New York Giants: Rating Each Position Group After First Wave of Free-Agencyby Prime Time Sports Talk March 26, 2019 0 comments
The New York Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. but also added pieces that indicated they want to win now. Here’s how the roster is looking like.
No team shaped the landscape of the 2019 NFL off-season quite like the New York Giants.
The team traded away their superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and allowed Landon Collins to walk for free despite past trade offers that would have given them compensation.
These two moves seem like ones made by a rebuilding franchise. Not so fast. The Giants have made several additions that indicate they still want to win now.
New members of the team include wide receiver Golden Tate who has most yards after the catch of any receiver in the league since 2014.
In addition, the Giants added Jabrill Peppers in the Beckham trade to be their safety of the future.
So where does the Giants roster stand? Let’s give grade the strength of each Giants positional group with the first phase of the free-agency frenzy behind us and the NFL Draft Approaching.
Current Depth: #10 Eli Manning ,#17 Kyle Lauletta & #3 Alex Tanney
Perhaps the most stunning aspect of this off-season for the Giants is the fact they’ve kept Eli Manning around.
The two-time super bowl MVP showed some flashes of his old self in 2018 but mostly looked like the 38-year-old quarterback he is.
New York will likely draft his future successor in the upcoming NFL Draft, but as things stand now, the Giants quarterback group gets a C- with Manning starting and with two inexperienced back-ups.
Current Depth: #26 Saquon Barkley, #22 Wayne Gallman, #25 Robert Martin, #23 Paul Perkins & #39 Eli Penny (FULLBACK)
For the first time since the days of Tiki Barber, the Giants have a bonafide superstar at running back.
Saquon Barkley ran away with the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year award after a 2018 season that saw him run for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns and haul in 721 receiving yards good for four touchdowns.
Wayne Gallman is a solid complementary back but the Giants should consider drafting an additional running back with one of their later round draft selections to assure all the pressure in the backfield isn’t entirely on Barkley.
Wide Receiver: B-
Current Depth: Golden Tate, #87 Sterling Shepard, #12 Cody Latimer, #19 Corey Coleman, #18 Bennie Fowler, #15 Quadree Henderson, #80 Jawill Davis, #84 Alonso Russell & WR: Brittan Golden
Even with Beckham Jr. no longer around the Giants depth at wide receiver isn’t horrible thanks to the signing of Golden Tate.
Tate will anchor a Giants receiving core that also includes Sterling Sheppard who in each of his first three seasons in the NFL hauled in at least 683 yards.
New York may draft another receiver with one of their earlier picks, but any other moves can only help a not so bad receiving core.
Tight End: B+
Current Depth: #88 Evan Engram, #85 Rhett Ellison & 82 Scott Simonson
The Giants, tight end group, includes one of the best young tight ends in the NFL in Evan Engram.
However, over the course of his first two years in the league, Engram has had his share of injuries. Behind Engram, the Giants have solid blockers in Rhett Ellison and Scott Simonson.
Ellison has proven a reliable red-zone target as well. Thus, the Giants are in solid shape at the tight end position.
Offensive Line: C+
OG: Kevin Zeitler, 71 Will Hernandez, #65 Nick Gates & Chad Slade
Center: #75 John Halipo, #73 Spencer Pulley & 67 Evan Brown
OT: #76 Nate Solder, #63 Chad Wheeler, #69 Jylan Ware, #64 Victor Salako & #68 Brian Mihalik
As the 2018 season progressed the Giants offensive line improved which helped them rattle off some wins including one over the NFC North Champion Chicago Bears.
However, the Giants offensive line is not quite complete. The Giants are at the guard position with Kevin Zeitler and Will Hernandez but can still one more body to add depth. New York is also set at Center with both John Halipo and Spencer Pulley set to return. Both performed well when in action in 2018.
As for the offensive tackle position the Giants have one starter in Nate Solder but need to find a starting right tackle in phase two of free-agency or in the upcoming NFL Draft. The line is close to complete, but more work still needs to be done.
