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New York Giants
HC: Ben McAdoo (Pat Shurmur)
DC: Steve Spagnuolo (James Bettcher)
Alignment: 4-3 (3-4)
Team Needs: LB, DE or OLB, CB
Upcoming UFAs: [/profiler]Jay Bromley[/profiler], Kerry Wynn, Keenan Robinson, Jonathan Casillas, Mark Herzlich, Kelvin Sheppard, Akeem Ayers, Devon Kennard, Ross Cockrell, Darryl Morris, Nat Berhe
Ben McAdoo was fired after a 2-10 start. That’s the “story.” I think it was the slicked-back hair and 70’s porn mustache. He just looked like he owned a van with something painted on the side, and I’m not talking about the name of a company painted on the side, I’m talking a dragon or a guy with a sword. DC Steve Spags took over as interim Head Coach. Having their DC call shots didn’t help whatsoever. The Giants rank 31st in yards allowed. Just a reminder, there are 32 teams in the National Football League. They ranked 27th in points allowed. They were pretty equally bad against the pass and run. This is a team with really legitimate talent on the defensive side of the ball. So these rankings are unacceptable.
Normally when a team hires an offensive-minded Head Coach, and it doesn’t work out, they go the other direction and replace him with a defensive-minded Head Coach. The Giants dipped back into the offensive well hiring Pat Shurmur. This allowed them to sign Cardinals DC James Bettcher. Bettcher runs a 3-4, so this defense is likely going through the dreaded 4-3 to 3-4 transition. Normally, everyone loses some value in this transition. But there are a few winners to be found.
Damon Harrison is one of the premier run-stoppers in the league. Harrison played 645 snaps. The 29-year-old put together 76 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Snacks spent his first 4 years of his career in a 3-4 as a Jet. 3-4 DTs play fewer snaps on average than 4-3 DTs so expect Snacks’ snap count to drop a little. His production as a Jet never matched his production in his 2 years as a Giant, so expect his tackles to drop a bit as well.
Dalvin Tomlinson was New York’s 2nd Round pick back in April. Tomlinson made his mark as a rookie playing 589 snaps. Tomlinson ended with 50 tackles and 1.0 sack. How many snaps he earns next season will depend on how well he adapts to a 3-4. Tomlinson played some 3-4 end at Alabama. It wouldn’t be a perfect fit for Tomlinson, but it’s the easiest way for Tomlinson to earn snaps next season.
Jay Bromley played 427 defensive snaps and ended with 21 tackles and 1.0 sack. Bromley is a former 3rd Rounder who will be a UFA when the offseason begins. Robert Thomas played 235 snaps over 15 games. The former UDFA ended with 16 tackles.
Most, if not all, of these guys, will be reclassified as LBs and instantly lose a good amount of value. Jason Pierre-Paul played 1,011 snaps which is insane for a 4-3 DE. Cameron Jordan is second regarding snaps at 990. Michael Bennett was the only other 4-3 DE over 900 snaps with 934. Last year Olivier Vernon played 1,040 snaps. The real story here is Spags running his stud DEs into the ground. If Spags signs on as a DC somewhere else, be willing to slightly overpay for his new DEs. JPP ended with 68 tackles and 8.5 sacks. That’s only 2 tackles short of Joey Bosa who led the league in tackles from the DE spot. But JPP’s sack total leaves a little to be desired. NJ.com thinks the 29-year old JPP, at 275 lbs, could play DE in Bettcher’s scheme. That remains to be seen. If JPP does play with his hand up, he and Vernon will still see plenty of snaps. Chandler Jones out-snapped every other 3-4 OLB by almost 100 snaps playing under Bettcher.
Vernon only played 701 snaps over 12 games. The 27-year old ended with 37 tackles and 6.5 sacks. At 260 lbs, Vernon is a near lock to be an OLB.
Former UDFA Kerry Wynn played 252 snaps over 15 games. Obviously, when JPP and Vernon are both healthy, there aren’t a lot of snaps for the other DEs. That said, Wynn was losing snaps as the season went on. He didn’t top 23% of snaps after their Week 8 bye. Wynn ended with 19 tackles and 1.0 sack. At 264 lbs, if he’s a Giant next year, Wynn will most likely be an OLB. Fifth Round rookie Avery Moss was on the field for 248 snaps over 11 games. Moss, who used to play across from Myles Garrett, ended with 14 tackles. UDFA sophomore Romeo Okwara has a solid rookie season. An injury cost him most of his sophomore campaign. Okwara played 82 snaps over 6 games and ended with 3 tackles. Okwara and Moss are both listed at 270 lbs. They’ve used Okwara on the inside at times in the past. One of these guys has an outside chance at starting at DE next season.
Let’s play a game. It’s called Find the Draft Capital. Admittedly, it’s a terrible game. The G-Men LB corps is a complete mess. Second Rounder Clint Sintim was the last LB the Giants drafted before the 4th Round… back in 2009. It was a simpler time back then. The world was in the midst of the Great Recession. The Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow beat out Lady Gaga’s Poker Face for the #1 song. Avatar and The Hangover came out in theaters. Of course, Sintim was a bust, so the Giants have been gunshy ever since. Since 2012, the Giants have drafted 2 LBs, BJ Goodson in the 4th Round and Devon Kennard in the 5th Round. Of course, Dave Gettleman is the GM now, the same Gettleman who drafted Luke Kuechly 9th overall and Shaq Thompson 25th overall.
