Giants Made The Most Costly Win of 2019

Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

You play to win the games, right? That's the famous phrase uttered by former New York Jets, and current Arizona State, head coach Herm Edwards. The point of football is to win the games. But if you're a New York Giants fan, part of you has to wish your team forgot that end goal last Sunday against the Washington Redskins.

At 3-11 going into Week 16, the Giants were in possession of the second-overall pick. For them, it was the best spot they could be in. They likely weren't going to be selecting a quarterback, so there was no need to fuss over not having the first-overall selection. Even one spot below the top selection, their biggest need is in their sights: Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young.

Week in and week out, Young has proven he is poised to be one of the next premier pass rushers in the NFL. His 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame allows him to win with both speed and power while not being a liability in either area. His hands and hip explosion are some of the best we have seen in college football. And his production of 21 tackles for loss and 16 1/2 sacks — all while missing two games to a really pointless suspension — prove just how dominant he can be.

The Giants still need help in other areas such as the offensive trenches, at linebacker and at cornerback, but when a team is picking that high and have a need at one of the cornerstone roster positions (quarterback, pass rusher or pass protector), that has to be the direction it goes.

Or at least, it should have and could have before last Sunday.

As quarterback Daniel Jones threw the short pass to his tight end Kaden Smith on third-and-goal to capture the overtime victory in Washington, it may have very well come at the cost of drafting the team’s dream player.

The Giants, now 4-11, are slotted in the No. 4 spot with one week to play, with the Cincinnati Bengals, Redskins and Detroit Lions currently ahead of them. Cincinnati isn't going anywhere after securing the first-overall pick. Washington plays the Dallas Cowboys next week, and with Dallas playing as poorly as they have been, there's a chance the Redskins could win but with the division still on the line for the Cowboys, I don't see it happening. The Lions are hosting the Green Bay Packers, a team still fighting for its playoff position, and as for the Giants? They will welcome the Philadelphia Eagles, who are playing with the division on the line.

It’s realistic to think Washington and Detroit both lose their matchups, meaning New York's win over Washington in overtime may have bumped the Giants out of the Young sweepstakes.

If they do miss out on Young, here are some other options if they are still picking in the top five.

A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

No Young? Seemingly no problem. There is another edge rusher in this class by the name of A.J. Epenesa.

People of Epenesa's size generally do not move the way he does. At 6-foot-7, 280 pounds, he is a lot to handle on the edge. Epenesa wasn't the star defensive end for Iowa last year but still racked up double-digit sacks. As the main defensive linemen on the team this season, Epenesa saw more double teams and chip blocks than he ever had in his life, yet still produced.

Epenesa isn't as explosive or as flashy as a player like Young, but he could still fill the Giants biggest need if they are set on going that direction.

Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

The Giants’ current offensive tackles are Nate Solder on the left side and Mike Remmers on the right. Solder will be 32 next season, and Remmers will be 31 — plus he isn’t even under contract beyond 2019.

With so much attention at the quarterback and pass rush positions in this draft, it just doesn’t feel like Andrew Thomas is getting the love he deserves. Thomas is so smooth with his strength. He has light feet but can anchor in an instant. He has the athleticism to block to the outside and redirection defensive to seal gaps. And he has the power to handle all kinds of bull rushes.

As a natural left tackle, if the Giants are looking for their OT of the future, Thomas can be that guy.

Trade Back

The Giants have a lot of needs they can fill on their roster. We already spoke on the possibility of drafting edge rusher or offensive tackle early, but truth be told the Giants could stand to upgrade at linebacker, safety, cornerback and even wide receiver — basically, anything that isn't QB or RB is on the table.

If they miss out on Young but still have a top-five pick, the price for their spot could be quite high, especially if someone like Tua Tagovailoa is still on the board. If most of the pass rushers, pass protectors and even quarterbacks are still available, the Giants could trade down to end up with multiple picks on Day 2.

At linebacker, players like Isaiah Simmons or Dylan Moses could be early options with Markus Bailey or Justin Strnad options later. For safety, Grant Delpit and Xavier McKinney could be on the table later in round one, and I'd keep my eyes on Antoine Winfield Jr.