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How Does Rams' Trade to No. 1 Affect Giants' Day 1 Draft Strategy

Published by Bleacher Report on Fri, 15 Apr 2016

Wasting little time since relocating from St. Louis to Los Angeles, the Rams sent shock waves throughout the NFL with their blockbuster trade to leap into the No. 1 draft slot overall, a spot previously held by the Tennessee Titans who received a boatload of picks as compensation.Just like that, scores of fresh mock drafts around the Internet went up in smoke as authors scrambled to re-work the mocks that many of them no doubt spent hours putting together.For New York Giants fans, the real question is whether this trade changes anything as far as Big Blues draft-day strategy.When general manager Jerry Reese addresses the media next week as part of his annual pre-draft press conference, chances are that hell deny that the trade has changed anything, and he will probably insist, as he does every year, that the team just wants to get good football players at the best available.The problem with the best available song and dance is that this Giants team has to hit a homerun with this draft class.Team co-owner John Mara, who famously and publicly put general manager Jerry Reese on notice at the end of last season, hasnt backed down from that stance, according to Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News."Every draft is important, but I would say this one more so than usual because we're picking so high, and because we're coming off of three-and-a-half losing years, Mara said.Simply put, the Giants dont have room for luxury picksnot if they want to turn things around this year.So what happens when they go on the clock and the best available is a quarterback (unlikely, but this is the draft, so you never know)' Would the Giantstake a quarterback at No. 10'Not if they want to win this year and certainly not if people in the personnel department want to keep their jobs. After all, what good would it do the Giants this year to draft a quarterback if there is an incomplete offensive line blocking for him'It would do no good. But lets get back to the question of how the big trade helps the Giants.Prior to the swap, the Titans, who already have a franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota, were projected by NFL.com draft analysts such as Charley Casserly, Bucky Brooks, Maurice Jones-Drew and Chad Reuter to snap up Ole Miss Rebels offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil.While those analysts havent (yet) updated their projections, the common thinking among those draft analysts who have updated their first-round mock drafts, including those on NFL.com and at NFL Draft Scout (at CBSSports.com) is that the Rams will jump all over North Dakota St. quarterback Carson Wentz.What this means as far as the Giants are concerned, then, is that instead of one quarterback projected to be drafted before New York goes on the clock at No. 10, there is a very good chance that if the Rams take Wentz and the Cleveland Browns take Cal quarterback Jared Goff at No. 2, then that leaves eight players at a variety of positions who could be Day 1 starters for the Giants.Two of those players include offensive tackles Laremy Tunsil and Ronnie Stanley, one of whom could potentially fall down to the Giants at No. 10 with either of them being worthy of a 10th-round pick.Lets try to project how the first 10 picks will go in this draft and why.No. 1. Los Angeles Rams: QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota StateA team doesnt give up a boatload of draft picks for just any position; it gives it up only for a franchise quarterback. While the Rams might not want to disclose who they have in mind now that they are on the clockper Sam Farmer of the LA Times, the Rams are reportedly trying to decide between Goff and Wentzbarring a sudden fit of insanity, its going to be a quarterback.No. 2. Cleveland Browns: QB Jared Goff, CaliforniaIf at first you dont succeed, try, try, try, tryah well, hopefully, you get where Im going with this.If you dont, then to be clear, Im referring to Browns Quarterback Factory of Sadness19 signal callers whom Eric Orvieto of Yahoo Sports summarized so brilliantly in the following GIF:While the Browns did ink Robert Griffin III (who in 2012 was at the center of the NFLs last blockbuster trade, which also involved the Rams), one gets the feeling it was just for insurance.No. 3. San Diego Chargers: OT Laremy Tunsil, Ole MissThe Chargers finished 21st last season after allowing 40 sacks. Tunsil, who per College Football Focus allowed just 15 backfield