Honestly, if you want to skip the next paragraph, do it. I’ll break BJ Goodson out at the end.
Devon Kennard led the LB in snaps 545 over 15 games. Kennard only topped 60% of snaps 3 times on the season as the 2-down SAM. The 26-year-old, former 5th rounder ended with 41 tackles and 4.0 sacks. Jonathan Casillas ended up with 457 snaps over 8 games. The former UDFA had 35 tackles at 30 years old. Kelvin Sheppard had 49 tackles and 2 picks while playing in 388 snaps over 7 games. The former 3rd Rounder is 30 years old. UDFA rookie Calvin Munson played 388 snaps over 14 games. Munson amassed 60 tackles and 2.0 sacks Keenan Robinson put together 32 tackles in 374 snaps in 7 games. Robinson is a former 4th Rounder. Former UDFA Curtis Grant played 109 snaps in 9 games. He was really a thing for a minute there. He played 90 of those snaps across 2 games when everyone else was injured (since not a single LB played all 16 games…). Grant ended with 18 tackles.
Everyone who drafted BJ Goodson was so right. Goodson was a 100% snap guy averaging double-digit tackles… for 1 game. Then he missed the next two. For the season, the 4th Round sophomore played 374 snaps over 7 games. His snap total ranks 5th among NY LBs. His 53 tackles rank 2nd though. Goodson has talent. It remains to be seen if staying healthy is part of that talent. And it’s a good bet Gettleman will bring in another LB in the draft.
Ross Cockrell ended up playing the most snaps at CB at 681. That obviously wasn’t the plan after spending a Top 10 draft pick on CB in 2016 and spending big money on a free agent CB. Cockrell played the most snaps whenever someone above him on the depth chart missed the game. The former Steeler ended with 50 tackles, and 3 picks among 11 PDs.
Eli Apple had a sophomore slump. The former 1st Rounder played 649 snaps in 11 games. 2016 wasn’t a great year to draft CBs in the 1st Round. Apple was taken 10th overall. Vernon Hargreaves III was taken 11th overall and got demoted before ending up on IR. In December, Landon Collins called Apple a “cancer” and said he “has to grow up.” I think Collins is mistaken though. Apple’s birthday is August 9, 1995, which would make him a Leo. Collins is a Capricorn, so it’s obvious why he doesn’t get along with Apple. Look for my series breaking down the zodiac signs of IDPs later this offseason. It will help you win your league. Apple ended with 49 tackles and 8 PDs.
Janoris Jenkins only played 618 snaps over 9 games. Jenkins missed games with injury and a team suspension. So that makes both starting CBs having missed games by being suspended by the team, which is great… The 29-year-old ended with 31 tackles, and 3 picks among 9 PDs. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the nickel CB all year. He played 607 snaps in 15 games ending with 48 tackles, 0.5 sack, and 1 PD. DRC turns 32 in April.
FS Darian Thompson played the most snaps of any Giant. The 3rd Round sophomore was on the field for 1,065 defensive snaps. Thompson ended with 75 tackles and 1 pick among 6 PDs, not bad numbers for a FS.
Landon Collins played 908 snaps over 15 games. Even though he was limited by injury for parts of the season, Collins still ended with 104 tackles and 2 picks among 6 PDs. Collins has hit triple-digit total tackles in each of his 3 seasons. Let’s talk for a minute about Collins’ role in Bettcher’s defense. The SS role in Arizona’s defense has been one of the most consistently productive positions in IDP. If you combine Tyvon Branch’s tackle numbers with Budda Baker‘s tackle numbers from the games he started after Branch went on IR, they amassed 128 total tackles. Reshad Jones led all safeties in tackles last year with 122. Collins has a chance to blow up next year. If he stays healthy, he’s a lock to lead all Safeties in tackles.
UDFA Sophomore Andrew Adams played 276 defensive snaps and ended with 34 tackles and 2 PDs.
Landon Collins – I’d be willing to slightly overpay to get Collins.
Olivier Vernon – This is the laziest of fantasy IDP analysis. Trade away the DE who is about to be reclassified as LB.
Damon Harrison – His snaps are sure to go down which will probably drop his production slightly.
BJ Goodson – I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gettleman make LB a priority this offseason. Goodson may become the sidekick come the end of April.
Romeo Okwara/Avery Moss – This is a short-term hold. If one of them ends up starting either at DE or OLB, they could have some value next year. If not, they’re both safe to drop.
Deep Dynasty Stashes
Andrew Adams – When Landon Collins missed Week 17, Adams played all but 1 snaps. The SS in Bettcher’s scheme is one of the few IDP who are worth handcuffing. If you have very deep rosters, stash Adams and plug him in if Collins goes down.
This defense was dreadful this season. Multiple starters getting suspended for violating team rules, feuds in the secondary and injuries galore. This defense is almost assured to be better next year as a group, but IDP value could be hard to find with the transition to a 3-4. Look for Gettleman to try and make his mark on this defense, which could include a surprising number of players coming and going.
Thanks for reading you can find me on Twitter @Ben_Glaser. Check out our other IDP team reviews below.
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