I always have the same reaction whenever something big and newsy takes place:
How does this affect me?
Following that way of thinking, let’s take a look at the first round of the draft from last night through the prism of what it means to the Giants. Obviously they made their pick, but many of the teams on their schedule made picks as well. So here’s a look at what kind of first-rounders the Giants will be facing in 2014 with a rundown of their schedule.
Week 1 at Lions
A lot of people thought tight end Eric Ebron would be heading to the Giants. Instead he’ll be facing them in his first regular-season game. Against an offense with a lot of weapons, finding a way to match up against Ebron will be one of the Giants’ biggest challenges. Do they go linebacker? Safety? If the Giants watched enough tape on him in the scouting process, perhaps they’ll have a better grasp of how to cover him.
Week 2 vs. Cardinals
Safety Deone Bucannon helps a secondary that also has second-year player Tyrann Mathieu back there. That’s some youth and inexperience but a lot of ability for the Giants receivers to wade through.
Week 3 vs. Texans
We may not find out who the starting quarterback for the Texans will be until later tonight, but we know that the Giants’ offensive line will have its hands full trying to block J.J. Watt and first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. Good luck to whoever the offensive tackles are at that point! They call Clowney a once-in-a generation player; the Giants are probably glad he’s in the AFC South and they won’t have top face him very often during that generation.
Week 4 @ Redskins
Week 15 vs. Redskins
No first-round pick for the Redskins, who traded it away in the Robert Griffin III deal two years ago.
Week 5 vs. Falcons
Offensive tackle Jake Matthews had the best bloodlines in the draft and he’ll be charged with protecting Matt Ryan from Jason Pierre-Paul, Robert Ayers, Damontre Moore and whoever else the Giants think can rush the quarterback.
Week 6 @ Eagles
Week 17 vs. Eagles
Another defensive end for the Giants to contain in Marcus Smith, the 26th overall pick. If they can get past Clowney, though, Smith should be a walk on the beach.
Week 7 @ Cowboys
Week 12 vs. Cowboys
I wonder what position the Cowboys will have Zack Martin playing on their offensive line. Had the Giants drafted him – and they likely would have if Odell Beckham Jr. were not available – he probably would have been a guard or even a center. Picking Martin would have made a lot of sense for the Giants. Now they get to see what they missed out on – or avoided – twice a year.
Week 9 vs. Colts
No first round pick thanks to their trade for Trent Richardson last season.
Week 10 @ Seahawks
The defending champs are good enough, they didn’t need to add any players in the first round and traded away their pick to a quarterback-hungry team.
Week 11 vs. 49ers
Another rookie safety for the Giants to face in Jimmie Ward, even though the big addition to the team during this draft seems to be the trade for WR Stevie Johnson from the Bills.
Week 13 @ Jaguars
The Giants get a first-hand look at the first quarterback taken in the draft, assuming Blake Bortles is still healthy and on the field by this point in the season.
Week 14 @ Titans
Another player the Giants were heavily linked to is tackle Taylor Lewan, taken one spot ahead of them. Would they have picked Lewan if he was available? Who knows. But Lewan will certainly get a chance to make his case against the Giants.
Week 15 @ Rams
DT Aaron Donald was in the mix for the Giants at 12 but they went with Beckham and the Rams grabbed him at 13. He’ll be a test for the inside pass protection of the Giants. The Rams also had an earlier pick in the first round and added tackle Greg Robinson. He’s been compared to Orlando Pace. By the time this game rolls around, we should have a better idea of whether that comparison is legitimate.