Let’s inject a little more originality into this week’s pick. This column has become as predictable as the Giants’ "11" personnel on offense. For the past three weeks it might as well have been called "Pick an offensive tackle from the other team," as I tabbed LT Tyron Smith of the Dallas Cowboys, LT Taylor Decker of the Detroit Lions and RT Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Fifty-one percent of you agreed with me on Smith, a whopping 62 percent on Decker and 31 percent on Johnson. We settled on each player for obvious reasons: the Giants offensive line has been underwhelming for most of the year. Ereck Flowers in particular appears to have taken a step back from where he was a year ago.
The Giants have more issues than just their offensive line, however. Tight end has been a sore spot for a couple seasons, and they lack size at receiver and depth on the defensive line. For as good a job as Jerry Reese did adding pieces through the draft and free agency last off-season, there’s still work to be done.
For the purpose of this column, we won’t wait until next offseason. As things stand today, I’d pluck Jordan Reed from Washington’s roster. He’d give Eli Manning the sure-handed, big target playmaker he hasn’t seen since Martellus Bennett left for the Chicago Bears after 2012.
Okay, maybe selecting Reed isn’t quite going out on a limb, but how could it have been anyone else? When healthy, Reed is a premier red-zone target. In 2015, 10 of his career-high 11 touchdown receptions came inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Giants’ tight ends have scored a combined eight touchdowns since 2015.
Read the case for the rest below...
Kirk Cousins, QB
Giants’ fans may not "like that," but Cousins has outperformed Eli this season and, at age 28, looks to be entering his physical prime. Cousins has surpassed 4,000 yards passing and 20 TDs for the second consecutive season and is once again near the top of the league in completion percentage (67.3).
Rob Kelley, RB
The rookie out of Tulane is no Ezekiel Elliot, but he’s lifted the Skins run game when given the opportunity. His 137 yards and three TDs against the Green Bay Packers in Week 11 would be season-highs for the Giants.
DeSean Jackson, WR
Now 30, Jackson can still blow the top off a defense. He may not do so as consistently as he did as an Eagle, but his 18 yards per reception is third in the league and he’s on pace for another 1,000-yard season.
Josh Norman, CB
Norman talks a big game, and usually backs it up too. Some call him a shutdown corner, some say he can’t be that without traveling with receivers. Whichever the case, Norman’s impact is quantifiable. Since losing him, the Carolina Panthers’ defense has become the league’s worst against the pass.
Ryan Kerrigan, LB
Kerrigan leads the Skins with 11 sacks this season, bringing his total over the last three seasons to 34.