The start of the 2018 NFL season is more than 190 days away, but you get a sense that the New York Giants are going to have a far better season than they had in 2017.
With five picks in the first four rounds, the pair hopes to build a new nucleus that will help the team for years to come.
We’re still two months away from the NFL draft and free agency hasn’t begun yet. But it’s never too early to look towards the future and think about the upcoming season.
Here are four early bold predictions for the Giants in 2018.
1. Odell Beckham Jr. will win Comeback Player of the Year
OBJ will have some stiff competition to win this award. Houston’s J.J Watt, Seattle’s Richard Sherman, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck, and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers are all legitimate contenders for the honor. But Beckham Jr. will come back with a vengeance and show that he’s still one of the most spectacular athletes in the world.
Shurmur is an offensive mastermind, and with his innovative play calling, Beckham might have the best season of his career.
Expect him to have another 90-plus catch season, his fourth 1,000-yard campaign, be named to his fourth Pro Bowl team and be named Comeback Player of the Year.
2. Giants will draft Saquon Barkley and he’ll win Offensive Rookie of the Year
Over the past week, there have been rumblings and mock drafts that suggest the Giants will take Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Barkley is a dynamic three-down back and has all of the makings to be a superstar in the NFL.
Through free agency and the draft, the Giants will have a much better offensive line than what they had in 2017. That will help Barkley become the first Giants running back to rush for 1,000 yards since Ahmad Bradshaw in 2012. In the process, he’ll also be named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
3. Jason Pierre-Paul will have double-digit sacks
For most of last season, the Giants pass rush was non-existent. But new defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s 3-4 blitz scheme will breathe life into the pass rush. The player who will benefit most from this new look defense is Jason Pierre-Paul, who is expected to move from defensive end to outside linebacker.
Look for the Giants to be in the top half of the league in team sacks, and for JPP to have his first double-digit sack total since 2014.
4. The Giants will make the playoffs
The Giants won’t go worst-to-first in the NFC East, but they’ll win enough games to be a wildcard in the NFC playoffs. Three of the last four Giants head coaches—Dan Reeves, Jim Fassel, and Ben McAdoo—have reached the playoffs in their first season as Giants head coach. Shurmur will join them in 2018, making it four of the team’s last five head coaches to reach the promised land in their first season on the job.