A rebuilding year in East Rutherford is upon us.
This will not be a good football team, whether you like the new regime or not. The Giants are destined to be one of the worst ballclubs in the NFL. They may actually sit at the bottom of the league and earn the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Really. Here’s why:
Lame-duck quarterback. Daniel Jones isn’t the answer. It’s uncanny the number of excuses this fanbase provides him. Between injuries, poor decision-making, and the need for a perfect supporting cast (which the Giants do not employ), the fourth-year passer doesn’t have the makings of a franchise quarterback. Whether it’s due to health or poor play, there’s a chance Tyrod Taylor is the starting quarterback by Thanksgiving. Not exactly a recipe for success in this league.
Question marks at wide receiver. Don’t jump the gun and say this receiving corps has great potential. It’s a promising group at best, and it’s because of the various question marks in the room. Kenny Golladay carries a cap hit of $21.15 million this year and can’t find the end zone. Sterling Shepard can’t stay on the field and is coming off a December Achilles tear. Wan’Dale Robinson is an unproven rookie, Kadarius Toney is Kadarius Toney, and Darius Slayton’s release is anticipated as a cost-cutting move. Jones isn’t great for the unit, and the unit won’t be great for the below-average quarterback either.
Running game? Saquon Barkley is head-and-shoulders the best back on this roster. That isn’t a great thing considering his constant health issues. The 2018 first-rounder hasn’t played a full season since his rookie campaign. He’s played in just 28 of 49 games the last three years combined. And it’s not like the Giants will be running the ball much in 2022 due to the expectation they’ll be trailing in most games.
Unproven offensive line. General manager Joe Schoen did a great job addressing the unit in the spring as opposed to the summer. But chemistry is a significant quality of a solid line and there are multiple new faces in the room. By Week 1, there will be four new starters from last year’s season finale. Matt Skura (LG), Billy Price (C), Will Hernandez (RG), and Nate Solder (RT) could turn into Max Garcia, Jon Feliciano, Mark Glowinski, and Evan Neal. Good look getting success out of that unit right away.
Young secondary. James Bradberry is in Philly. The Giants and their secondary are now worse because of it. And to combat the issue, Big Blue doesn’t have promising options. While Adoree’ Jackson will be the team’s No. 1 corner, the other boundary corner could be a mix of Aaron Robinson, Rodarius Williams, Darnay Holmes, and/or rookie Cordale Flott. Or any of the defensive backs the Giants just signed (Maurice Canady, Khalil Dorsey, and Michael Jacquet), all of whom are mainly inexperienced. In a division that includes Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, receiver CeeDee Lamb, Eagles receiver A.J. Brown, and Commanders receiver Terry McLaurin, this is a recipe for disaster. Coordinator Wink Martindale will have his hands full.
Linebacker uncertainty. Blake Martinez isn’t a game-changing inside linebacker despite his incredible tackling abilities. It’s not like he’s an all-world pass-rusher. Plus he’s coming off a Week 3 ACL tear that concluded his 2021 season. Behind him, the Giants don’t have much. Tae Crowder has outplayed his rookie contract but is nowhere near a top-tier NFL linebacker. Cam Brown is more of a special teamer and Carter Coughlin figures to be a preseason cut. Maybe fifth-round pick Micah McFadden impresses?