Joe Judge, faced with an unprecedented and restrictive work environment, is trying to ensure that it will not be a mess for the Giants.
The first-year head coach, in a pandemic world of COVID-19, is immersed in his basement for 15 hours a day – with his six-year-old golden retriever, Abby, nearby on the couch. Scanning a film, conducting FaceTime interviews with prospects, engaging in virtual meetings with his coaching staff and the front office, Judge has a loyal companion by his side.
There is no evidence that the Abby Giants’ favorite player is Saquon Barkley, but there are many reasons to believe that she has access to inside information which will not be revealed until the night of April 23.
“Right now, she could probably tell you more about who we are going to take in the first round than anyone else,” the judge said Wednesday during a conference call from his home in North Attleborough, Mass.
There are many dog day afternoons lined up for the judge as he prepares for the Giants’ draft and 10 caps, including No. 4 general pick. He has a wife and four children ( two boys, two girls, aged 6 to 14) all living under the same roof. Instead of spending this year’s draft on the Giants’ premises, the judge will assist in the selection process without leaving his home – staying in constant communication with Director General Dave Gettleman and Chris Pettit, Director of University Scouting, while ensuring to keep the peace in his family.
“I told my kids that sometimes I would need it to get out of the basement or be there, depending on how we set up our dashboard so I could have a visual in my basement “said the judge. “I already told them about the possibility of removing the labels from the wall and organizing different things. I’m not looking to make it a vacation for anyone. We have a lot of serious work to do. But it’s still our home and as everyone in America finds out, everyone works with their ever-present family, and that’s pretty true for us. “
With choice # 4, the Giants will apparently follow two paths. They take either linebacker Isaiah Simmons, a all-around defensive player, or one of the highest rated tackles: Jedrick Wills (Alabama), Tristan Wirfs (Iowa) or Mekhi Becton (Louisville). An exchange of a few places to take one of the tackles is a preferable option.
On Wednesday, during a 24-minute conference call, the judge did not recite the name of a player in this project and, in accordance with his position since his hiring, also did not name any player on his list. The judge, however, gave an overview of how he views the decision in the first round and how he assesses the other players the Giants will take in subsequent rounds.
“I think when you look at players in the draft, first of all you are always looking for the best player available, and for me that means a long-term advantage,” said the judge. “If you think you are taking someone who is ready for the pro, what all these recruits discover the second they enter the building, none are ready for the pro. That’s why they need the bodybuilding program, that’s why they need a boot camp, that’s why they’re having increasing difficulties as rookies.
“There is really no short-term solution or dressing. You are not going to choose someone in this project and say,” We responded to a problem there. ” It’s just about bringing in the best guy available and working with him every day. ”
This reasoning suggests that the Giants will not be so desperate for a player to immediately start a straight tackle that they will overlook the player’s growth potential.
Simmons could be an impact player on any defense, but his position is often considered undesirable to take such a high place in the repechage – certainly not in the top four picks, where quarterbacks, precipitants and offensive tackles are considered premium values. The judge may not favor this way of thinking.
“The benefit is the biggest part,” he said. “In terms of, it’s someone who has to have a real home position, for me, the home position is going to be defined how you choose to use it.” And it’s really up to us as coaches, to be creative and to maximize their strengths and not to talk about what they are not, to understand what they can do for us and to help us to win. “