In the blink of an eye the Giants are suddenly closer to the start of free agency than to the final game of their forgettable 2017 season. And that means critical decisions face new GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur leading up to the NFL Draft in late April, where the Giants hold the No. 2 overall pick. A 3-13 record is proof the Giants have plenty of holes on their roster. So Gettleman’s challenge is to turn them back into a winner quickly with a combination of worthy players still in the building, NFL free agents that hit the market on March 14, and college prospects available on April 26. Here are the top five needs the GM must address in these next few months, then, to get the franchise back on track. 1. FORTIFY THE OFFENSIVE LINE Gettleman said it best the day he was hired: “We’ve got to fix the O-line, let’s be honest. Let’s not kid each other.” The offensive line has been an unresolved priority for years, and it’s doubly important with an aging and immobile Eli Manning, 37, back as the starting QB. That means reevaluating the entire unit but most importantly left tackle. Incumbent Ereck Flowers, with his $2.3 million fourth-year salary guaranteed, might stay on the roster but can’t protect Manning’s blind side anymore. Second-year undrafted free agent Chad Wheeler looked promising at the end of his rookie year, but winning now likely means making a major investment here. Seven-year Patriot Nate Solder, 29, a 6-foot-8 tower, is the top pending unrestricted free agent left tackle, or Gettleman might be able to get a promising tackle in the draft’s early second round, or late first via trade, such as Oklahoma’s Orlando Brown, Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey and Texas’ Connor Williams. Flowers could shift to right tackle — vacated by Hart’s release — or be a backup swing tackle.
5 priorities for Giants in free agency and NFL draft
New York Daily News | Feb 18