Drafting the “best available player” is a saying that can sometimes trigger fans. I think it is often a misconception that teams should strictly draft for need in the NFL draft. I’ve always believed that doesn’t make sense. Just because you need a tackle per say doesn’t mean that you should draft a tackle when you think there are 10-15 guys better than him at different positions. With that being said, positional need is obviously a part of who you draft. It’s a safe bet the Giants aren’t going to draft a tackle or a Quarterback in the first round. I am far from a draft expert, but what I always want the Giants to do is draft the best available player based on positional need. I think the Giants used free agency to allow themselves to do that.
The Giants went into free agency with a number of wholes they had to fill. Those included Wide Receiver, Cornerback, Interior O-line, Linebacker, D-Tackle, and Safety. The Giants, in one way or the other, addressed those positions. The Giants added a number of receivers, but also added a Tight End in Darren Waller who will be Daniel Jones’s defacto number 1 receiver. The Giants added Amani Oruwariye to their cornerback room. The Giants lost Nick Gates and Jon Feliciano, but recently added J.C. Hassenauer to add to their O-line group who will battle for the starting center position. Their biggest free agency signing was Bobby Okereke who will be their new Mike linebacker. They added Rakeem “Nacho” Nunez-Roches as depth to their defensive line. The Giants added former Washington Commander Bobby McCain to a safety group including Dane Belton and Jason Pinnock who will battle to start next to Xavier McKinney. A lot of these players don’t necessarily make anyone feel comfortable, but they were all addressed. If the season started today, the Giants would have serviceable players at every position and be able to compete. Now, there’s a reason the draft is a thing, and that is to add players that are a lot better than, “serviceable.”
Like I said earlier, positional need still matters when drafting players. I think a beautiful thing happens when positional need meets best available player. It felt like that happened last year when the Giants were able to draft Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal. Those players were both top 5 picks heading into the draft and it addressed the Giants 2 biggest needs. As it stands right now, it feels like the biggest need the Giants still have is cornerback, interior lineman/center, and wide receiver. If I had to bet, this would be one of the positions the Giant draft, especially cornerback as all the draft experts have said this position is one of the deepest. With that being said, the Giants have hopefully put themselves in a position where once again positional need will meet best available player.
Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll are going into their 2nd NFL Draft. I think I speak for most fans when I say I am much more comfortable with these 2 running the show rather than the previous regime. Whoever the Giants draft, I think Schoen and Daboll have earned the right for us to wait and see what happens.
What they already have accomplished is that they have allowed themselves to truly draft the “best available player.”
(Photo: Aaron M. Sprecher via AP)