Some may not be optimistic about the New York Giants in 2019, but they can’t deny the young core of talented players who exist.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—In order for a team to enjoy sustained success and win a championship, they must develop a core of players that will be with the franchise for several years to build a culture and continuity.
Many experts don’t expect the New York Giants to compete for a playoff spot this season, let alone a championship. But over the past several years, the Giants have drafted several players who have already shown flashes that they can play at a high level, continue to make strides, and, hopefully, bring Big Blue its fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy.
For this list, we’ll leave off the 2019 draft class, as they have yet to prove themselves on an NFL field.
Here’s a look at the young Giants core that has four years of playing experience or less.
Saquon Barkley – 22 years old, second season
This is a no-brainer. Not only is Barkley the most explosive player on the team, but he is considered by many to be the best running back in football. After winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, and setting numerous franchise records, Barkley is poised for an even bigger year two.
Barkley embodies everything a team would want in a leader, and despite entering just his second season, he could be named one of the team captains. Barring injury, he’ll be the face of the franchise for the next decade.
Evan Engram – 24 (turns 25 in September) third season
The third-year tight end is poised to have his biggest season yet, as the passing game will center around him with Odell Beckham Jr. a Brown, and the injuries to the receiving corps in training camp.
Engram is a matchup nightmare for defenses as he’s too fast for linebackers and too big for defensive backs to cover him. He’ll be a fixture with the Giants for years to.
Sterling Shepard – 26 years old, fourth season
There’s no doubt Sterling Shepard is in the Giants current and future plans as he was rewarded with a four-year contract extension in the offseason. Shepard is one of the best and reliable slot receivers in the league. What makes him a perfect fit in the Giants’ offense is his outstanding downfield blocking.
He suffered a minor setback in the first full practice at training camp when he fractured his thumb, but the Giants are hopeful he’ll be ready for the season opener.
Will Hernandez – 23 years old (turns 24 in September) second season
Will Hernandez was the first hog molly Dave Gettleman acquired in his tenure as general manager, taking him in the second round in the 2018 draft (34h overall). As a rookie, he started all 16 games at left guard and established himself as the team’s most consistent lineman.
He’ll be opening holes for Barkley and helping protect Daniel Jones for years to come.
B.J. Hill – 24 years old, second season
B.J. Hill set a rookie franchise record in sacks last season with five and a half and tallied 48 tackles. At 6-foot-3 and 311 pounds, he has exceptional footwork and strength with is exactly what you need in a 3-4 interior lineman.
Now that Hill has a year of NFL experience under his belt, expect him to take his game to the next level in 2019. Fans can expect to see Hill as part of the defensive line for years to come.
Lorenzo Carter – 23 years old, second season
Just like Hill, many are expecting for Carter to make a huge leap in his sophomore season in the NFL. Carter started just two games last season, but he’s poised to start this season and has been making plays all over the field in training camp.
— Jason Leach (@JasonKLeach) July 25, 2019
Carter added a couple of pounds of muscle in the offseason and is ready to become a disruptive force attacking offense off the edge.
Dalvin Tomlinson – 25 years old, third season
Dalvin Tomlinson is a versatile lineman who can play both the nose tackle and defensive end in the 3-4 scheme, and has been a solid run stopper. He’s become one of the most valuable players on the defense starting all 32 games in his two-year career.
Even when he’s not making tackles, he’s eating up two blockers and allowing his teammates to make plays. Expect to see this strong physical force on the Giants line for many years to come.