There’s already plenty of mixed opinions out there on the rebuild of the New York Giants, which aside from the team moving on from Odell Beckham Jr., included the departures of a number of other well known and popular players such as Landon Collins and Damon Harrison, as well as a few more minor players such as former first round draft pick Eli Apple, and the much maligned former number nine overall pick Ereck Flowers.
The big questions around 2019 revolve not around the quarterback position but in replacing players in many of the other important spots, ranging from the offensive and defensive lines to the secondary and the receivers. There’s varying levels of optimism and pessimism around the team and their new look roster going into training camp and the preseason, and while some have been positive about the chances of the team, others have taken a more negative view.
Pro Football Focus didn’t put the Giants very high in their roster rankings, placing the team’s overall talent level at 27th in the league, praising Saquon Barkley but claiming that the top weakness on the team is Eli Manning. Because of the large role change between this season and last season, Sterling Shepard was listed as the team’s largest X-factor. Here’s what PFF had to say about Manning:
New York clearly knows that Eli Manning is on his last leg, and the plan to replace the former Super Bowl MVP should have been in place a few years ago. He logged 1,000-plus snaps for the fifth season in a row and put forth the second-lowest grade of his career. And Manning failed to hit the deep pass with any regularity and completed just 39.2% of his passes targeted 20 or more yards downfield, ranking 22nd.
The ESPN article wasn’t all negative on the Giants’ however. Barkley is rated as the fourth highest rated running back according to PFF, although some Giants fans may consider that rating too low after Barkley finished second in rushing yards during his rookie season.
“The most efficient part of his game, however, was his receiving prowess, as he led all running backs by forcing an additional 31 missed tackles after the catch,” the article adds, after a rundown of Barkley’s stats on the ground.
Is the article’s criticism of Eli Manning and overall low ranking of the team fair? Maybe, maybe not. That’s up for each person to decide, but the drop in confidence is somewhat expected after the team’s hype last season backfired and ended with one of their worst starts as a franchise.