When assembling your roster it makes sense to build your team in a manner to match up with your division rivals For the New York Giants the main rival they have to worry about when reshaping their roster is the Philadelphia Eagles. First off the Eagles won the NFC East in 2017 and then won the Super Bowl with their backup quarterback. To make matters more perplexing for Giants fans the Eagles have been very aggressive in the trade market by acquiring Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett and cornerback Daryl Worley.
While the needs of Big Blue has not changed the urgency to upgrade the roster has. The glaring need for Big Blue the last several seasons has been the offensive line. Now with the addition of Bennett on the defensive front for the Eagles there needs to be a sense of urgency to improve the G-Mens offensive line.
One question that has not been thoroughly examined with Big Blue is what should the Giants do with pending free agents offensive guard Justin Pugh and center Weston Richburg. Both Pugh and Richburg have made Pro Bowl appearances with the Giants in their career and both missed significant time in 2017 due to injury. Both Pugh and Richburg have been the best for the Giants on what is perceived as a weak unit. The decision is in Dave Gettleman’s hands as does he want to bring back some pieces of the offensive line or totally rebuild the offensive line.
If both Pugh and Richburg are both let go the G-Men need to be more aggressive in free agency. The two prized pieces on the free agent market are guard Andrew Norwell and offensive tackle Nate Solder. While both Norwell and Solder can upgrade the offensive line both will have a hefty price tag along with hefty competition for both of their services. The ability to land either Norwell, Solder, or both will greatly influence the Giants draft strategy.
In a situation where the Giants already fixed their offensive line issues, it is extremely plausible if the Cleveland Browns pass on Saquon Barkley that the G-Men draft Barkley. On the other side of the spectrum if the offensive line still needs to be improved and Barkley is off the table it would be plausible for the Giants to trade out of the number 2 pick. The Giants could still address their primary need by trading down and get more assets that can build up the roster.
Now it is a long time till the 2018 NFL season starts but the decisions made now will determine how successful the Giants will be in 2018. If the offensive line is upgraded the Giants could stand toe-to-toe with the Eagles and other opponents. If the offensive line is not addressed a common image will be Eli Manning lying flat on his back after another sack.