LAST year the giants finished an ugly 4 – 13, and dead last in the NFC East. As a result, EVERYBODY was fired. The General Manager, the Head Coach, Gus the shoe shine guy… Everybody. The giants owner needed to find the right men to lead his organization. So he journeyed from New York, alllll the way to Buffalo and signed, it doesn’t matter. If the players are trash, the team won’t win. But are they still trash, or has there been improvement?
In any case, this is where the giants roster stands just 16 days before the 2022 NFL Draft:
QB: Let’s start with Daniel “Danny Dimes” Jones (4 – 7, 64.3%, 10/7). First the good news. Last season he threw just 7 interceptions, and his interceptions have gone from 11, to 10, to just 7 during his three year career. His fumbles have also gone down. From 19, to 10, to 7. He was third on the team in rushing yards (298), and tied for the lead in rushing touchdowns (2).
Now the bad news. His passing touchdowns have gone from 24, to 12, to 10. The team was 4 – 7 with him as the starter, marking a third straight year of being nowhere near .500 with him. He’s 12 – 25 as a starter. You know. On account of him being trash.
So the giants had to bring in somebody. Enter Tyrod Taylor (2 – 4, 60.7%, 5/5). Great move! Right away he’s the giants best player at this position. Yet he’s going to be their back-up, because starting him Week One, would be too much like making sense. If this team had a starter, they’d have excellent depth. (-)
RB: Coming back from his ACL injury, Saquon Barkley (593/3.7/2) led the team in rushing. Well he tired for the lead. Sorry, did I say tired instead of tied? I must have been thinking about the way Barkley looked in that game. Which game? Pick one. While I wouldn’t say that he’s washed up, he clearly doesn’t care about being a giant anymore.
Devontae Booker (593/4.1/2) had just as many rushing yards, and they released him. Which is hilarious. Both Booker and Barkley ran for 593 and 2 scores, but only only one them kept a job. They did add Matt Breida (125/4.8/1), who has demonstrated explosive speed in the past, but not really in the last two years. Their next most experienced player here is Gary Brightwell. He has 1 rush for 4 yards, and 8 career tackles. (-)
WR: Kenny Golladay (37/521/14.1/0) escaped Detroit, only to sign with a worse team.
He started 14 games, had a team-high 521 yards, and for the first time in his career, scored 0 touchdowns. Rookie Kadarius Toney (39/420/10.8/0) also scored zee-ro touchdowns. He also was in and out of the line-up, being inactive or just not playing for seven games.
Sterling Shepard (36/366/10.2/1) played just 7 games, intermittently throughout last season. He also took a pay cut in March to stay with the giants. Darius Slayton (26/339/13.0/2) spent two years looking like a solid #2, then absolutely cratered in 2021. Part of it can be attributed to the giants new look at the position, but part of it was Slayton just not converting opportunities (44.8% catch rate).
Robert Foster had a great 2018 season. Since then he’s been on five practice squads, including Washington (cut), and Dallas (cut). Now he’s in New York, and Philadelphia is waiting for it’s turn to cut him. Is there talent here? Yes. Is there enough talent to offset the deeper issues with this offense? No. Not remotely. (-)
TE: Ricky Seals-Jones totaled 90 catches, 1044 yards, and 10 scores. That wasn’t his 2021 season. That was his entire six year career. He’s on his fifth team in five years. He has all of fifteen career starts, and he’s a guy that the giants prioritized early in free agency? Either their front office is high, or I am. They have back-ups, but I’m not even wasting the keystrokes. (-)
OT: Andrew Thomas has been up and down during his two years in the league, but he’s more recently been up. Unfortunately, for a second consecutive year he’s needed surgery on his left ankle. Matt Peart is returning from an ACL tear that put him on I.R. He will be the starting RT, despite having never been a regular starter before.
Depth looks like well-traveled, career bench-warmer Korey Cunningham, as well as Matt Gono who warmed a bench for two years, then was out of football since 2020. This is the depth here and that’s it. No, I’m serious. This is all there is. This is everything they have here. (-)
G: New addition Mark Glowinski helped pave the way for the Colts run game for the last three years. Indy’s loss is the giants… gain? Shane Lemieux was the 2021 starter at LG, but he was lost for the year in Week One. He’ll likely reprise that role. Jamil Douglas and Ben Bredeson will keep the bench nice and toasty. (-)
C: Nick Gates was lost for year in Week Two. Gates himself said earlier this year, that he has no idea when he’ll be back. That, is likely why free agent John Feliciano was added. Though he’s been a G for seven seasons, there is talk of him moving to the pivot for New Yawk. It’s a plan that already reeks of desperation, and we haven’t even hit OTA’s yet. (-)
In A Nutshell: The new GM entered the building hitting walls with a sledghammer. Folks, this is what a rebuild looks like! Better yet, this is what a total teardown looks like. All of it. Just ripping it out. Quarterback, receivers, line, the hotdog vendor. Just all of it. So yeah, giants gon’ suck for a while. (-)
DE: Leonard Williams had 11.5 sacks in 2020, but came back down to Earth with 6.5 in 2021. In fairness he also plays the run pretty damned well. Sacks aren’t everything, but for an “Edge” player, it’s almost everything. It’s the reason Oshane Ximines was a third round pick in 2019. He had 4.5 sacks that year and not one since. He’s spent most of the last two years either on I.R. or being inactive.
