2019 NFL Draft: Wonder Brandt

Gil Brandt is a talent evaluator that Wonder, generally speaking, agrees with. Wonder thinks that in past years, as he is getting older, he may be farming some of his work out and guiding the process a little more than doing a deep dive on every single player. We do not know this, but it is a sense of what we see. Click on the above Link for his Top 150 Draft Board.

Many prospects are NOT discussed because there is general agreement.

Some noteworthy differences (Brandt ranking, Wonder ranking):

OL Connor McGovern (29, 95). Fairly reliable, fairly standard journeyman OL that you can always get in R3-R5. Round 1? That is way too rich for my blood.

EDGE LJ Collier (34, 72). Some upside, does not stand out. I follow a lot of TCU guys, and this is not one of them that high.

T Kaleb McGary. (36, 80). See McGovern, just another guy you can find in R3-R5.

T Dalton Risner (42, 90). Just another guy. There are 30 of them. Can’t play LT for sure. Not sure if he can play RT either, because he may get beaten like a drum. It used to be that you could hide a guy at RT, but not anymore. Too many quality pass rushers. He has some value as a Center or Guard (per Brandt) but I am not going to draft him in R2 for that… R3-R4 fine, hence my rating, and hence why he will be overdrafted.

DE Zach Allen (43, 150). Overachiever in college. Round 5. Likes to play football, has grunted and grinded his way through. Will take up space. Special teams, fill in, second string.

RB Miles Sanders (45, 110). I do not understand this at all. Doesn’t even compare to Singletary or Montgomery (guys being discussed in the same zip code of R2).

T Tytus Howard (50, 135).

QB Will Grier (52, 125). For all Giants fans who want this guy, please watch his Combine and college tape. Too small. Doesn’t have the arm. Doesn’t appear to read the defense that well for a guy with as much experience as he has. So I do not see the upside in him. And it is even worse for Ryan Finley (58, 158). Brandt was right, he just missed by a “1” on the ranking. The best Finley can hope for is 2nd string in the NFL. That is his upside, so why is he ranked in Round 2? Finley has no talent. Other than that he is great.

DE Anthony Nelson (64, 150).  Too slow, can’t play DE in the NFL. Ridiculous.

CB Trayvon Mullen (73, 73). Shocked that Brandt agrees with me, but kudos. Everyone has this guy as a Top 5 CB in the draft. I do not. And neither does Brandt.

S Darnell Savage (87, 41). At least Brandt recognizes some value here, because most do not even have Savage anywhere, let alone 87 (or in my Top 50). Great Sleeper value.

S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (93, 19). I really like CGJ. See our Top 50.

TE (Nauta, Knox, Warring (96 97 and 98, 160) These are all R5 guys.

What are you drafting a QB for? To be a backup? Or to find a chance at becoming a bonafide starter? The comparison is stark with QB Jarrett Stidham 101 vs QB Tyree Jackson 108. Stidham has no chance to be a starter in the NFL. At least Jackson, who is lacking in experience, has the potential with good coaching to leverage tremendous athleticism. The ceiling for these 2 prospects could not be any greater. Yet there they are, 7 slots apart, which makes no sense.

I like guys like RB Justice Hill (109, 24) and RB Devin Singletary (112, 65). These are sleeper value guys.

LB David Long (151+, 29). Brandt does not even have him on his Top 150 Board. God I hope he falls to some stupid round like R4 or R5. Someone is going to steal him, and I hope it is the Giants or Jets. There is such confusion, everyone has CB David Long (who I like) ranked well, and the LBer who I love is nowhere to be found.

The Gil Brandt of 30 years ago would have never let LB David Long or CB Mark Fields slip this far to not be in the Top 150. This is why I do not think he is doing all of this work. He does have 48 others in our Top 50 inside the Top 112 spots.




Predictability, via Ringer

A funny thing happened yesterday. I read an article about the NY Giants on Ringer by a writer named Sherman Rodgers that was so so good that I had to rush to link to it. The Ringer article is objective in both its praise of Barkley and its criticism of the Giants.

Have you ever asked why it feels like the Giants have been left behind in Offensive creativity? We used to rip Gilbride for his Neanderthal brute force approach because it was predictable. Supporters of this NY Giants blog can say that Rodgers was 6 years late or that I was six years early. Either way, Rodgers’ points are excellent. We see teams like the Rams and Saints operating at one speed while the Giants move at another. Yes, between OBJ, Barkley, Shepard, and (a healthy) Engram, the Giants can certainly  execute more efficiently with a scheme that features more balance and less tendency.

