I’m not sure what is going on in New York, and I'm not sure the Giants are either.
GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmer don't seem to have a coherent plan going forward for how they want to build their roster, and this could turn into a mess very quickly.
It all starts at quarterback, where Eli Manning returns despite having a down year last year. The team clearly has seen the signs that Manning is nearing the end of his career, as they went out and drafted Daniel Jones out of Duke with the 6th overall pick.
I have no idea what they were thinking with that pick, especially with guys like Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock still on the board, both of whom I think will be better than Jones. There are indications that the Giants will sit him for THREE YEARS behind Manning, which would be incredibly dumb and a complete waste of a first round pick. Maybe Jones will be good, maybe he won't. Either way, it's hard to justify spending the 6th pick in the draft on a guy like that.
At running back, the Giants are all set with Saquon Barkley. The only reason depth behind him matters is if he gets hurt. Barkley will basically be this team’s entire offense and might even sneak into the MVP debate if the team over performs.
The wideouts are a group that have seen better days. On paper, the duo of Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate is quite solid, but Shepard is dealing with injury and Tate is suspended for four games to start the season. They brought in Corey Coleman, who tore his ACL early on in camp.
The rest of the options behind those guys are lackluster to say the least. The team will rely on some combo of Cody Latimer, Darius Slayton, and Bennie Fowler to start the season, which is not a group that instills a lot of confidence. If only they had a young All-Pro wide receiver who could help develop their young QB.
At tight end, Evan Engram is a solid option as a receiver and will likely be the team’s number one option early in the season.
Offensive line is the one place the Giants might have actually improved in the offseason. Trading the bloated Olivier Vernon contract for Kevin Zeitler was a strong move, and signing tackle Mike Remmers was another solid move. If Nate Solder can regain his New England form and Will Hernandez takes the next step in year two, this unit could be pretty good.
The defense has questions of its own.
The defensive line is made up of a lot of very young players, but it's a versatile group and has potential to be pretty good this year. One of the team’s other first round picks, Dexter Lawrence, is going to be a good player, and he has shown an ability to play anywhere on the line so far in training camp. Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill are also decent players up front, but behind these three it gets thin very quickly.
The linebacking unit is average at best. Alec Ogletree is a good player who is inconsistent at times but overall an above average linebacker. Behind him, the team has absolutely nothing. B.J. Goodson and Tae Davis are the best two options behind him, which is not inspiring.
The secondary will be the strongest unit on this defense, but even that group has its own problems. At safety the team brought in Antoine Bethea and Jabrill Peppers, who was part of the OBJ trade. They lost Landon Collins, who is better than both of the players the Giants brought in, but the grouping of Bethea and Peppers will still be solid.
At corner, Janoris Jenkins will look to bounce back to his Pro Bowl form, and behind them the team has some promising rookies. DeAndre Baker, the team's third and final first round pick this year, and Julian Love are both solid options. Last year’s supplemental draft pick Sam Beal, who missed the entire 2018 season, will look to make his presence felt. This is the one unit where it feels like the Giants have done an above average job of acquiring talent.
Offseason Grade: D+ | Predicted NFC East Finish: 4
The Giants are going to stink. Saquon is going to be a beast, and the secondary will keep them in some games, but they are not going to scare anyone in this division or even sniff a Wild Card spot.
While they made some very strong draft picks, the selection of Jones at 6 is still one I can't wrap my head around. The Odell trade was one of the dumber moves a team has ever made, and they failed to address the pass rushing gap left by Vernon. At least they finally made marginal improvements to the offensive line! The only team the Giants will be competing with is the Dolphins for the number one pick in next year’s draft.
Graduate of Loyola Maryland and die hard Boston sports fan. "I rub it in pretty good when I win" - Tom Brady