the real freaking deal. Wonder had this guy as the #1 player on his Board for the Draft. Gettleman implied this was the best pure prospect he’s seen in the last 20+ years. He. Is. Not. Blair. Thomas.

Our only reservation is the position he plays. While he’s healthy, he’ll deliver. The reports from Spring OTAs were crazy effusive. That continues in Training Camp. Hasn’t dropped a ball. All defenders (including Ogletree) have trouble with him in open space. My only concern is injuries. Call me a worrier. Oh right, I’m a risk manager in my day job. So understand statistically the risks of this guy #2 overall. He can be great for 5 yrs in a row and all of a sudden in Year 6 he gets hurt. That’s my only reservation. So I’m not worried about hype. I’m worried about hurt. Right now let’s stop worrying about anything and enjoy the fact that he’s a stud.

3) Historically it’s not that easy for the Special Teams WR to break into the Offensive rotation. Generally speaking, either they can’t learn the playbook, they can’t run a good crisp route, or they literally can’t catch. So for any of the above reasons, we are cautious about getting too optimistic on Cody Latimer. If he does break through, it would be an incredible bonus. Huge for depth. Show me.

4) Olivier Vernon has the skill. He has the ability. He makes impact plays. Stay healthy please.

Ronnie Barnes Part 2

Will someone please explain to us what happened to CB Sam Beal? I was chatting about this with UltimateNYG analyst Wonder, and he wanted to know what happened to his shoulder. Knowledgeable enough about medicine, he can distinguish between the relative seriousness of different injuries.. enough to know what the chances are for full recovery etc. (He wasn’t nicknamed Wonder for nothing.) So fans just want to know what’s going on. Instead we get (relatively) nothing.

We’ve seen this movie before. Back when Palmieri was the Strength & Conditioning Coach and the NY Giants were suffering injuries year after year, we got.. nothing. The media was useless. Why? Why wasn’t it investigated and analyzed more thoroughly? The best explanation we could come up with was that Ronnie Barnes smothered any attempts by writers to go near the subject. He runs “Medical Services” with an iron fist and has more power within the organization than arguably ANYONE. The owners? Apparently even they don’t ask too many questions either.

So we have to pick through tiny snippets to get any clue as to wtf happened. One report had Beal in an unlikely entanglement with another rookie earlier this week before camp officially began (rookies/QBs only). Shurmur said they were aware of shoulder “issues” before he was drafted. He said it wasn’t clear if Beal was done for the season. And that’s it.

You draft literally the first player to go off in the supplemental and, oh yah, we knew about his shoulder and we’ll see how it goes.

What we suspect is happening is that as soon as any follow up questions emerge, Shurmur (/Head Coach) is instructed to reply: “You’ll have to speak to Medical.” That means Ronnie Barnes … which effectively ends the conversation and flow of information.

Fans would like to know about depth at CB. How serious is the injury? Will he make a full recovery? Barnes and crickets.

Training Camp 2018 Begins

Here’s a summary of the first day from camp:

1) Longtime blog follower Manny G was at the first practice. He commented about a few notables… Will Hernandez is too big, too strong and too fast for everyone to get around. While it’s way too early (they aren’t even in pads yet), Hernandez looks like a big thumbs up.

Eli Apple was active and good.

Saquon Barkley is the alpha. He catches everything. Apparently word is his quads can be seen from the Space Station.

2) Giants.com reported that Connor Barwin made Wheeler look really bad on one move. Undressed. While Flowers looked aok (not going to believe that until I see it Week 1 vs Jacksonville), depth at OL becomes a huge issue. Beyond Jones, who is there? The Offensive Tackle position is a question mark on a good day. We need to watch this to see what the depth looks like.

3) OBJ was active. As expected by everyone (Dima?), there was no holdout. He looked fine and Shepard raved about him.

4) Engram is ready to explode. He only had 700 yds as a rookie. It’s hard to imagine how his yds will go up (significantly) when you add OBJ and Saquad into the mix… but between better scheme and his second year, he’s going to kill it.