Is the Giants’ roster good enough to make the playoffs?
NFL training camps will begin in about three weeks and right now we have an idea of how each team’s starting lineups will look.
For the New York Giants though, there will be some position battles at wide receiver, offensive line and defensive line so nothing is set in stone. Despite this fact, Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus has ranked all 32 starting lineups and New York comes in at number 19.
Biggest strength: The Giants have thrown resources at their secondary over the past several seasons. They’ve added James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson and Logan Ryan via free agency. Xavier McKinney, Julian Love and Darnay Holmes have been drafted to their ranks. Jabrill Peppers was included in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade two offseasons ago. The result is a unit that has an opportunity to be a top-five secondary in the league this season. New York’s newest addition, Jackson, earned a career-high 82.5 coverage grade in 2019 before missing much of last season with injury.
Biggest weakness: As a franchise, you always want to put your young quarterback in a position to succeed early in his NFL career. The Giants have at least added playmakers such as Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney to Jones’ receiving corps this offseason, but the offensive line remains an area of concern. Andrew Thomas was the only projected starter on the unit to earn a PFF grade above 60.0 on at least 200 snaps last season. And he was still a bottom-10 graded left tackle in the league. New York needs big leaps from several of their younger players there.
X factor for 2021: Azeez Ojulari, a rookie out of Georgia, has an opportunity to assuage some of the concerns regarding the edge defender talent on this defense. The Giants’ top four pressure producers a season ago all played on the interior. That is unusual, to say the least. Ojulari will look to change that. He showed arguably the best cornering ability in this draft class and earned a 91.7 pass-rushing grade for the Bulldogs in 2020.
I can’t disagree with Linsey that the Giants’ biggest weakness is their offensive line, but there is a chance that they could end up shocking everyone and play well enough to help New York win enough games to get back to the playoffs.
When it comes to Big Blue’s biggest strength, I think cornerback is also the right choice with wide receiver being second now that the Giants have a number one pass catcher and a lot of other weapons on offense.
I also agree that Ojulari is an x-factor because it will likely be upto him to produce a pass rush because the Giants aren’t busting at the seams with edge rushers that can take over a game.
The number one starting lineup goes to the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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