The New York Giants Have Potential Pieces for Offense of the Future
It’s rare that free agent spending sprees yield Super Bowl rings in today’s NFL. That notion didn’t stop the New York Giants from giving up a boatload of cash to Janoris Jenkins, Damon Harrison, Olivier Vernon, and Jason Pierre-Paul. Certainly, each of these men is an impact player.
Impact is something the Giants defense lacked in 2015. Regardless of what these four actually do in 2016, the mass amount of money spent is simply a mask for the dire nature of New York’s roster. Since the years of consistent postseason appearances, this is a franchise that has endured some pretty bad draft classes. The result is a roster depleted of depth.
Single injuries sent areas of the Giants team into total disarray last season – particularly on the offensive line. However, Tom Coughlin’s exit marks a fresh start for the G-Men.
You can spin a horrendous 2015 campaign in a very positive way - every position, with the exception of quarterback, is wide open. Opportunity knocks. Hope the injury bug doesn’t.
When Coughlin’s Giants were winning Super Bowls, the formula seemed simple. Dial up a pass rush and distribute the ball on offense. Eli Manning’s receiving corps ran four deep. If he handed off, he had Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs (both in their prime) to carry the ball.
First year head coach Ben McAdoo is closer to assembling such an offensive nucleus than many realize. That is, if the young talent is able to reach its potential.
The buzz that Sterling Shepard has created throughout the offseason would make anyone think he was New York’s top draft pick this spring. He wasn’t. The former Oklahoma Sooner amassed 1,288 yards and 11 touchdowns over the course of his senior season. He brings a skill set that the Giants offense needs if Victor Cruz isn’t a factor anymore. Shepard has a veritable chance to start early in his career and produce. Buy it or not, pundits are already throwing his name in the hat for Rookie of the Year contention.
John Jerry and Marshall Newhouse appear slotted to start at right guard and right tackle respectively. That being said, the organization is hopeful that second year tackle Bobby Hart can step up and win a starting role. Such hope is met with patience. Hart is a sixth round pick after all. Still, if his progression continues, he could develop into the long-term solution at right tackle.
While second year wideout Geremy Davis has shown more potential than production, he has the benefit of opportunity on his side. The Giants don’t really have a big, physical possession receiver on the roster, something McAdoo would surely want in the rotation. He’s 6’2” and 216 pounds. If he can improve his speed and separation skills, he could carve out a nice role on offense.
Saying the Giants backfield is crowded would be a massive understatement. The advantage Perkins has is being a draft pick. The UCLA product would have to be completely and utterly atrocious to not make the team come August. Perkins was not a workout warrior. He isn’t an imposing figure and lacks elite speed. But, how often do running backs get the opportunity to run 40 yards unopposed these days? Perkins is a gamer who can break ankles and process what’s happening in front of him.
Jerell Adams is such an unknown commodity because college football could not care less about the tight end position. This rang especially true on a South Carolina Gamecock team that could not complete a pass to the ground. Adams has the potential to be what elite tight ends are in the NFL today. He can run block and he can get downfield. He’ll have an opportunity to compete for a role on Sundays.
Names like Rashad Jennings, Larry Donnell, and Dwayne Harris won’t go away quietly, but none are long-term solutions. Jennings can’t stay healthy. Donnell had a nice season, but did little to unabashedly lay claim to a starting spot. Harris’ best years are behind him
McAdoo knows how to play chess. He moves players around to fit their strengths, and he has some shiny new toys to play with. If it all pans out, this could be the offense of the future in New York.