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As the process nears a conclusion it is hard to know what to believe
"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections New York Giants NewsGiants Training Camp 2016Giants vs. Eagles 2015 White Saquon Barkley Jerseys , Week 172019 NFL DraftSmokescreens and lies: NFL teams are trying to make sure we don’t know anythingNew,42commentsAs the process nears a conclusion it is hard to know what to believeEDTShareTweetShareShareSmokescreens and lies: NFL teams are trying to make sure we don’t know anythingThis is a very interesting few weeks of the year in the NFL. The first few waves of free agency have come and gone, but we still see a straggler free agent signing here and there. There will be another wave for currently unemployed veterans after the draft and going into training camp. Also more players will be getting released for salary cap reasons, particularly if that team added help at that position via the draft. A big thing also happening right now is draft visits. The list of names visiting each team is of public record. In many of these cases, NFL teams need to find out more information on a player. That very well could be medical on a player that is recovering from injury. It has been some time since the Combine and recovering players certainly should be further along now in their rehab. Speaking of the Combine, those visits with players often aren’t enough for teams to really get a feel for a young man. So, they bring the player into their building and spend the day together to see if he is a fit. The prospect can spend substantial time with the position coach as well as the coordinator. They will spend time on the white board as well as eating meals and just getting a better feel for the demeanor and makeup of the draftable player. Usually you can learn a thing or two by studying a team’s list of incoming visits. But, then again, this is the time of the year for lies and smokescreens, so don’t take those lists as gospel. Lies and smokescreensSpeaking of lies and smokescreens, as well as “Coach Speak,” the NFL lies to us all the time. The only true time when NFL teams tell you exactly what they think of their team and roster is in free agency and in the draft. It often takes a trained eye to “Read the tea leaves” and figure out exactly why these teams make the moves they make, but those two events are the only true time you can really trust what comes out of each building. Right now is a brutal time for reporters. Even their most trusted sources could be feeding reporters mistruths. And, frankly, even at this point, these teams don’t necessarily know yet whom they will be selecting. Their draft boards are not yet finalized and in some organizations, only a few decision makers have a strong idea of the direction a team will be going. Here is what is going on in these buildings, although it does differ some team to team. But the basics are as follows. Day after day, the scouts Saquon Barkley Jerseys 2019 , respective position coaches, coordinators, head coach, general manager and several others will build horizontal rankings per position. Although some team’s area scouts are just “Data Collectors,” usually the area scout presents each player first and those that did cross checks, including the position coach, read their reports on the player and give their insights with how he might fit in with the team. There of course are arguments and battles as well as overwhelming agreements, but when it is all said and done a ranking for each position is finalized in vertical rows. Again, we must remember that these are specific to what each team is looking for. This goes for team needs, scheme fits, character and much more. Then the top decision makers have to build their horizontal draft board. This is more difficult. By now, they know that they like Cornerback A more than Cornerback B, but do they prefer Cornerback B more so than Offensive Tackle F? This can be tricky, of course. Picture a spreadsheet with positional headings across the top row and lets put it in context with the Giants. It is widely known that this isn’t a great running back draft at the very top, although Joshua Jacobs is an excellent prospect nonetheless. So this is hypothetical of course, but New York very well could have Jacobs with a good grade and atop their running back column. But when looking to left and right of the running back column, there might be many names higher up on the board than Jacobs. Obviously, having Saquon Barkley has a lot to do with this, but even if New York adores Jacobs as a prospect White Phil Simms Jerseys , he doesn’t stack up well on their horizontal board against other top players at their positions. One other important note here is that NFL teams have far fewer names on their big boards than you might imagine. 150 names is actually a lot and some teams might slim down to just over 100. That might sound foolhardy, but it is a tried and true approach because again, these boards are just so team specific. In a nutshell, NFL buildings are on lockdown right now and what sneaks out is very hard to trust as their draft boards are still getting sorted out and are highly secretive. But what you can be assured of is that no stone is unturned. There is a lot going on behind the scenes and this is one of the very most important times of the year, even if the news cycle is slow. Matt Williamson is a former NFL and college scout. He has written for ESPN and is currently host of the Locked On NFL podcast. For nearly two weeks we have wondered how, and if, the New York Giants would rebound from their Thursday night loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. After what seemed like an eternity between games, we got our answer in yet another loss, this time against the Atlanta Falcons. Just watching the game revealed some good and entirely too much bad with the Giants. Let's take a closer look at the stats from the game and see what they have to tell us. OffenseQuarterbackMonday night’s loss to