Barkley is an exceptional talent. Not many people are talking about his zero fumbles. It is starting to show up in asterisks, addendums, and parentheses (Rodgers). Let’s state it as loudly as we can to put this in perspective:


Eric Dickerson 2212 yards
Saquon Barkley 2156 yards (projected)

Eric Dickerson 13 fumbles
Saquon Barkley 0 fumbles (projected)

If there is anything we can add to Rodgers’ article, it is that using Barkley outside the Tackles a little more will also extend his career because he will take less of a beating from 330 lb. Defensive Linemen.

OBJ is out again for the second consecutive week vs Tennessee. The Giants are small favorites. What is clear is that without OBJ’s presence, the Offense easily flows through Barkley. One Tweeter noted that it seems that the Giants want to get OBJ into the flow of the game because he’s a sulking ball hog a la Jeremy Shockey. Another Tweeter noted how Barkley is almost assured another TD this week because OBJ is inactive. Here is my take- only on the Giants can these two stars “compete” for touches. On other teams, the Offense flows with multiple talents. On the Giants, it feels like gridlock. Yes, some of this is a product of the Offensive Line. For us, it goes back to predictability and scheme. Moving Eli back under Center helps the running game (Barkley) and the play action (OBJ). Play action? Brees? Less predictability? What a concept. If Sherman Rodgers would commit to writing for the Giants as much as Brees commits to using play action, I’d happily quit blogging and just read him.

PHL 25 NYG 22

Games like these are misery. It is no secret that the team I dislike the most in the NFL is the Philadelphia Eagles. So when the team we root for is up 19-3 in the 2nd Quarter, we expect to win. Yet these are the Eagles, who seemingly own the Giants of late. We have not cashed our ticket because we understand the realities of who this Giants team is. Unfortunately those brutal facts reared their ugly head again.

I am not bothered that Jamon Brown, whom Wonder classified as “just a guy,” was undressed Sunday afternoon … because he is just a guy. He is a stop gap for Gettleman, just a guy to get us to the Draft so that we can get some people on the Offensive Line with the potential to run block and pass protect more consistently. At least I do not have to look at Omameh getting blown up or missing a stunt.

I will tell you what I am bothered by. His name is Pat Shurmur. We took off the gloves many weeks ago, ripping this guy on Twitter and on this blog. Remember the end of the first half vs Atlanta? We argued that he was not deserving of a honeymoon because he already had two years of coaching experience in Cleveland. We were warned by a Cleveland fan that he was a loser, and 11 games into his stint with the Giants, I am in agreement.

When a team racks up 346 yards in the first half and comes up empty (66 yards) in the second half, SOMETHING IS WRONG. One team made adjustments, while the other did not.

Saquon Barkley touched the ball 5 times (4 carries) in the second half. That is wrong.

Once Barkley is keyed upon, keep him in there for liberal play action. Fwiw, Drew Brees uses play action practically every snap he is not running, so given that Barkley was carving them up in the first half, use the tool. Not done. That is wrong.

The Eagles started 3 Cornerbacks, 2 of which never started a single game. CB Jalen Mills out. CB Avonte Maddux out. CB Sidney Jones out. (CB Ronald Darby and S Rodney McLeod are already on IR too, just saying.) Are you telling me that the Giants could be stopped by a replacement team? “Knowing they were struggling (with injuries) in the secondary, personally I would’ve loved to attack them. But that wasn’t in our gameplan,” said Odell Beckham Jr. after the game. That is wrong.

The Eagles could not blitz because they needed extra bodies in the secondary to help the neophyte CBs. The Giants could not exploit that. Wrong. 

At the end of the 1st half, Eli throws an INT in the end zone, throwing away at least 3 points. Fwiw, Pat Shurmur took the blame. If the shoe fits. Another wrong.

The timeout called in the 3rd Quarter on 3rd and 18.  Wait. I have the wrong play in. I may not make this conversion??????!!!!!! Who the F do you think you are? 3rd and 18???????? HELLLLLLPPPPPP!! This is completely brain dead. Spielman calls this for what it is, braindead, and of course they check it down anyway and the timeout is gone. Do you think maybe that those 35 seconds (with the additional timeout) could have been used at 0:55 instead of the 0:20 with the game over? Yet another wrong.

Odell Beckham had a cramp, needed an IV, missed a drive in Q3. Huh? He gets paid $95M to not drink enough water?

Engram injured his hamstring in warmups and did not play. What a trainwreck year.

The Giants are 3-8. If it is one thing I cannot stomach it is underachievement. Shurmur does not instill any confidence as an in-game manager. Pederson would have won with either team. It is not impossible for Shurmur to improve. Give up playcalling duties for starters so that you can have a better chance at managing the game. Maybe you won’t waste timeouts and will be able to make the adjustments that the team needs to be competitive.

