Wide Right Podcast 43
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Amid the unusual circumstances stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s imperative the New York Giants have a strong leadership presence.

Jason Leach

We’re all hopeful that the NFL season will proceed as planned while we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the virus, this offseason hasn’t included a rookie camp, OTAs, or minicamp.

This will be a challenging season for New York Giants first-year head coach Joe Judge along with the other 31 NFL head coaches. Nonetheless, Judge seems to have a firm grasp on what type of team and culture he wants to build.

As he leads the Giants into this next decade, he will also need leadership from his players to ensure everyone is on board.

We won’t know for certain until shortly before the regular season who and how many captains the Giants will appoint. But regardless, here’s a quick look at which players may earn that honor for the upcoming season.

Offensive captains

Daniel Jones — As Daniel Jones enters his second season in the league, coaches and teammates have raved about how he’s carried himself in the virtual meetings and how he’s stood by his teammates with the social injustice going on in the world.

He seemingly possesses similar characteristics to Eli Manning, and since no position is more important than quarterback, it makes sense for him to be one of the captains.

Saquon Barkley — In his two seasons in the NFL, Saquon Barkley has been a consummate professional on and off the field. He always puts team goals ahead of individual goals and says the right things when speaking to the media.

Barkley didn’t make excuses for his struggles last season amid a high ankle sprain either. He was a captain last year and should definitely retain that honor in 2020.

Defensive captains

Dalvin Tomlinson — If the Giants experienced more success during Dalvin Tomlinson’s first three seasons in the league, more would be said about him and his solid play. His numbers may not stand out, but that’s because he’s often taking on two blockers.

In addition to his significant on-field play, Tomlinson possesses high character and has received much praise from his teammates. Despite the fact that he’s entering his fourth year in the league, he’s definitely one of the veterans on this young Giants defense.

Jabrill Peppers — With the uncertainty surrounding DeAndre Baker’s status ahead of the 2020 season, Jabrill Peppers could be the only returning starter in the secondary from last year’s squad. Despite missing the final five games of the season, Peppers finished fourth on the team in total tackles with 76.

Communication in the secondary is important, and he’ll likely be the quarterback of Patrick Graham’s defense. This would make him an ideal candidate.

Special teams captain

Nate Ebner — Nobody on the Giants roster is more connected with Judge than Nate Ebner. Judge was Ebner’s special teams coach for his first eight years in the league. Thus, if a teammate has a question about one of Judge’s tactics, Ebner will be able to provide the answer.

Ebner is a special teams ace, having been named a second-team All-Pro in 2016. If anyone in that area of the game is going to have a “C” on their jersey, it’s him.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.