The New York Giants need some major reinforcements this offseason. The Giants finished up the 2020 NFL season in second place in the NFC East, but their 6-10 record made it clear that this team wasn't ready for the playoffs.
Most analysts believe that edge rush and wide receiver are the two positions the Giants must prioritize, either in free agency or during the draft. Let's take a look at these weaknesses and predict how the Giants could fix them this offseason.
Put simply, the Giants receivers struggled to make plays last season. Part of the blame lies with QB Daniel Jones, as his 80.2 QB rating ranked 30th in the NFL. The Giants' floundering offensive line was also responsible for this lackluster play. Of course, the receivers themselves didn't step up, either.
Veteran wideout Golden Tate is clearly coming to the end of his career in the NFL. Tate managed just 388 yards and 2 TDs in 2020, so it wasn't surprising when the Giants released him earlier this week. On the other hand, Darius Slayton enjoyed another solid campaign (751 yards) and continues to offer value in the WR2 slot.
As for Sterling Sheppard, he's a fine option, but it's looking increasingly unlikely that he'll ever develop into a genuine WR1 that's capable of consistently posting 1,000-yard seasons.
All things considered, the Giants need some fresh weapons at the wide receiver position. Improving this position group is also crucial for Jones' run in New York. Until he gets to operate with time in the pocket with first-class options at his disposal, the Giants won't know how good he truly is.
Without this complete evaluation, the Giants won't be able to move on or build around him, and the limbo will continue. Needless to say, they have to address the wide receiver position in order to find success next season and beyond.
Who should the New York Giants target at the wide receiver position?
There is an abundance of talent at the wide receiver position in the 2021 NFL Draft next month: Ja'Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle are all expected to get selected in the first round.
New York fans want to see the team pick a buzzworthy player, and either Waddle or 2020 Heisman Award winner, Devonta Smith would excite the fans. Smith, who recorded 1,856 yards and 23 TDs last year, could instantly become a breakout star in the NFL. But if he's not on the board when the Giants pick, Waddle is an excellent fallback plan.
On the defensive side, the Giants weren't abad at generating quarterback pressure last year. But most of this pressure came from the defensive linemen: Leonard Williams (62 pressures), Dexter Lawrence (29), Dalvin Tomlinson (28), and B.J. Hill (22)
The Giants' top edge defender was Kyler Fackrell (19 pressures.) Still, the Giants defense was one of the best units in the NFC, so improving the edge rush should take the team to the next level.
Who should the New York Giants target for the edge rusher position?
Due to the depth of the wide receiver position in this year's draft class, the team could opt to take an edge rusher with its 11th overall pick. The Giants could select Miami Hurricanes standout Gregory Rousseau and hope his raw potential translates to the NFL.
But there are many premier pass-rushers set enter free agency, so the Giants could opt to bring in a veteran instead. Shaquil Barrett, Bud Dupree, Melvin Ingram, and Yannick Ngakoue are all appealing options in a crowded market. Each of the aforementioned players would be capable of making an immediate impact for the Giants defense.
By bringing in a solid pass-rusher and improving the wide receiver position group, the Giants could easily contend for the NFC East crown in 2021.
How do you think the Giants will fix these needs? Sound off in the comments section below.