Image courtesy of Clemson Athletics.

By: Robbie Stratakos

To say that the New York Giants and New York Jets have been disappointing this season would be an understatement: they have been complete catastrophes. A combined 0-10, they’re poised to be in the running to pick first in the 2021 NFL Draft, possibly to select star Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

With that said, selecting Lawrence in next year’s draft shouldn’t be the focus: improving while the 2020 season is still young should be the focus for these two reeling teams.

Once more, the Giants’ offensive line, which includes rookie tackle Andrew Thomas and first-year starter Nick Gates, has been unstable; their wide receiving and tight end core has struggled to create separation; Daniel Jones is having a discouraging second season under center; their secondary, as a whole, has been inconsistent.

The Jets’ freshly packed offensive line, headlined by rookie tackle Mekhi Becton, has struggled to run block and been shaky on passing downs; even when he has been given apt time to throw, Sam Darnold has been all over the place with his passes; the Jets have been unable to get a sustainable running game going; linebackers Jordan Jenkins and Neville Hewitt have been less impactful this season.

If the Giants don’t improve up front and their playmakers don’t turn a corner, how is Lawrence or any other rookie quarterback going to be successful? If the Jets don’t put together a well-rounded game on both sides of the ball and no position groups provide a glimmer of hope, what is Lawrence going to do for them early on?

Trevor Lawrence is decisive, has remarkable deep-ball accuracy, dissects defenses with ease, picks up yards with his legs and is perhaps the best quarterback prospect since Patrick Mahomes. At the same time, the lure of Lawrence can’t distract these two teams.

The Giants need their O-Line to build cohesion in the running game and their young edge players to generate a consistent rush off the edge. The Jets need their defense to get off the field on third down and their O-Line to improve. These are aspects of the game that can still be improved on.

Draft picks mean nothing unless you can develop young players; the Giants and Jets are the epitome of that notion.