The New York Giants are under new management. Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo took taxis out of town and have been replaced by Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur. New York is fresh off a horrendous 3-13 season but it’s not hard to figure out why considering Ben McAdoo was essentially a parrot. New York also seems like they had a really nice draft and maybe there’s some optimism around the franchise that they can return to the playoffs. Can Pat Shurmur recapture the magic he had in Minnesota with the Giants? What should we look out for when the New York Giants open up training camp this season?
3 Position Battles To Watch:
1. Quarterback: Eli Manning, Davis Webb, Kyle Lauletta
I have news for you, Eli Manning is washed up. There is no question that he flat out can’t play anymore. It’s over. Eli Manning doesn’t have the requisite skill set to get the job done anymore. The Giants went 3-13 a year ago and a lot of that had to do with an aging Eli Manning. If the Giants have any prayer to make noise in the NFC East, Davis Webb has to win the job. For those who have read my posts for a while, I’m a huge fan of Webb. Lauletta will probably factor into the equation somehow after getting drafted in the fourth round.
2. Cornerback: William Gay, Eli Apple, B.W. Webb
Janoris Jenkins gives New York a solid number one corner option but there are too many questions beyond him. Not to mention the fact that Jenkins’ character is sketchy in his own right. Eli Apple basically shut down last year and frankly didn’t play well when he was on the field. Can a new coaching staff get him going? William Gay and BW Webb are slot guys but there still is a lack of depth on the roster.
3. Outside Linebacker: Lorenzo Carter, Avery Moss, Romeo Okwara
Lorenzo Carter is a world class athlete but it hasn’t always translated onto the football field. When I watched Carter against Notre Dame, he looked like a first-round pick. Other times he looked virtually invisible. We know what we’re going to get out of Olivier Vernon but Carter’s ability in his rookie year will define this pass rush.
Ready To Breakout: Alec Ogletree
One of the more confusing moves by the Rams offseason included their decision to trade Alec Ogletree. This is a good football player. LA now no middle linebacker and no edge rusher. The Giants now get a leader for their defense. Something that they really haven’t had since Antonio Pierce. Ogletree has good speed and coverage skills to clean up the middle of this defense. Two years ago, Ogletree racked up 136 tackles and now he’s sort of been forgotten about for no reason. Look for Ogletree to put his stamp back on the league.
Rookie To Watch: Will Hernandez
If the Giants are going to improve this year, the offensive line might be the most important building block moving forward. Eli Manning is done but even if he does start, he’s really nothing more than a statue. Also, add in the fact that this team just drafted a running back with the second pick in the draft. I’m not too fond of Nate Solder at the left tackle spot. Will Hernandez is going to be the x-factor of this offensive line. Can he pave the way for Saquon Barkley to succeed? If anything, Hernandez does have some nasty to his game.
Fantasy Sleeper: Sterling Shepard
The Giants quietly have some weapons. Odell Beckham returns from injury and Evan Engram showed he might be a darn good tight end. Sterling Shepard is the guy that needs to win those one on one battles. Shepard is a quality number two receiver but if he takes the leap, he could be a legit fantasy starter. 8 touchdowns in year one compared to just 2 this past year is a bit confusing. Some of that probably has to deal with quarterback play.