Trent Harris has played fewer downs for the giants with every passing year. Enter Raymond Johnson, stage left. Maybe he steps into the vacated by free agent Lorenzo Carter. Playing a false 3 – 4 front, with nebulous designations is hurting the giants on the field, and likely keeping away defensive line free agents who could help them. (-)
(CORRECTION: The Washington QB is not named Bud Weiser. It’s Taylor Heiniken. Heinicke! Taylor Heinicke. Taylor?? Who names a boy “Taylor”?)
DT: Losing Austin Johnson was seismic. However, adding Justin Ellis was literally massive. Dexter Lawrence has been 3 sacks, 50 tackles, and 10 QB hits per year. Paired with a space eater like Ellis, that interior is going to make like hard on average run games. David Moa rounds out the depth at this position. (+)
OLB: Azeez Ojulari had 13 starts and led the team with 8 sacks, but produced just 49 tackles. Quincy Roche offers a pass rush option, to give Ojulari a breather here and there. Oshane Ximines (Edge) I suppose also fits here.
The problem here is, that the pass rushers are pass rushers only. They also have a handful of tweener players who really don’t excel in space. So they’re less like linebacker depth, and more like extra ends who can’t shed blocks. (-)
ILB: Blake Martinez is the genuine article. That said, he’s coming off of an ACL tear that cost him practically all of last year. Rookie Tae Crowder started every game, and racked up 130 stops, but he doesn’t seem like much of play-maker. Especially given that he played every defensive snap from Week Four until he cleaned out his locker. There is no depth. (-)
S: Xavier McKinney had 5 picks in his first year as a full-time starter. Julian Love is a part-timer here. This is it. The giants roster list only two players at this position and no one with a “DB” designation. That means any help/depth will be either rookie(s) or free agents found after the Draft. This team will probably lead the NFL in big plays surrendered. (-)
CB: James Bradberry gave up almost 300 more passing yards than in 2020. He was also targeted more, indicating that teams have found something on tape that they can exploit. Adoree Jackson recorded just the third interception of his 5 year career last year. To his credit, he only allowed 52% of passes thrown his way to be completed, and surrendered 50+ yards just once in his twelve starts.
While the giants would like Darnay Holmes to be a factor, he’s ended both of his seasons being injured. Which led to Aaron Robinson and Jarren Williams each getting two starts in the absence of Jackson. Both players ended up back on the bench, without being a serious part of a rotation. The starters are shaky, and the depth is a problem. (-)
In A Nutshell: Last year saw pass rushers hampered by the scheme, and a soft secondary victimized because of it. So they hired a new defensive coordinator in Don Martindale, formerly of Baltimore. Great. Problem is, he doesn’t have any tools to build with. Even worse, the new GM seems to be building with the old one’s blueprint. (-)
K: Graham Gano saw his field goal accuracy dip (29/33/87.9%), but this year he didn’t miss any extra points. Of course he only attempted 17 in 17 games. From 50+ he was 7/10, which is nothing to sneeze at. (+)
P: Ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure! Coming to the Big Apple by way of Cleveland, Ohio. Put your hands together for Jamie “The Scottish Hammer” Gillan! He enters this phase of his career with a 44.9 yard average per boot. That said, his average has dropped for two straight years (46.2, to 44.0, to 43.9). (-)
In A Nutshell: Given the slapdash approach this front office is so far showing the defense, it’s not a wonder that special teams also seems to be getting a shrug. (-)
BOTTOM LINE: The giants cleaned house at GM and head coach. They brought in Joe Schoen (from Buffalo) to be the GM, and he turned around and hired Brian Daboll (form Buffalo), who has been failing upward for almost two decades in the NFL.
Then they brought in a few former Buffalo players, but none of the good ones. And who cares?! None of this matters if Danny “March of Dimes” is still going to start eight or more games. Call it 6 – 11, with Tyrod Taylor winning four of those.