Outside linebacker Jihad Ward is the most intriguing addition so far.
John Schmeelk: Fiction – Here’s that word “intriguing” again. What does it mean exactly? Mark Glowinski is the signing I am most excited about, but I think we know what he will bring, given the extensive evidence of his play on tape. I’m going to go with Jon Feliciano because even though he is over 30 years old and has been in the league for seven years, he has only taken 307 snaps at center. That’s about five games’ worth. I’m intrigued to see him in that role full time and how well he plays as a blocker, but more importantly as a leader and someone that helps Daniel Jones set protections and organizes the entire front.
Dan Solomone: Fact – What we’ve seen in free agency is the obvious connection to coaches at their previous stops. It’s a two-way street, though. The players are drawn to the coaches as much as the other way around. Ward, who played under defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale in Baltimore, falls into that category.
“Wink is one of those coaches where basically he’s going to make me extend my career being the best that I can be,” Ward said. “Wink is one of the coaches that did a hell of a job with me when I was a Raven so I’m here now and ready to win some games.”
Let’s see what they can do for each other in Giants blue.
Matt Citak: Fiction – I am excited to see Ward back in Wink Martindale’s defense. The OLB spent the 2020 season with Martindale and the Ravens, where he matched his career-high of 3.0 sacks to go with four tackles for loss, eight QB hits and two pass breakups. But the most intriguing offseason addition so far has to be Jon Feliciano. Throughout his career, Feliciano has shown an ability to excel in both run and pass blocking, and now for the first time in his career, the veteran is expected to see extended action at the center. Feliciano spent the last three seasons with coach Brian Daboll and O-line coach Bobby Johnson, so both coaches know him quite well and have seen him thrive. I am interested to see how they bring the best out of the veteran lineman.
The Giants’ biggest position needs heading into the draft is tight end.
John Schmeelk: Fact – By the numbers, it has to be tight end. Ricky Seals-Jones is the only tight end on the roster with any significant NFL experience at a position where two or three players routinely get snaps every week in the NFL. The Giants probably don’t have to use one of their first four picks on a tight end given the depth of the class. Their second third-round pick or fourth-round pick should be a sweet spot to grab a top three player at the position. I still think finding a starting right tackle is a bigger overall need for the long-term success of the franchise.
Dan Salomone: Fiction – Even with the signings in free agency, the offensive line will remain the biggest need until it’s not. Joe Schoen believes in drafting, developing, and retaining. He hasn’t even gotten to the first part yet as general manager.
Matt Citak: Fiction – As the roster currently stands, the Giants certainly need to add a tight end at some point in the draft. But following the addition of Ricky Seals-Jones, the tight end position is a slightly less pressing need. While adding depth to the TE room will be one of the top priorities heading into the draft, there are other positions that present bigger needs. With Lorenzo Carter departing in free agency, the Giants have an opening at edge rusher opposite Azeez Ojulari. Additionally, the offensive line still needs more improvement, especially at right tackle considering Matt Peart tore his ACL late last season.