Giants' Rooting Guide for 2021 NFL Draft Implications of Week 14

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2021

Giants' Rooting Guide for 2021 NFL Draft Implications of Week 14

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    Adam Hunger/Associated Press

    Just one week after scoring a 13-7 win over a division rival, the New York Giants crashed back to earth with a 20-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 13.

    It was another depressing performance from an offense that has averaged 10.6 points per game over the past three weeks. It also pretty much shut the door on any hope of a miraculous run to a playoff berth.

    There is a silver lining to all of the sadness, though. The Giants are once again going to be in a position to build through the draft. Thanks to trading the pick that sent Justin Fields to Chicago, the Giants have an additional first-round selection.

    With the potential for a more healthy Saquon Barkley in 2022, Kadarius Toney experiencing success when healthy and Azeez Ojulari having a promising rookie campaign, there are reasons to believe the team will get better.

    Until then, fans can only hope their two first-round picks continue to climb up the draft board. Here are the results that would help make that happen.

Jets over Saints

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    The Giants don't have to look far to identify one of their main rivals for draft position. The Giants are in possession of the sixth and seventh picks, while the New York Jets have the fourth and fifth selections.

    The 5-7 Saints aren't too far behind the Giants with the 11th pick. But if and when running back Alvin Kamara gets healthy, there are going to be more opportunities for the Saints to pick up a win than the Jets.

    On Sunday, the Giants are going to have to root for their intercity rival, as this and a home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars represent their best chance for a win.

    The Jets have gone 1-4 in their past five games with the lone win coming against the Houston Texans.

    If there's any sign of hope for the Jets it should be the play of Taysom Hill last time out. The quarterback is obviously a threat on the ground, but his passing took away any chance the Saints had of upsetting the Dallas Cowboys given he threw four picks.

    If Robert Saleh's defense can cause some turnovers, things could get weird and the Jets could open the path for the Giants to get a top-five pick.

Seahawks over Texans

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    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    At first glance, it doesn't make sense to root for the Houston Texans to lose. After all, they are in line for the third pick at 2-10. Another loss would all but guarantee they wind up in the top three.

    But the Giants catching a team as bad as the Texans isn't in play. It's likely Joe Judge's team will still pick up another win or two before the season ends. The same can't be said for Houston.

    The ineptitude of the Texans helps out the Giants in this case, though. The Jets own the rights to the Seahawks' first-rounder, and it sits at No. 5, just ahead of the Chicago pick New York owns.

    Moving past the Seahawks pick is a much more realistic scenario, and Sunday could make it happen. Seattle has been a bit of a mess this season, but it is coming off a win over the San Francisco 49ers, who are in the playoff hunt.

    For a club that could have little motivation to keep fighting, that's a good sign. With Detroit and Chicago still on the schedule, the Seahawks could add three wins before season's end. If they lose to the Texans, losing out is on the table.

Panthers over Falcons

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    Both the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are lurking behind the Giants at just one game off their 4-8 record. They respectively sit at eighth and ninth on the board.

    Either way, one team will remain on the same draft pick track, and the other will see their pick slide down the board. So whom the Giants should be rooting for comes down to what the rest of the schedule looks like.

    That's where the difference is. According to Tankathon's remaining schedule rankings, there's a stark difference between what the Panthers have left on the slate and the teams the Falcons will see the rest of the way.

    The Panthers still have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice and the Buffalo Bills, giving them the third-toughest remaining schedule. Meanwhile, the Falcons will see the Bills as well but still have the Lions, Bears and Vikings and the 30th-ranked schedule.