A new decade has descended upon the NFL, and with it comes many changes.
For the New York Giants, the time has come to replace a two-time Super Bowl MVP, four-time Pro Bowler, and team leader in almost every statistic.
Eli Manning has exited stage left.
Second-year quarterback, Daniel Jones, had a respectable rookie season stat-wise. Record wise, 3-9, not so much. Jones threw 24 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions, a two to one TD to INT ratio, something Manning did only three times in his career.
3 Position Battles To Watch:
Left Tackle: Nate Solder vs. Andrew Thomas
The Giants brought in Nate Solder back in 2018, for four years $62 million. That’s a lot of money, but that’s what it costs to have a reliable tackle protecting a QB’s blindside. Except, Solder didn’t protect Jones much in 2019, allowing 11 sacks, tied for third-most in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. New York selected Andrew Thomas out of the University of Georgia with the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft. Thomas is expected to start at right tackle, look for him to quickly usurp Solder and vie for the left tackle gig.
Cornerback: Anybodies Guess
Janoris Jenkins tweeted his way into getting cut last season during week 15, just in time to find his way to the New Orleans Saints and a shot at the playoffs. Without him, free-agent signee, James Bradberry, a former second-round pick of General Manager Dave Gettleman back in Carolina, is slated to start the season as the number one corner. Behind Bradberry remains many questions. DeAndre Baker, a first-round pick in 2019, could quickly find himself jobless and without a team, after the New York Daily News reported, the CB reportedly paid off his alleged armed robbery victims to say he didn’t commit the crime.
If Baker is cut, and the Giants have cut a player for say/doing far less, the free-agent market looks to be their best candidate for a replacement. Former Jets CB, Trumaine Johnson remains unsigned, and with his value at an all-time low, now would be the perfect time for the Giants to swoop in and sign him. Another candidate is the man who picked off Tom Brady’s last ever pass as a New England Patriot: Logan Ryan. He’s reportedly seeking $10 million, something the Giants should quickly jump on and offer him.
RB3: Wayne Gallman vs. Jon Hilliman
Saquan Barkley is number one. Obviously. Former Patriots and Titans running back, Dion Lewis, who the Giants brought in this past offseason, worked under head coach Joe Judge back in New England. Lewis is a safe bet for the second back spot. Wayne Gallman, a former 2017 fourth-round pick of the Giants is the most experienced running back of the rest of the bunch.
Generally, “hold-over” draft picks who do not produce much, find themselves without a team very quickly. But with only Jon Hilliman behind him, who in Gallman’s absence last season recorded 3.0 yards per carry, look for Gallman to slot in as the third.
Ready To Breakout: Darius Slayton
Technically, wide receiver Darius Slayton broke out in his rookie year. The 2019 fifth-round pick, led New York with 740 yards receiving to go along with eight touchdowns in his rookie campaign. Ahead of Slayton are only Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate. After a productive rookie campaign, Slayton is poised to jump up the depth charts.
Rookie to watch: Darnay Holmes
Darnay Holmes, a fourth-round pick out of UCLA, is set to compete for the second corner spot with Baker in hot water. Holmes excelled at UCLA in the slot and nickel. Since New York has yet to figure out the Baker situation, the rookie might steal the show early.
Fantasy Sleeper: Evan Engram
According to Lineups.com, Evan Engram is the number nine ranked tight end in fantasy for the 2020 season. With no clear star at receiver, even with Slayton’s massive production, the 25-year-old tight end can quietly shoot up the fantasy boards. New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett loved using tight ends in Dallas, and he’ll make quick work of Engram.