It’s the time after the NFL Draft but before the start of the preseason when many predictions are formed about the NFL, and the New York Giants are no strangers to speculation from both the local and the national media. There was a more optimistic feeling going into last season, following the team drafting Saquon Barkley, and many believed that they had enough pieces still to bounce back quickly from the season that landed them in the position to draft Barkley in the first place.
That general feeling, however, didn’t carry over into this offseason following two abysmal years in a row for the Giants. Coming into this offseason there were far more negative predictions that listed the Giants as one of the bottom teams in the league, possibly even one of the contenders for the number one overall pick.
While the Giants didn’t impress everyone with their performance in the draft, however, those predictions are starting to get more positive now that the team has a good amount of young talent on defense and now that we finally have an idea of who might be starting on offense when the season comes.
Of course, those predictions aren’t necessarily good. Just better than what they were before. Pro Football Talk’s Peter King places the Giants as the 28th best team in the league but admits that their position could vary based on just how the team adapts to changes on offense, namely the loss of star receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
Here’s what King had to say about the Giants.
By my count, nine of the 11 starters on defense on opening day (if they open in a nickel package) could be new to the team over the last 15 months: defensive linemen B.J. Hill and Dexter Lawrence, linebackers Alec Ogletree, Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter, and defensive backs Sam Beal, Deandre Baker, Antoine Bethea and Jabrill Peppers. Chemistry class will be in session at Giants camp in July. It had better be—because no one knows how productive the post-Odell offense will be.
Reports so far from the locker room seem to indicate that chemistry is good for the team, but it’s not hard to have good chemistry during the offseason. The bonds between players will be tested once the team is struck with adversity, and last year, it took far too long for the Giants to get it together and recover from a poor start to the season which turned into a longer and longer losing skid during the season’s first half.
King is right in that the Giants are dealing with uncertainty. That’s something that they have going for them, because this new mix of players could definitely exceed expectations. At the same time, though, it could also work to the team’s detriment if new players take too long to adapt and once again leave the team in a noncompetitive position early in the season.
It seems that during this offseason, the main task of the coaching staff will be to prevent something like that from happening for the second year in a row.
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