As part of a fantastic 2017 NFL Season Preview package, SB Nation has listed a series of “Can’t Miss Predictions” for the upcoming season.
Because we can, and because it might be fun, let’s go prediction-by-prediction and apply to the New York Giants what our friends at the mothership have done. I will use applicable categories, and probably slightly modify the names of a couple to fit the Giants a touch better.
We start right out with a heavyweight category. It’s actually really easy to pick Landon Collins or Odell Beckham Jr. for this. I could make a case for either. As it has been for more than a decade, though, reality is the guy the Giants do not win without is Eli Manning. Maybe he’s not the “best” Giants player. To me, though, he’s still the one they can’t do without. There’s an expiration date on that statement, and it is reaching its due date, but it hasn’t yet.
Most Improved Player
You would love for this to be cornerback Eli Apple, and it might be if Apple can stop getting hurt. There are just too many weapons on offense for me to make Sterling Shepard the winner here. I’m going off the reservation just a bit, based on what we’ve seen in preseason. I’m going to predict this will be right tackle Bobby Hart. His performance, and his professionalism, have both impressed.
Hoss Of The Year
This, roughly, translates to best offensive or defensive lineman. As dominant as he has been this preseason, tossing linemen aside like rag dolls, how can you not give the nod here to Jason Pierre-Paul?
Most Disrespectful Blocker Of The Year
This is actually kind of a cool thing Geoff Schwartz will be doing during the season, picking a most disrespectful block of the week. For our purposes, it translates to “Offensive Lineman of the Year.” I’d give it to Ereck Flowers, but, well, anyway. I’m giving it to the guy I think will emerge as the Giants’ best offensive lineman, Weston Richburg.
Rookie Who Will Make The Biggest Impact
No-brainer. First-round pick Evan Engram. See what Schwartz said about his potential impact on how defenses play the Giants. Engram’s numbers might not be gaudy, but his impact could be massive.
Dak Prescott Rookie Who Came Out Of Nowhere Award
I’m giving this to Aldrick Rosas. I think he wins the placekickng job and, well, Southern Oregon isn’t exactly nowhere, but it is an NAIA school.
Will The Giants Regret Not Signing Colin Kaepernick?
If Manning gets hurt and we’re stuck watching Geno Smith or Josh Johnson play a lot of games, the answer is obvious.
NFC East Team That Won’t Meet Expectations
I have to go with the Dallas Cowboys here. I know how good Dak Prescott is, and I know all about the Dallas offensive line. There’s just too much volatility with what seems like a gazillion Cowboys facing suspensions, and the defense still isn’t all that good. They could be great, but they could also be a huge disappointment.
Most Overrated Player
I’m cringing as I even entertain this category. For my own safety, I should probably skip it. But, I’ll man up and put a name out there. As great as he was last year, I’m going to nominate Janoris Jenkins here. After five mediocre seasons with the Rams, I just need to see Jackrabbit do again in 2017 what he did last year to be completely convinced. And, yeah, I hate the choice, too.
Who Will Stop The Patriots?
Well, we know what has happened when Tom Brady faced Eli Manning in the Super Bowl. Getting there is the problem.
Which Giant Will Be The First One Fined For Celebrating?
Gotta be Odell Beckham Jr. The NFL always finds some way to take cash out of his pocket.