pressuresthree of which were sacks that came in 2014has the skill set to help cut down on that number.No. 4. Dallas Cowboys: DE Joey Bosa, Ohio StateSome might think CB/FS Jalen Ramsey of Florida State should go to the Cowboys here, but if Dallas prescribes to the theory that its all about the pass rush making the back end of the defense better, then Joey Bosa might be too difficult to pass up, especially given the failed Greg Hardy experiment and the four-game suspension Randy Gregory still has to serve.No. 5. JacksonvilleJaguars: OLB Myles Jack, UCLASorry Giants fans, but the chance of Myles Jack falling to the Giants at No. 10 doesn't look promising. Even if he should slide down to the Giants, for as much as they might be in need of an impact linebacker, this is a team that seems to believe in building from the inside out on both sides of the ball.No. 6. Baltimore Ravens: CB/S Jalen Ramsey, Florida State.If Jalen Ramsey somehow slips by Dallas, expect the Ravens, who finally grew tired of Will Hills unreliability, to snap up Ramsey to pair him with free-agent safety Eric Weddle for a much improved defensive secondary.No. 7. San Francisco 49ers: DE DeForest Buckner, Oregon.The 49ers will more than likely have to live with Colin Kaepernick another year thanks to the Rams-Titans trade and if both Wentz and Goff are off the board. If this is the case, then DeForest Buckner could give the 49ers some firepower off the edge.No. 8. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio StateCBS Sports Will Brinson reports that the Eagles are looking into trading up to the No. 2 spot, which if it does happen, then that should send a lot of mock-draft analysts reaching for their migraine medicine.If the price ends up being too high, then Ezekiel Elliott makes too much sense here given the failed experiment with DeMarco Murray, whom the Eagles would complement Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproleswith.No. 9. Tampa BayBuccaneers: DE/OLB Leonard Floyd, GeorgiaLeonard Floyd is linked to the Giants due to general manager Jerry Reeses presence at the Georgia pro day (this per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post). If Bosa and Buckner are off the board for the Bucs, who added former Giants defensive end Robert Ayers, Jr. via free agency, then Floyd could give them an extra cylinder in their pass-rushing arsenal.No. 10. New York Giants: OT Ronnie Stanley, Notre DameWith the Giants on the clock and tackles such as Ronnie Stanley and Jack Conklin (Michigan State) sitting there, New York can get themselves a Day 1 starter in Stanley to complete the offensive line.Think about this for a moment: The unit, which by the way hasnt enjoyed continuity since the 2010 season, is responsible for blocking for a 35-year old, immobile quarterback in Eli Manning as well as opening up holes for the running game. A player such as Stanley, if he falls down to 10 (which is now a possibility thanks to this trade), gives the Giants a player who can step in at right tackle from Day 1.If the worst should happen and current left tackle Ereck Flowers doesnt take a step up in his second season or gets hurt, then Stanley is versatile enough to swing over to the left side, making his potential selection excellent value while filling a critical need.What If the Trade Never Happened'Had the Rams and Titans not made their trade, many draft analysts believe that Tennessee would have taken an offensive tackle to help shore up the protection for Marcus Mariota, its franchise quarterback.Assuming Cleveland drafted a quarterback, the 49ers would have probably snapped up the other of Wentz and Goff, depending on which player was still on the board, a move that might have sent the Giants looking to fill a need on the defensive side of the ball such as Floyd or cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III of Florida.The Bottom LineHalf of the fun of the NFL Draft is playing the guessing game, a game that not even the teams can accurately pinpoint given the unexpected twists and turns the draft tends to take, especially in the first round.Regardless, given the state of the Giants franchise, best player available isnt simply going to be enough, not unless that best player available can somehow fill a pressing need that helps this team snap a four-year streak of no playoffs.PatriciaTrainacovers the Giants forInside Football, theJournal Inquirerand SportsXchange. All quotes and information were obtained firsthand, unless otherwise sourced. Advanced stats courtesy ofPro Football Focus.Follow me on Twitter@Patricia_Traina.
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