Interior Defensive Line: A-
Current Depth: #95 B.J Hill, #94 Dalvin Tomlinson, Olsen Pierre & 90 RJ McIntosh
Despite trading Damon “Snacks” Harrison to the Lions at the 2018 trade deadline, the Giants interior defensive line is a significant strength. New York has two talented young defensive tackles in B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson.
Hill recorded 5.5 sacks in his 2018 rookie season along with 48 total tackles and eight quarterback hits while Tomlinson has made over 50 total tackles in each of the first two seasons of his carer.
The Giants also added depth to the position with the signing of Olsen Pierre and have 2018 fifth round selection RJ McIntosh healthy. Thus, this group of Giants defensive tackles is a talented one.
Exterior Defensive Line: F
Current Depth: #47 Myles Humphrey & Jake Ceresna
This ones simple the Giants need depth here. They lack any true talent at defensive end.
Outside Linebacker: C
Current Depth #59 Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, 96 Kareem Martin & 79 Avery Moss
Luckily the Giants play a 3’4 defense, so the outside linebackers sometimes act as a defensive end. New York’s depth at outside linebacker is better than defensive end but still a work in progress.
2018 third round selection Lorenzo Carter showed great potential in his rookie season, and the Giants added Markus Golden this off-season who’s only two years removed from a 12.5 sack season.
However, New York needs to consider drafting an edge rusher with one of their first-round selections as getting to the quarterback is one of the most critical aspects in all of football and is something the team has struggled with the last handful of seasons.
Inside Linebacker: C
Current Depth: #52 Alec Ogletree, #93 BJ Goodson, #58 Tae Davis, #45 Ukeme Eligwe, #57 Nate Stupar & Jonathan Anderson
This perhaps is the most interesting group of the Giants current depth chart. The Giants inside linebacking core is led by Alec Ogletree who is coming off a first season in New York where he made 93 total tackles, grabbed five interceptions and scored two touchdowns.
However, outside of Ogletree, the depth is lacking. BJ Goodson has never developed into the future starter the Giants hoped for him to be and Tae Davis is more of a depth piece.
Outside of that most of the Giants other inside linebackers only really play on special teams. Thus, this should be a position New York looks to improve upon in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Current Depth: #20 Janoris Jenkins, #34 Grant Haley, #41 Sam Beal, #24 Tony Lippet , #30 Antonio Hamilton, Michael Hunter & #43 Ronald Zamort
Among the position groups that need the most improvement heading towards the NFL Draft; Cornerback ranks near the top for the Giants.
Janoris Jenkins is on the wrong side of 30, and no one else on the roster has been a starter for a full NFL season.
Thus, look for the Giants to find their future number one cornerback in the draft.
Current Depth: Jabrill Peppers, Antoine Bethea, #31 Michael Thomas, #36 Sam Chandler, #29 Kamrin Moore & #33 Kenny Ladler
The loss of Landon Collins will hurt the Giants at safety but luckily able to act fast to fill the void he will leave by trading for Jabrill Peppers. Peppers will slide right into Collins’ role and should be pretty effective.
New York also added veteran Antoine Bethea who despite being 34 years-old is coming off a season he recorded 121 total tackles. Behind the two likely starters, the Giants have Micheal Thomas who was a pro-bowler in 2018 and young Sam Chandler who showed some promise.
New York should look to add one more piece to this group before training camp, but it isn’t in as bad of shape without Collins as it could’ve been without the additions they made.
Special Teams: A
K: #2 Aldrick Rosas
P:#9 Riley Dixon
LS: #51 Zak DeOssie & Taybor Pepper
KR: Corey Coleman #19
PR: Golden Tate
No kicker in the NFL was better than Aldrick Rosas in 2018. Rosas made 97% of his kicks and was voted to the pro bowl.
Riley Dixon did a solid pinning opposing offensives deep, and Corey Coleman had his share of long returns in the kicking game.
With Golden Tate likely to return punts in 2019 the Giants special teams unit is looking among the best in the NFL again in 2019.