New York Giants (Last Year: 3-13)
2020 NFL Season Preview:
QB Colt McCoy, RB Dion Lewis, TE Levine Toilolo, OT Cameron Fleming, DT Austin Johnson, DE/OLB Kyler Fackrell, LB Blake Martinez, CB James Bradberry, S Nate Ebner.
Early Draft Picks:
OT Andrew Thomas, S Xavier McKinney, OT Matt Peart, CB Darnay Holmes, G Shane Lemieux. Giants Rookie Forecast
QB Eli Manning, WR Corey Coleman, OT Mike Remmers, LB Alec Ogletree, LB Deone Bucannon.
2020 New York Giants Offense:
Daniel Jones had an amazing preseason ahead of his rookie campaign, causing many to believe that he could start immediately. The Giants wasted two games with Eli Manning before pulling the trigger on Jones in Week 3. Jones ended up winning his first game against the Buccaneers, but went on a roller coaster ride after that. He showed flashes of brilliance amid some struggles, but this sort of inconsistency is expected from a rookie quarterback, especially one who isn't protected very well.
Jones is expected to make a huge leap in his second season. He displayed remarkable accuracy last year to go along with his impressive arm strength and mobility. Ball security was a major issue, but this is something that can be corrected. It also helps that Jones will have a better offensive line blocking for him. Right tackle was a huge problem, so the Giants used the fourth-overall pick on Andrew Thomas. The Georgia product may not have the upside that Tristan Wirfs possesses, but his floor happens to be much higher. Thomas figures to form a nice duo with left tackle Nate Solder, at least when Solder is healthy. Solder has a major issue remaining 100 percent, but the edge blocking will be excellent when he's not injured.
The Giants also spent two other picks on linemen Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux. Peart will be a nice insurance policy for Solder, while Lemieux could eventually help the interior. Right now, the guards are solid with the stellar Kevin Zeitler and promising 2018 second-rounder Will Hernandez forming a strong tandem. Center, however, is a major hole with Spencer Pulley projected to start there. Jon Halapio would've been the favorite to start at center, but he tore his Achilles in Week 17 and likely won't be ready for the opener.
Center seems like the only weakness on New York's offense. The strength, of course, is Saquon Barkley, who is arguably the best running back in the NFL. Barkley had some struggles last year when he returned early from injury, but quickly became his usual, electric self when the original timetable had elapsed. With a better offensive line, Barkley could be poised for his best year yet.
Barkley is just one of a plethora of weapons Jones will have at his disposal. He has a trio of effective wide receivers in Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Darius Slayton. He was able to gel with all of them, including Slayton, who showed plenty of potential as a rookie last year. There's also talented tight end Evan Engram, but his durability is very poor.
2020 New York Giants Defense:
The Giants had one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL last year. They were constantly torched by effective passing attacks last year, beginning at the very start of the season in a blowout loss at Dallas. The front office had to do something to fix this, which would explain multiple new additions to the secondary this spring.
New York's primary free agent signing was cornerback James Bradberry. The former Panther had an excellent 2019 campaign, so he figures to be a colossal upgrade at the position. The Giants have some other young cornerbacks, though one, recent first-round pick DeAndre Baker, won't be much of a factor because he allegedly stole money and overpriced trinkets from people at a barbecue. Instead, New York will have to count on Sam Beal and Darnay Holmes to prove their worth to play along with Bradberry and solid nickel corner Julian Love. Beal was a recent supplementary draft pick, and he has the talent to become a starter. Holmes, meanwhile, is a fourth-round rookie with some potential.
The Giants' other major move in regard to addressing the secondary was spending a second-round pick on Xavier McKinney. The versatile Alabama product will be a nice replacement for Landon Collins, as some projected him to be a top-20 choice before he inexplicably fell into early Day 2. He'll play next to Jabrill Peppers, an inconsistent player who is capable of performing on a high level.
