When I try to forecast how the Giants will draft in the first round, I look at two things.
First, I look at the existing depth under contract—who’s coming off a down year and who’s coming off a major injury.
Then I look at what free agents were signed—do the Giants now have someone who, if he had to, could carry the load for more than just a game or two if a starter goes down?
So that brings me to the Giants’ offensive tackle situation, which outside of Justin Pugh is, if I'm being totally honest, unsettling to me.
We all know about Will Beatty and how he’s coming off a poor campaign that ended in a broken leg suffered in the last regular-season game.
Although there is no reason right now to think that Beatty won’t be ready for Week 1, if the extent of his injury is as bad as it looked when it happened, I think there has to be some question as to how much, if any work he will be able to do this spring to learn the new offense.
Now let’s look at the two veteran free-agent tackles brought in to provide depth, John Jerry and Charles Brown.
Jerry was one of the alleged participants named by the Wells Report that investigated allegations of workplace harassment in the Miami Dolphins organization.
The Giants apparently are comfortable with what Jerry had to say during their interview prior to his signing, as they took the unprecedented step in e-mailing a statement from Jerry Reese to all of the beat writers stating how they "were satisfied with the answers we got about John as a player and person."
The question though is what, if any, repercussions will Jerry have face as a result of his alleged involvement in the Dolphin’s workplace scandal?
Head coach Tom Coughlin, speaking to Bob Glauber of Newsday at last month's owners meetings, said he believed that “there is no suspension in the air or anything of that nature.”
However, Lindsay H. Jones of USA TODAY reported that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell insisted that Jerry, along with Dolphins center Mike Pouncey and guard Richie Incognito, “will be subject to medical evaluations before being subject to potential discipline.”
What that “medical evaluation” will consist of and when it will take place remains to be seen. With time running down on the offseason—the Giants begin Phase 1 of their offseason conditioning program on Monday, April 21—Jerry could be looking at having to be away from the team depending on how and when the medical evaluation is handled.
Charles Brown? After starting the first 14 games at left tackle for the New Orleans Saints, he was replaced—and with good reason.
Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Brown graded out with an alarming -13.6 as a pass-blocker after allowing 7.0 sacks, nine quarterback hits and 33 pressures last season.
Based on what we know about the Giants' tackle situation, it would be very difficult to disqualify making a case to draft an offensive tackle this year in the first round.
The question is who do they go with?
Let's start with Taylor Lewan (6’7”, 309 pounds) of Michigan, whom NFL Draft Scout has ranked as the third-best offensive tackle in this draft behind Greg Robinson of Auburn and Jake Matthews of Texas A&M.
Unless teams are scared away by the fact that Lewan is facing three assault charges (as per Kyle Feldscher of Mlive.com), Lewan might not fall to the Giants at No. 12.
If the Giants really want Lewan, chances are pretty good that they’re going to have to trade up to get him.
If he is on the board at No. 9, it would not be shocking to see the Giants look to jump up by offering their first-round pick and either their fourth (113th overall) or their original fifth-round pick (152nd overall) to resolve what's a glaring need.
Draft Possibility: High