5 Trades That Would Make Sense for the New York Giants

Dan GriffinContributor IIIMay 30, 2014

Sherrod could find starting time in New York.
Sherrod could find starting time in New York.Leon Halip/Getty Images

For most of the league, OTAs got underway this week, allowing teams to practice as a whole for the first time this season. It is also the first opportunity for coaches to see any holes in their roster. The New York Giants will be one of these teams looking to see if any further additions are needed. They still have some questions at certain positions that they could address via trade. There are a number of players out there the Giants could trade for to fill these holes and, for the most part, could probably get them without giving up too much on their end. 


Brandon Graham: Defensive End, Philadelphia

Graham was a first-round pick in the 2010 draft and was expected to pair up with perennial Pro Bowl pass-rusher Trent Cole. Unfortunately things haven't quite worked out that way, with issues ranging from cheesesteak-related weight gain to the inability to transition to the new 3-4 defense. He now finds himself on the trade block, per NFL.com, especially with the selection of outside linebacker Marcus Smith.


Why this makes sense

The Giants defensive end position is nowhere near as deep as it has been in recent years. Jason Pierre-Paul is entrenched on one side with Mathias Kiwanuka, Damontre Moore and Robert Ayers fighting for the other side. 

Kiwanuka has shown flashes for Big Blue but has yet to consistently deliver. Robert Ayers had pretty much the same story in Denver. Moore had a great year from a special teams standpoint but didn't see much action defensively. The Giants may want to bring in some more competition, and they do like taking on former first-round picks who flamed out with their previous teams (Aaron Curry, Keith Rivers and Ayers).

Graham did show promise towards the end of the 2012 season, compiling four sacks over the final five weeks, which means he could be on the cusp of breaking out if he can return to the 4-3 system. He is stuck behind Trent Cole and Connor Barwin on the depth chart, and Marcus Smith will likely get preferential treatment since he is naturally a 3-4 outside linebacker and a first-round pick. 


Factors preventing this trade

The primary factor for this is the Eagles would be unlikely to trade a promising young player to a divisional rival. As stated, Graham was starting to round into form prior to switching to the 3-4 defense. If they traded him to the Giants and he became a star, it would be a move they would never be able to swallow. 


Derrick Morgan: Defensive End, Tennessee

Morgan is in the same boat as Graham. He is a 4-3 defensive end lost in a 3-4 scheme. Morgan also came from the 2010 draft class but so far has not lived up to his first-round billing, amassing 16.5 sacks in four years (in other words, as many as JPP—who was drafted right before him—racked up in 2011). With the acquisition of Shaun Phillips in free agency, Morgan's time to prove himself as a pass-rusher may be up. 


Why this makes sense

As stated above, the Giants may want another younger, talented player to push for starting time on their defensive line. He has been more productive than Graham so far, so he would be a more logical choice to pursue. 


Factors preventing this trade

The Titans would likely be reluctant to part with Morgan. Even though he hasn't been as productive as they would have hoped, he is just hitting the prime of his career and is a solid player. Both Phillips and Kamerion Wimbley are on the wrong side of 30 so, if nothing else, Morgan brings youth to their pass rush.

Could Morgan team up with fellow 2010 draftee Jason Pierre-Paul?
Could Morgan team up with fellow 2010 draftee Jason Pierre-Paul?Mark Zaleski/Associated Press


LaMichael James: Running Back, San Francisco

James was drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft and was expected to be an electric change-of-pace back to complement Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. Things haven't quite gone that way so far in his career as he has played in only 14 games in two years. He now finds himself struggling for room on the depth chart with the drafting of Carlos Hyde in the second round and Marcus Lattimore recovered from his injury


Why this makes sense

The Giants running back issues were a big part of why they did so poorly on offense last year. Former first-round pick David Wilson is still recovering from his neck injury, leaving Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams as the two primary running backs.

Jennings and Williams are both power backs and really aren't threats as receivers out of the backfield. James could give the Giants a legitimate receiving threat, something they have been lacking since the days of Tiki Barber. 


Factors preventing this trade

San Francisco GM Trent Baalke has denied the reports that James is on the trade block. It would likely take an offer more than what Giants GM Jerry Reese would be willing to spend to get James, no matter how dynamic he can be. 


Luke Stocker: Tight End, Tampa Bay

Stocker was considered one of the best tight ends in the 2011 draft. He didn't have the best speed, but he was still a mismatch as a receiver. Despite the high praise leading into the draft, his impact in the NFL has been almost nonexistent, totaling just 28 receptions for 257 yards and one touchdown in 22 starts. Now he is stuck behind free-agent acquisition Brandon Myers and second-round pick Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the depth chart.


Why this makes sense

The Giants' tight end position is probably their weakest unit currently. The penciled-in starter is Adrien Robinson, who is a breakout candidate but has very limited NFL experience. Behind him is a stable of blocking tight ends, none of which are really known for their catching ability. 

Stocker is a big-bodied tight end at 6'5" and 253 pounds who can box out defenders quite easily. He would give the Giants another receiver option at the tight end spot to push Robinson. 


Factors preventing this trade

Jerry Reese has said on more than one occasion that he is happy with the tight ends they have, hence not using a draft pick on one. If he didn't use a draft pick on a tight end in the 2014 draft, I don't see him using a 2015 pick on one that will be 26 before the start of the season. 


Derek Sherrod: Offensive Tackle, Green Bay

Sherrod was the final first-round pick of the 2011 draft and was expected to pair with Bryan Bulaga to protect the edges for Aaron Rodgers. He has played sparingly thus far, appearing in only 12 games with no starts and missing the 2012 season entirely due to complications recovering from a broken leg. This is likely his last year in Green Bay as it chose not to pick up his fifth-year option


Why this makes sense

The Giants offensive line was in need of some work following a season where the New York City subway turnstiles would have provided Eli Manning with better blocking. They upgraded at the left guard and center positions, but one position that still may need help is the left tackle position. 

Incumbent Will Beatty suffered a broken leg in the final game of the season. Even prior to the injury, he was falling out of favor with the Giants considering he was rewarded with a big contract extension last year but was playing so poorly. 

Sherrod is currently the odd man out in Green Bay with Bulaga and Marshall Newhouse manning the bookends. Sherrod still has some life left in him and might just need a change of scenery to reach his full potential. He would come in and push Beatty for the starting job and could quite possibly beat him out for it. Not to mention the fact that new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo worked with him in Green Bay and knows that he could come in and fit the new offensive system.


Factors preventing this trade

If Jerry Reese was serious about giving Beatty some competition, he probably would have done so in the draft with Zack Martin available in the first round and Morgan Moses available in the second round. Reese will likely give Beatty one more season to prove himself. Instead, he just provided depth behind Beatty.

Out of all the trades listed, trading for Sherrod would be the most likely one to happen. Beatty is a question mark from both a health standpoint and a talent standpoint. His current backup, Charles Brown, graded out as one of the worst left tackles in the league last year, ranking 66 out of 76, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). As stated, Sherrod should have at least some familiarity with McAdoo's new system, giving him a leg up on his competition.

I don't actually expect Reese to make any of the trades listed here. Reese values draft picks very highly and doesn't give them up easily. Still, given the situation the Giants faced last year, and the fact the Jon Beason trade worked out so well, Reese may decide to break from his mold a little bit to get this team back to the Super Bowl.