It would help the Giants' secondary if they added a pass rusher this offseason. Jadeveon Clowney was discussed, but he apparently wanted too much money. Perhaps the Giants should've just given it to him, as they'll be counting on Kyler Fackrell to play in a rotation with Markus Golden and Lorenzo Carter otherwise. Carter has potential as a No. 2 edge rusher, but he recorded just 4.5 sacks in 2019. Fackrell recorded 10.5 sacks two years ago, but didn't play much this past season. Golden is the best of the bunch, as he logged 10 sacks in 2019.
While there's not much of an edge rush, New York has a strong defensive line to stop the run and also get some pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Giants traded for Leonard Williams after Week 8 last year. He was a big upgrade, and he'll be back to join big run stuffers Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawrence. The latter, who was chosen in the opening round in 2019, is coming off a terrific rookie campaign and figures to be much better in 2020.
The linebackers will have plenty of protection with the big players up front. This had been a major area of weakness for years, but the Giants made a nice upgrade by signing Blake Martinez. The former Packer thrives in coverage, so he'll be a nice upgrade in the middle of the field. It's currently unknown who will start next to Martinez, as there are several underwhelming options for New York to choose.
2020 New York Giants Schedule and Intangibles:
Aldrick Rosas was one of the top kickers in the NFL in 2018, hitting 32-of-33 field goals. He was 4-of-5 from beyond 50, and he missed only one extra point. However, he regressed in 2019. He was just 12-of-17, including 1-of-5 from beyond 40. He also missed four extra points.
Riley Dixon has finished seventh and ninth in net punting during his two seasons with the Giants.
The Giants were great on returns last year, ranking in the top 10 in that category.
New York will be alternating tough and easy games to start the year. There's the Steelers, then the Bears. There's the 49ers, then the Rams. There's the Cowboys, then the Rams, and so on.
2020 New York Giants Rookies:
Go here for the Giants Rookie Forecast
, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.
2020 New York Giants Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
2020 New York Giants Analysis:
There's an extensive history of teams making a huge leap with quarterbacks entering their second year. The Seahawks and Eagles both won Super Bowls with Russell Wilson and Carson Wentz, respectively. The Bears, even with Mitchell Trubisky, won their division. The Rams, with Jared Goff, went from earning a horrible record to reaching the playoffs. Those are just some of many examples that can be cited. With Daniel Jones making very little, the Giants were able to greatly strengthen the rest of their roster, which seems to be loaded with talent. They're the best dark-horse team in 2020 for that reason.
11-5 (1st in NFC East)
2019 Projection: 5-11. 2019 Actual Result: 4-12.
2018 Projection: 6-10. 2018 Actual Result: 5-11.
2017 Projection: 7-9. 2017 Actual Result: 3-13.
= 2016 Projection: 7-9. 2016 Actual Result: 11-5.
NFL Draft Team Grade: A Grade
Goals Entering the 2020 NFL Draft: The Giants must build around Daniel Jones, which entails finding him some better protection. Once that is achieved, the Giants must address their woeful pass defense by adding some edge rushers and defensive backs. Another talented linebacker to go along with Blake Martinez wouldn't hurt either.
2020 NFL Draft Accomplishments: It came down to Andrew Thomas versus Tristan Wirfs, and the former won. Either way, the Giants couldn't go wrong. They obtained a blue-chip pass blocker for Daniel Jones, which will help their young quarterback develop. They also spent a third-round pick on another tackle, Matt Peart, who may take over for Nate Solder in a year or two, as well as guard Shane Lemieux, who could start on the interior in the near future. There are no excuses for Jones to fail.
The Giants also addressed their defense quite well. They didn't find a talented edge rusher, but they spent two early selections on defensive backs Xavier McKinney and Darnay Holmes. Both were excellent picks, especially McKinney. It'll be more difficult to throw on the Giants next year, and not just by default.
I loved the Giants' draft as a whole. The only issue is the lack of edge-rushing talent added, but Jadeveon Clowney and Yannick Ngakoue are still available.
NFL Draft Individual Grades:
4. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia - B Grade
There's nothing wrong with the pick itself. Some say Andrew Thomas is the best tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Giants have to protect Daniel Jones. I'm a bit disappointed, however, that the Giants didn't trade down. The Giants liked Thomas and Tristan Wirfs equally, so they could have moved down a spot or two, much like the Lions. However, a shift from No. 4 to 5 or 6 would've received less compensation that the Lions should have received, so I won't punish the Giants as much as I did Detroit.
36. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama - A+ Grade
Like the Lions, the Giants are getting the best player at the position in the entire class in the second round. This is an incredible steal. I wrote earlier today in the Day 2 preview that the Cardinals considered McKinney as a trade-option in the mid-teens. That's where McKinney should've gone, but he slipped for no reason I'm aware of. The Giants will gladly benefit from this, as they can finally replace Landon Collins.
99. Matt Peart, OT, Connecticut - B+ Grade
A tackle at No. 4 was obvious because the Giants had a huge hole at right tackle. A second tackle on Day 2 is also logical. Nate Solder can be a quality blind-side protector when healthy, but that almost never happens. The Giants needed an insurance policy for Solder, and they're getting a solid prospect here with Peart, whom I frequently mocked in the third round.
110. Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA - A- Grade
Dave Gettleman's excellent draft continues. Darnay Holmes is a cornerback I mocked in the third round consistently, so this is very good value atop Round 4. The need is obvious; despite the James Bradberry signing, cornerback had to be addressed, and Holmes should definitely help to strengthen the position at nickel.
150. Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon - A+ Grade
What a steal from the Giants. Shane Lemieux was a second-round prospect who happened to fall for reasons unknown. I look forward to hearing about why in Charlie Campbell's Why the Slide, but there's no doubt that the Giants improved their offensive line with this pick.
183. Cameron Brown, LB, Penn State - C- Grade
I'm not interested in linebackers with poor instincts. Cameron Brown is a good athlete, but he'll be lost on defense, so he'll have to stick to special teams.
218. Carter Coughlin, DE/OLB, Minnesota - B+ Grade
Carter Coughlin needs to bulk up and get stronger, but he has some talent and skill that could allow him to stick in the NFL as a rotational edge rusher. I like this pick in the seventh round.
238. T.J. Brunson, LB, South Carolina - B Grade
I didn't think T.J. Brunson would be drafted because of injury concerns. I'd say the seventh round is the right place for him, as he'll have to contribute on special teams to make the Giants' roster right away.
247. Chris Williamson, CB, Minnesota - C Grade
Chris Williamson wasn't on the draftable player list for me. He's an injury-prone player who misses a ton of tackles. I don't really get the appeal with him, but we've reached the compensatory portion of the seventh round.
255. Tae Crowder, LB, Georgia - C Grade
Tae Crowder wasn't a draftable prospect, but it's the final pick in the draft, so who cares? Crowder is still learning how to play linebacker after switching from running back, so maybe he'll be something more than a special-teams player at some point. But probably not.
The Giants were miserable for most of 2019, but there is some hope for the future. Daniel Jones, through his ups and downs, had some very bright moments during his rookie campaign. The offense could be explosive in 2020 if Jones takes the next step, so the Giants should focus on upgrading their defense.
Giants sign DT Austin Johnson
Giants sign RB Dion Lewis
Giants sign QB Colt McCoy
Giants sign S Nate Ebner
Giants sign OT Cameron Fleming
Giants sign DE/OLB Kyler Fackrell
Giants sign TE Levine Toilolo
Giants sign LB Blake Martinez
Giants sign CB James Bradberry
- Two Cornerbacks: New York had one of the worst pass defenses in 2019. The team needs tons of cornerback help. Finding two new cornerbacks is the bare minimum for the team this offseason. It would be ideal for the Giants to land Jeff Okudah in the 2020 NFL Draft. Signed James Bradberry
- Two Offensive Tackles: The Giants must protect Daniel Jones. Left tackle Nate Solder plays well when healthy, but he's often injured. Right tackle Mike Remmers is an impending free agent. Signed Cameron Fleming
- Safety: Antoine Bethea won't be around much longer, so a new safety will be needed to play next to Julian Love. Signed Nate Ebner
- Edge Rusher: It might be difficult for the Giants to upgrade this area because they won their way out of the Chase Young sweepstakes. Still, New York needs help getting to the quarterback. Signed Kyler Fackrell
- Linebacker: David Mayo is a stellar run-stopping linebacker, but the Giants should look into adding someone at the position who is better in coverage. Signed Blake Martinez
- Wide Receiver: New York has a bunch of No. 2 receivers on its roster, so it could stand to add a top dog at the position, perhaps via Jerry Jeudy.
