If the Giants could have any player off the roster of this week’s opponent, who would you take?
Similar to last week’s opponent, the Chicago Bears, there isn’t much to like about these Browns. On the surface, it starts and ends with the fact they’re 0-11. Only the Los Angeles Rams (149), Bears (157) and New York Jets (179) have scored less points then Cleveland (184). And bear in mind, they’ve all played one less game than the Browns have.
None of this means all of their players are terrible, however. Quarterback-turned wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. has revived his NFL career by going from throwing passes to catching them. His 56 receptions leads the Browns and is tied for 11th-most in the league. He’s also tied for 25th with four touchdowns.
Imagine his combination of size (6-foot-4, 223 pounds.), speed (4.38 40-yard dash) and big-play ability being available to the Giants’ offense? Eli Manning has a top-shelf trio in Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard, but only Cruz stands at least 6 feet tall. And he may have been on his tippy-toes.
In terms of size and catch-radius, Pryor is the physically dominant target Manning hasn’t had since Plaxico Burress donned a Giants' uniform. Eli didn’t do so bad throwing to number 17. Pryor is an inch shorter but much more explosive than Plax was. If he played for a team with one halfway decent quarterback, instead of a carousel of bad-to-worse placeholders, Pryor might universally be considered a top-five wide out. In a just world, he’d be my pick to lineup across the field from OBJ.
Here is the case for the rest below.
Isaiah Crowell, RB
With respect to Rashad Jennings, Crowell is more of a dual-threat than anyone on the Giants’ roster. He’s on pace for about 800 yards rushing, eight touchdowns and 40 receptions this year.
Duke Johnson Jr., RB
Johnson doesn’t get as many chances in the run game, but averages five yards per attempt when he does and he’s an excellent receiver out of the backfield. His 42 receptions is good for second on the team, behind Pryor.
Gary Barnidge, TE
Barnidge caught 79 passes for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns during his breakout 2015. He hasn’t matched that production in 2016, but at 0-11 it’s been a down year for everyone. He didn’t lose his ability from one season to the next.
Joe Thomas, LT
Depending on who you listen to, Thomas was almost a Giant six weeks ago. The Giants certainly have need for an all-pro left tackle, and Thomas’ name was linked to the team around the November trade deadline.
Joe Haden, CB
The productive but injury-prone Haden has been one of the NFL’s better cover-corners since he entered the league in 2010. Since he plays for the Browns, not everyone knows it. It should be fun watching him match up with Beckham Sunday.