the Falcons was a mixed bag for Eli Manning. The Giants’ quarterback had one of his best games from a raw statistical point of view. He threw for 399 yards and a touchdown, completing 71 percent of his passes and a season-high 10.5 yards per attempt. Manning attacked every level of the Falcons’ defense, finally taking advantage of a poor secondary to employ their playmakers. However, Eli also missed some passes he probably should have connected on, and also made some poor decisions which cost the offense opportunities for points. All in all, Manning had his issues, but he also did about as much as he could to compensate for a nonexistent running game and bad pass protection.Offensive LineThe third version of the Giants’ offensive line — Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Spencer Pulley, John Greco, and Chad Wheeler —was hardly an improvement on the previous two combinations. Once again Phil Simms Jerseys 2019 , Manning was under duress all game long, adding four more sacks to his season total. He is on pace to be sacked 55 times this season, shattering his career-high of 39, set in 2013. As has become a theme this season, each of the Falcons best pass rushers got well within league-average of Eli on their pass rushes, per Next Gen StatsMeanwhile, the blocking for Saquon Barkley in the run game was nearly nonexistent.Skill Positions Speaking of Barkley, who was on the field for 59 of the Giants’ 64 snaps, the looks he received in the passing game weren’t any better than those he got in the run game. He was targeted the second most times with 10, but all of them were in the backfield on either swing passes or as check-downs. The Giants relied on Barkley for easy completions, but never actually set him up to do much of anything with them. Unfortunately, his streak of games with 100 or more scrimmage yards was broken, as he compiled 94 total yards. Given his extreme explosiveness in the open field, it simply doesn’t make sense that the team doesn’t let him run routes down the field, either from the backfield or from the slot or wide receiver positions. But while the Giants’ usage of Barkley is mystifying at best, they finally seemed to figure out how to use Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard. Beckham played 61 snaps (95 percent), while Shepard played 59 (92 percent). The two combined for 210 yards on 13 receptions ( 8 for 143 yards and a touchdown for Beckham, 5 for 167 yards for Shepard), an impressive enough box score. But more importantly was how they were used. Finally White Doug Kotar Jerseys , the Giants used Beckham and Shepard as the complimentary weapons they are and moved them around the offensive front and targeted them down the field. DefenseFront sevenThe Giants’ front seven had one of their best performances of the season against a porous Atlanta offensive line. The team had three sacks in the first quarter, and notched another 5 quarterback hits and 6 tackles for a loss over the course of the game. For the first time since their Week 3 win at Houston, the Giants consistently got closer than league-average to the quarterback. Olivier Vernon, who played an incredible 64 of 65 snaps — only Alec Ogletree played more — was the spark for the Giants’ defense early in the game. He routinely beat his man and set up his teammates for their own success. However, it was plain to see by the end of the game that he was gassed. He is a very well-conditioned athlete and has a non-stop motor, but playing every defensive snap but one is a lot to ask of a player in his second game back from a leg injury. Fellow starting EDGE player Kareem Martin played 34 snaps (54 percent), making three tackles and a tackle for a loss. Lorenzo Carter (24 snaps) and Kerry Wynn (22 snaps) rotated with Martin. Carter picked up a tackle, a tackle for a loss, a sack and a quarterback hit, while Wynn notched a tackle, a tackle for a loss, a sack, a quarterback hit, and a pass defensed.For the first time this season, B.J. Hill lead the defensive tackles in snaps, with 37 (57 percent). He didn’t record a sack, but the rookie tackle once again flashed his power, leverage, and technique with four tackles and a tackle for a loss.Dalvin Tomlinson was close behind Doug Kotar Jerseys 2019 , logging 32 defensive snaps (49 percent), and notching four tackles of his own. Damon Harrison brought up the rear for the starters, with 30 snaps (46 percent). Mario Edwards Jr. came up with a quarterback hit and a sack — wiped out by penalty — in his 23 defensive snaps.SecondarySafeties Landon Collins and Curtis Riley each played all of the Giants’ 65 defensive snaps, while Janoris Jenkins played 61, and the recently-traded Eli Apple played 58 snaps. B.W. Webb — who will now be the Giants’ starting corner in place of Apple — played 39 snaps, getting two tackles, as well as two tackles for a loss, a sack, and a quarterback hit.The play of the Giants’ secondary against the Falcons’ passing game is difficult to quantify. On one hand, they held Julio Jones to his lowest per-catch average of the season, but he still caught 9 passes for 104 yards. The problem for the Giants was that they simply did not have the defensive depth to match up with the Falcons’ passing game. James Bettcher found early success by having defensive backs blitz rather than try their hands in coverage, but Atlanta eventually countered by replacing the blitz with the ball. The defense did its job, holding the high-powered Falcons’ offense to just 23 points and giving the Giants’ offense a chance (which it squandered) to build an early lead. But once Atlanta adjusted, they did a fantastic job of finding the holes created by the Giants’ blitz packages and spreading the ball around. Ten different receivers caught passes from Matt Ryan, nine of whom caught at least two passes. All in all, the Giants’ defense had its work cut out for it against Atlanta’s potent offense. And while they were far from perfect, they did about as well as could be expected without the offense providing anything like a lead.