New York Giants hover around middle of pack in pre-season power rankings

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The New York Giants have been placed anywhere between No. 10-17 in multiple power rankings

A pre-season power ranking is anything but a sure bet. But indications from NFL pre-season power rankings indicate the New York Giants will hover somewhere in the middle of the pack -- at least before the team takes the field Week 1.

Between Sports Illustrated, Pro Football Talk, ESPN and NFL.com, the Giants have earned a spot between Nos. 10-17 in pre-season power rankings.

SI handed the Giants the best ranking at No. 10, but added the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins could each deserve that spot.

"A one-point, Week 13 loss in Washington is ultimately what kept the Giants from the postseason last year," author Chris Burke wrote. "They're arguably even more dangerous on offense now, with TE Brandon Myers (though losing RB Ahmad Bradshaw stings). The NFC East is so tight that at least the top three teams - the Giants, Washington and Dallas - might be interchangeable here."

It's a great point -- the offense has the potential to be even greater, with potential -- as always -- being a very, very dangerous word.

The 'Skins landed at No. 12, the 'Boys at No. 17, while the Philadelphia Eagles fell to No. 27. SI's top five included the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons.

ESPN's power rankings put the Giants at No. 12, a spot below the Redskins. ESPN's NFC East Blogger Dan Graziano made the pick, citing the team's not-so-exciting off-season as the reason why.

"A typical Giants draft -- nothing flashy, just some building blocks to keep the roster deep," he wrote.

This ranking was based on the off-season moves in the aftermath of the NFL Draft. It did not fully encompass the roster already in tact and the projected development of integral players.

The Cowboys landed at No. 20 and the Eagles at No. 25 -- pretty similar to SI's rankings. In addition, the typical top five -- Seattle, San Fran, Denver, Atlanta and Green Bay -- made up the top five (in that order).

Pro Football Talk's power ranking positioned the Giants at No. 13. Author Mike Wilkening defended the ranking by acknowledging the team -- talent-wise -- is in a position to succeed, the caveat being how well the defense functions.

The obvious questions lingering on the defensive side of the ball pertain to whether Mark Herzlich or Dan Connor seizes the middle linebacker job, who earns the start at outside backer, and on offense whether first-rounder Justin Pugh or incumbent David Diehl gets the nod at right tackle.

"The Giants — like every other team in the competitive East — need to get their wins when they can. The division hasn’t produced multiple playoff teams since 2009.

"Should the Giants get back to the postseason, there will be no doubting their readiness for the rigors of January. The NFC East is tough. And it will also take its toll, too, as the Giants, 9-9 in division play the last three seasons, too well know. To get to January, New York needs to slog through the schedule that encompasses the kids going back to school, the leaves turning colors and all of that holiday music on the radio."

NFL.com's power rankings were released at the end of June, when the Giants landed at No. 17.

The Giants fell seven spots in the ranking, as the list reflected Jason Pierre-Paul's back surgery, a Victor Cruz contract situation which was not resolved at the time and lingering concerns about Hakeem Nicks' absence at OTAs.

This ranking has the 'Skins ahead of the rest of the division in the No. 10 spot, and the Giants behind the Cowboys, who were at No. 16.

Of course, NFL.com would need to update its rankings to reflect Pierre-Paul being on track to health, a Cruz extension and Nicks' attendance at OTAs and now training camp. The gap would likely then be cut between the Giants and Redskins.

Follow Sam on Twitter @SamSpiegs

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