- Backup Quarterback: The Giants will need a new veteran backup quarterback to replace Eli Manning. Signed Colt McCoy
- Kicker: Aldrick Rosas was one of the worst kickers in the NFL last year.
Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
2020 NFL Free Agent Signings:
James Bradberry, CB, Panthers. Age: 27.
Signed with Giants (3 years, $45 million)
James Bradberry struggles to tackle, but he covered No. 1 receivers this past season and did a great job in that regard. He's only 27 (as of August), and will be due a big contract, or the franchise tag.
Blake Martinez, LB, Packers. Age: 26.
Signed with Giants (3 years, $30 million)
Blake Martinez is an excellent coverage linebacker. He struggled in run support last year, but he's still very young and can improve in that regard.
Kyler Fackrell, DE/OLB, Packers. Age: 28.
Signed with Giants (1 year, $4.6 million)
Kyler Fackrell produced 10.5 sacks in 2018, but he didn't get to play as much this past season because the front office added Za'Darius and Preston Smith.
- Dion Lewis, RB, Titans. Age: 29. -- Signed with Giants
- Nate Ebner, S/ST, Patriots. Age: 31. -- Signed with Giants
- Austin Johnson, DT, Titans. Age: 26. -- Signed with Giants
- Colt McCoy, QB, Redskins. Age: 33. -- Signed with Giants
- Levine Toilolo, TE, 49ers. Age: 29. -- Signed with Giants
New York Giants Free Agents:
Salary Cap: TBA.
Leonard Williams, DE/DT, Giants. Age: 26.
Franchised by Giants
Leonard Williams failed to log a single sack in 2019, but that's not indicative of how well he played. Williams was a force in the trenches, as both a pass rusher and a run stuffer.
Markus Golden, DE/OLB, Giants. Age: 29.
Re-signed with Giants
Markus Golden had a lost 2017 season because of a torn ACL and didn't quite look like himself the following year. He managed to rebound in 2019, logging 10 sacks.
Jon Halapio (RFA), C, Giants. Age: 29.
Jon Halapio is a solid center, but was coming off a leg injury this past season. He should be better in 2020.
Mike Remmers, OT, Giants. Age: 31.
Signed with Chiefs
It's curious that Mike Remmers tends to play his best under Pat Shurmur. Remmers shouldn't be a starter in the NFL, but he would be a great backup swing tackle moving forward.
Alec Ogletree, LB, Giants. Age: 28.
Alec Ogletree was a bust as someone who signed a 5-year, $42 million contract. He wasn't horrible, but wasn't worth the money, which prompted the Giants to cut him.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants. Age: 39.
Eli Manning would be a premium backup quarterback at this stage of his career, but it's unlikely he'll accept that role. He's expected to retire this offseason.
Corey Coleman, WR, Giants. Age: 26.
Corey Coleman is an explosive athlete, and he's still young (26 in July), so I'll list him as a two-star free agent. However, he has been a huge disappointment thus far. There's still time for him to be a late bloomer, but he's running out of chances.
- Deone Bucannon, LB, Giants. Age: 28. -- Signed with Falcons
- Russell Shepard, WR, Giants. Age: 29.
- Elijhaa Penny (RFA), FB, Giants. Age: 27. -- Re-signed with Giants
- Cody Latimer, WR, Giants. Age: 27. -- Signed with Redskins
- Aldrick Rosas (RFA), K, Giants. Age: 24. -- Tendered by Giants (2nd round)
- Cody Core, WR, Giants. Age: 26. -- Re-signed with Giants
- Kareem Martin, DE, Giants. Age: 28.
- Scott Simonson, TE, Giants. Age: 28.
- Antonio Hamilton, CB, Giants. Age: 27. -- Signed with Chiefs
NFL Free Agent Tracker:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors
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