The New York Giants have been in rebuild mode over the past few seasons. Two years ago the Giants addressed getting a top playmaker in the NFL in Saquan Barkley, and last year they drafted Daniel Jones to be their quarterback of the future. The New York Giants have a ton of talent on the offensive side of the ball in Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and upstart rookie Darius Slaton. The defense has some young players who can continue to grow, however they lack that impact star. Today we will tell you what we feel will be the biggest needs for the New York Giants, and over the course of the next few weeks we will tell you what they should do to fill those needs.
- Defensive end/Edge – One of the most glaring aspects of this team is the lack of a true pass rusher. During their two Super Bowl runs, opposing teams were ravaged by the New York Giants pass rushers, and the Giants were able to get pressure with 4 man fronts. Michael Strahan, Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora were notable for getting after the quarterback every play. This season the Giants ranked 22nd in sacks with only 36, and struggled mightily to get any pressure on the quarterback. Even their best pass rusher Markus Golden only had a PFF grade of 63, which is only about an average grade. If the Giants are to improve, they will have to get a pass rusher or two to improve the overall defensive unit. Adding a star pass rusher to get pressure could help this team in the passing game where they ranked 27th in pass efficiency. Whether they do it in the draft or free agency, this should be their top concern.
- Offensive Tackle – The Giants need a lot of offensive line help, and more specifically at the tackle position. The New York Giants consistently struggled this year in both run blocking and pass protection. The Giants were stuffed on 20% of their runs, and running backs averaged less than 4 yards per carry. The New York Giants gave up 43 sacks on the year and had an adjusted sack rate of 7.1% per drop back. Notably, the New York Giants mostly struggled on the left, which is where they gave Nate Soldier a huge contract. If the Giants are to continue to grow on the offensive side of the ball, they will have to address that need quickly and with a player who can be reliable for years to come. We have seen quarterbacks struggle with injuries long-term if the line is not address, with most recently seeing Andrew Luck retire due to injuries. I would highly suggest the Giants look for a franchise tackle in the draft if they cannot find one in free agency.
- Cornerbacks – The New York Giants drafted cornerback Deandre Baker last offseason. Although the rookie played well, at times you could tell he was clearly playing like a rookie who needed growth. The Giants best coverage for the year, Janoris Jenkins, was cut during the season. Also, the Giants defensive pass efficiency was second to last in the NFL. This can be somewhat attributed to the lack of pass rush stated earlier, but also to the talent level and inexperience of this secondary. The New York Giants are going to have to address this at some point during the offseason. With Baker continuing to grow, they may want to try and invest in a veteran cornerback to try and build this secondary and help Baker reach his full potential.
- Deep Threat Wide Receiver – Now although this is not as pressing of a need, it is something the New York Giants could definitely consider. The Giants have a very good overall receiving core in Shepard, Tate, and Slayton, however none of these wide receivers have that elite big play potential that can be used to exploit defenses deep. Being able to stretch the field could benefit Daniel Jones in order to open up the field for his mid and long range passing. If the Giants are looking to try and build a more explosive receiving core, taking a stab at this very deep receiving draft could work in their favor in the mid to late rounds!
Ultimately the success for the New York Giants next year is going to come on the shoulders of Daniel Jones and rebuilding both sides of the lines. The Giants need to get back to being able to play tough football and getting after the quarterback on the defensive side of the ball. They will also need to find a franchise tackle in order to be able to protect their franchise quarterback. This unit may also want to address both wide receivers and cornerbacks in order to build a more rounded unit. If the Giants are to find success in these areas this offseason, look for this team to be a contender for the next few years in their division and the NFL.