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2016 NFL power rankings: New York Giants projected worst in NFC East

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ESPN released their "way too early" power rankings while they try to evaluate the futures of each NFL team. Their projections aren't too fond of the Giants.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 2015-16 NFL season is officially over and the Denver Broncos reign supreme over the rest of the league. However, ESPN isn't quite ready to call it quits on football as they released their preliminary power rankings for next season. The New York Giants don't fare well according to the ESPN analyst panel responsible for formulating the list with an overall finish of 21st overall.

Why they're here: The Saints stole some of the defensive futility headlines, but it was actually the Giants who finished dead last in total defense in 2015, allowing a whopping 420 yards per game. In that regard, being ranked No. 21 is actually a show of respect. When you have Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr., it's hard not to at least remain hopeful.

What could change:
Wholesale changes will hit the defense, with the problem being Jason Pierre-Paul and Prince Amukamara are possible departures, which just makes things even dicier on that side of the ball. The Giants do have roughly $50 million in cap space and a top-10 draft pick, and they need help at all three levels on defense. Fans will need to buy a program to start 2016.

The Giants defensive problems are well known and look to be a focus of improvement for the front office this offseason. With a solid amount of cap space and high draft picks, can Jerry Reese turn the defense around? With holes at virtually every defensive position, it will be no easy task.

With this ranking, ESPN projects the Giants to have the bleakest future in the entire NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles barely beat them with a 20th place finish. The current divisional winner, the Washington Redskins, are good for 15th overall while the Dallas Cowboys finish at 13th.