The rebuilding Giants are in the home stretch of their offseason program.
Mandatory minicamp begins Tuesday in East Rutherford. There are three more work days standing between coach Brian Daboll’s team and the summer. And after that, training camp begins.
This is not expected to be a good team. Again. But it figures to be an interesting one in the first year under Daboll and general manager Joe Schoen. With that in mind, here are some pre-minicamp thoughts:
The receiving corps is overhyped. If you want to talk yourself off the ledge by hyping up this group, go for it. But while there might be notable depth, the bottom line is each main option has a significant issue. Kenny Golladay can’t find the end zone and isn’t overly durable. Kadarius Toney is a wild card. Sterling Shepard is coming off a serious injury. Darius Slayton is a potential cut (his release would save the team $2.5 million in cap space). Rookie Wan’Dale Robinson has plenty of upside thanks to his speed and athleticism, but he’s yet to play a down. Don’t act like this group is going to absolutely save the offense.
Daniel Jones needs to do a lot to earn an extension. The only way the young quarterback will be inking a new four- or five-year contract is if he takes the leap and the Giants win games. If only one or the other occurs, the Giants may have their doubts on whether he’s the long-term answer at the game’s most important position. And there’s still the lingering chance that even if Jones does improve and the Giants win some games, Schoen places the franchise tag on him in 2023.
Pass rush must take pressure off secondary. New defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will be asking a lot from his defensive backs. That’s the nature of his blitz-heavy scheme. The issue, however, is this secondary is incredibly young and just lost its two best assets in James Bradberry and Logan Ryan (both veterans). Adoreé Jackson is now the team’s top corner. The other starter is anyone’s guess between recently-signed veteran Maurice Canady, rookie Cordale Flott and backups Darnay Holmes and Aaron Robinson.
That means the Giants have to get after the quarterback. Why do you think Schoen used the No. 5 overall pick on Kayvon Thibodeaux? Any quarterback that has time to operate against the Giants will pick the secondary apart. It’s time for Azeez Ojulari to keep progressing while Leonard Williams earns his money.
Offensive line questions. Barring injuries, there’s no doubt about who will start at left and right tackle: Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal, respectively. But the interior still has plenty of question marks. It’s hard to imagine Nick Gates will be in the plans at any point in 2022. Will Shane Lemieux be ready by Week 1? Is Max Garcia capable of starting at left guard? Is third-rounder Josh Ezeudu going to make a legitimate push for playing time? Jon Feliciano does feel like close to a sure thing at center.
But hey, at least the Giants have actual offensive line depth. Something they never had with former general manager Dave Gettleman running the show.