Good Saturday morning to you, and thanks for using the #nygmail hashtag with your New York Giants questions on Twitter this week. Here are some of them.
@DanGrazianoESPN: I mean, "automatically" is a tricky word here, because of course the offensive lineman they draft would have to play well. But assuming they draft a lineman with the No. 9 pick who is capable of starting right away in the NFL, then yes, it would upgrade the line. At this point, the projected offensive line includes John Jerry, who played alright at guard last season but is better suited to a backup role. If they can find a rookie who can play guard or right tackle right away and push Jerry to the bench, I would say they have definitely made the line that much better, yes. And I think guys like Brandon Scherff and Ereck Flowers fit that description.
@DanGrazianoESPN: Yes, I still think, in a perfect world, there would be a clear-cut option at pass-rusher for the Giants at No. 9. I think that's the premium position at which they need the most help, immediately and long-term, and if I were them I'd be trying to come out of the first round with a premium pass-rush talent. The issue is that too many of the pass-rushers who look likely to be available at their spot (Vic Beasley, Shane Ray, etc...) look more like 3-4 outside linebackers than 4-3 defensive ends. Bud Dupree could be an exception because of his size (6-foot-4, 270 pounds), and I would think they would consider him as an option, especially if there's an early run on the pass-rushers that moves him up the board. They got new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo a new weapon in Odell Beckham Jr. in last year's draft, and they would love to do the same this year for new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo if they could.
@DanGrazianoESPN: Because free agency isn't the right way to fill those needs. The Giants signed a ton of free agents last year mainly because the opened free agency with a lot of holes on their roster and they needed enough players to field a team. This year, they began free agency with, I believe, 70 players under contract. So they targeted a couple of specific areas -- linebacker, special teams -- where their numbers were getting a little bit thin and made their choices that way. The Giants believe a lot of the issues they had last year will be solved by the return of key players (Geoff Schwartz, Prince Amukamara, etc...) from injury and the continued development of young players like Damontre Moore, Weston Richburg and Nat Berhe as they potentially move into more significant roles. That's the way to build a roster in the NFL -- not to run out and slap together a big free-agent haul. The Giants are still recovering from a rotten run of five straight unproductive drafts (2008-12) and will need to exercise patience if they are to rebuild effectively. They understand that.
Thanks for all of your questions. More to come Sunday.