We spoke with Wonder, the UltimateNYG Draft Analyst, about what the Giants have done here in Free Agency. He was nothing short of glowing. “Schoen has been unbelievable.”
“The Giants are going to be MUCH better, I mean muucchhhh better than last year. Their record may not look a lot better than 9-7-1 but they will be a much better team.”
“The Eagles will not be the Eagles this year. Salary cap casualties galore.”
“I thought Darren Waller was pretty healthy last year, but he was dinged up with bumps and bruises. That stuff can be cyclical, so I think he can just as easily be at full strength this season. For what the Giants paid, a 3.100 (practically a comp pick), that is a ridiculous price. It is a joke. It is a steal. This guy can easily become Daniel Jones’ best friend. I had him as the 3rd best TE in the NFL last year behind Kittle and Kelce. That is how good he is. If he can stay on the field, it is gigantic for the Giants,” said Wonder.
Scheme-wise, there are so many ways Waller helps your team. Wonder notes: Double TE set at Goal line, what does a Defense do when the ball can go to Barkley, or either of your two TEs (Waller, Bellinger) can slip out? That is just brutal to cover.
Onto Parris Campbell. Let’s go back 4 years ago to what Wonder said about the player pre-Draft.
16. WR Parris Campbell. So good, so fast, cuts on a dime, hands of glue. I’d take him at 1.17 if Haskins taken 1.06. (Andy’s only note here- Dread.) Good guy. Incredible feet and quickness. Not musclebound. But sleek. End arounds, bubble screens. Snatches the ball out of the air like no one I have seen. Once he gets the ball, forget it. Can put on 10-12 lbs of muscle w/o losing any speed. Insane vertical. Crazy quick. How does anyone cover this guy in the slot/option routes?! Improved every single year of college. His career is predicated on who his QB is and where he goes. Absolutely love this guy. Comparison: OBJ with less baggage.Wonder’s 2019 Draft Board
Now we fast forward to 2023, and Campbell has been oft-injured. But here is where Schoen shines again. He pays $3M + another $3M in incentives for 1 year. It is a ‘show me’ deal. Prove it. Work your tail off to get a big contract. “Campbell played with a horrible QB who had to be benched last year. Campbell was open all the time. Schoen got him so freaking cheap. If he can communicate in the slot with Jones on 3rd and 5, he will be unguardable. Brady did this with Wes Welker and Julian Edelman. The only way to stop it is to double team it. For the money they paid, it is all upside, no downside, a helluva deal.”
Onto the new hoover vacuum cleaner Linebacker. Bobby Okereke got panned by some, who thought the Giants could have done better or gone a different direction for the money. Wonder disagrees. “He is a very good signing. Good team player. Athletic. My vibe/sense is that he is a good locker room guy who his teammates want to be around. He plays tough. I like guys who have a nose for the ball, and Okereke seems to always be around the ball. Whether it is tips, or fumble recoveries, or just being a tackling machine, I like him. I want guys like this who just make plays.”
What about overpaying for Running Back with Saquon Barkley? Wonder actually disagrees with this NY Giants blogger. “Barkley, yes, is $4M more than you spend on a RB, but he is great for the locker room, his teammates like him, he’s a hard worker, and he is talented. What they did in tagging him was ok. Emotionally he means a lot to the team. So I was ok with that tag. It’s $4M. If that is the price of locker room harmony, I am ok with it.”
They still need a WR Receiver, a Mike Evans big guy. DeAndre Hopkins in a trade? Hopkins has a lot left. Even at 31, he catches everything, unguardable. But you won’t be able to fit him into the cap. Maybe they get lucky in R2.
If the Jets release Denzel Mims 6’3 220, I’d be on the lookout for a guy like that. The Jets wasted him. If Rodgers forces the Jets to get a guy like Cobb, Mims might be had for cheap.
SUMMARY: Schoen has really done some great work in extracting value out of the Free Agent/trade market, which is not easy to do. You have to compare this to what our same Draft Analyst said about Dave Gettleman when he overpaid for players like Nate Solder, Patrick Omameh and Golden Tate. It is on the record:
Golden Tate #NYG
Not a deep threat
Strictly short throws
Strong w the ball
No longer shifty and quick like he was when he came into league
Doesn’t get a lot of separation
Need an accurate QB to throw option routes
Better for slot than outside
Doesn’t have height
— Andy Furman (@UltimateNYG) March 14, 2019
Our analyst Wonder on the Solder signing:
1) will last 2 yrs (1 ok yr, 1 mediocre yr, then done)
2) gets beat by speed rushers
3) recently more injured
4) too much cost.. 35M guar’d
Better to have overpaid Norwell. He’ll see the end of his deal unless big injury. #nyg
— Andy Furman (@UltimateNYG) March 15, 2018
These historic comments about other moves show that just because it is March does not mean Wonder is kissing the Giants ***. He is not a homer. He won’t be perfect, but he will call it the way he sees it. That is a lot better than the rest, who are either riding the fence or always sunny.