Giant Musings From the Past

Guest post from Bruce R.:

Today, Monday, November 19, 2018, marks the 40th anniversary of The Miracle at the Meadowlands.  I was there.  While it was a catastrophic event at the time, in the long run it changed the New York Football Giants for the better.  For my sons, nephews, and Giants fans who were not alive then, here’s the larger story:

The next morning, the Giants fired offensive coordinator Bob Gibson who had called the play.  The next week, Morris (the old Jewish guy who sat behind us in Section 122 of Giants Stadium and came to the games with a blond in a fur coat) hired a plane to fly over the stadium with a banner that read “15 Years of Lousy Football.  We’ve Had Enough”.  Giants’ head coach John McVay got axed at the end of the season, only to go on to become the GM of the 49ers during their Super Bowl years.  His grandson Sean McVay now coaches the LA Rams 2.0. GM Andy Robustelli also got fired after the season.  After a power struggle between Wellington Mara and his nephew Tim (for whom a street is named in Jupiter, Florida) led to a stalemate in choosing a new GM, Commissioner Pete Rozelle suggested the name of George Young, a little-known Baltimore Colts executive.

 Young set about hiring a new coach.  Among the serious candidates were Stanford coach Bill Walsh, San Diego Chargers assistant coach Ray Perkins, Dallas Cowboys assistant coach Dan Reeves, Jets Offensive Coordinator John Idzik (whose son famously flopped as Jets General Manager), and Seahawks OC Jerry Rhome.  With two future Hall of Fame coaches in the mix, the Giants opted for Ray Perkins, who Young knew from his days with the Colts.  Perkins hired the Air Force Academy’s head coach, an unknown guy named Duane “Bill” Parcells, to be his linebacker coach.  Parcells quit before the season started.  After a year away from football, he returned as linebacker coach for the Patriots under Head Coach Ron Erhardt for the 1980 season.  Parcells then joined the Giants as defensive coordinator and linebacker coach.  After the 1981 season, Erhardt was fired by the Patriots.  Perkins hired him as offensive coordinator.  When Parcells became Giants’ head coach for the 1982 season, he kept Erhardt as offensive coordinator, a job Earhardt held through the first two Super Bowl wins.Perkins also hired a 27 year old special teams coach named Bill Belichick, who Young later passed over as Parcells’ successor, in favor of Ray Handley (for younger fans, think of Handley as an earlier version of Ben McAdoo).

There are several other interesting bits of trivia related to this event:

The guy who was supposed to carry the ball, Larry Csonka, had a stellar college career at Syracuse, where he played in the same backfield as wingback Tom Coughlin.   

The player who snapped the ball, Jim Clack, was acquiredalong with Ernie Pough from the Steelers for John “Holding, Number 74” Hicks, arguably the worst #1 pick in Giants’ history.  Hicks had been the 3rd pick in the 1974 draft.  In that draft, alone, the Steelers picked 4 Hall of Famers:  Mike Webster, Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, and John Stallworth.  Clack later pled guilty to a federal drug crime. Nevertheless, his uniform number (#56) has been retired by the Giants.  Speaking of uniform numbers, 41 years later, the Giants selected an offensive tackle high in the first round (Ereck Flowers) and assigned him # 74.  That didn’t work out, either.

The football gods repaid Herman Edwards, who picked up the fumble and ran for a touchdown, by making him head coach of the woeful New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs.  

Two guys futilely chased Edwards as he ran away from us toward the west end zone at Giants Stadium.  One was Doug Kotar (#44), who had first displayed his skill in the 1974 Jaycees Classic pre-season game at Palmer Stadium in Princeton (I was there).  The other was Gary Shirk (#87), a former World Football League player (tight end) who had attended Morehead State in Kentucky.  The Giants held the 7th pick in the 1979 NFL draft.  They hoped to pick Jack “The Throwin Samoan” Thompson from Washington State.  Sadly, he was taken by the Bengals with the 3rd pick.  The Giants were left to settle for Phil Simms from Morehead State.  Seventy-five picks later, the 49ers selected Joe Montana.  Also selected that year by the Cardinals was Jeff Rutledge from Alabama, who eventually became one of Simms’ backups for the Giants.

George Young famously said “Always hire a guy you know.”  In 1994, he hired Ernie Accorsi, who had overlapped with Young in Baltimore. Accorsi eventually succeeded Young as GM.  The Giants hired a guy he knew – Jerry Reese – as his successor.  After initial success, Reese took the Giants back to the future (that is, the 1970’s) through a parade of bad draft picks (see Ereck Flowers, above).

One last interesting tidbit.  The George Young Award is presented annually by The National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum the person, Jewish or non-Jewish, who “has best exemplified the high ideals that George Young displayed.