LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 22: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants warms up before a game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 22, 2019 in Landover, Maryland.
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The New York Giants are building the offense around talented, young guys at the skill positions. Here’s how the starting 11 shakes out.

Jason Leach

In his first two years as general manager, Dave Gettleman drafted several talented players to form a solid nucleus for the New York Giants. Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, and Darius Slayton are poised to lead the offense for years to come.

But despite building a young nucleus, the Giants have seldom tasted victory. Gettleman owns a crooked record (9-23) in his first two seasons as GM of the Giants.

Knowing that he’s on the hot seat, he committed to fixing the Giants’ offensive line woes by drafting three offensive linemen in the 2020 NFL Draft (Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart, and Shane Lemieux). Gettleman also added key free agents this offseason such as Dion Lewis and Cam Fleming.

When you look at the Giants roster, it’s without question that the offense is the strongest part of the team. The question is who is poised to start whenever training camp opens?

Here’s a quick look at the projected starters in the Giants 11-personnel formation when training camp opens.

LT: Nate Solder There’s a big question mark as to whether it will be Solder or first-round pick Andrew Thomas at left tackle. Thomas was an All-American left tackle at Georgia, and with the exception of his rookie season in 2011, Solder has played exclusively at left tackle.

After playing left tackle for so long, and the lack of offseason workouts, it will probably be a more difficult transition to have Solder play right tackle as opposed to Thomas switching positions. On the first day of camp, we believe Solder will start at left tackle, but that could change as camp progresses.

LG: Will Hernandez – Hernandez will be the starting left guard for a third consecutive season. In his two years with Big Blue, he has been the Giants’ most consistent lineman.

C: Spencer Pulley – Center is also a huge question mark for the Giants. Nick Gates, Spencer Pulley, or rookie Shane Lemieux will compete for the job. Given his experience at the position, Pulley will get the first shot to be the starter.

RG: Kevin Zeitler – The 6-foot-4 330-pound Zeitler will start at right guard for the second consecutive season for the Giants.

RT: Andrew Thomas – As we discussed, it will probably be a smoother transition to have Thomas play right tackle to begin camp. But it’s only a matter of time until Thomas is protecting Daniel Jones’ blind side.

TE: Evan Engram Engram should be fully recovered from foot surgery by the time camp opens. There’s no denying his talent as he’s the Giants’ most dynamic pass-catcher. The question is will he be able to play 16 games for the first time in his career?

WR X: Darius Slayton Last season, as a rookie, Slayton led the Giants in receiving yards (740) and receiving touchdowns (8). He’s poised to have an even bigger year in 2020.

WR S: Golden Tate Tate will turn 32 in August but he’s still very productive, catching 49 passes for 676 yards and six touchdowns in 11 games last season.

WR Z: Sterling Shepard Despite missing six games, Shepard led the team in receptions with 57. When on the field, he has been a dependable receiver in his four seasons.

QB: Daniel Jones With the retirement of Eli Manning, Jones enters year two as the day one starter. He showed that he’s extremely accurate, and poised in the pocket. If he can cut down on the turnovers, the sky is the limit for him.

RB: Saquon Barkley – A high ankle sprain limited Barkley’s production last season, but he was still able to gain 1,003 yards on the ground. If he can stay healthy, he can have around 2,000 all-purpose yards and help prevent the Giants from having their fourth consecutive losing season.

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