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Giants news, 5/27: Evan Engram, Jabrill Peppers, Lorenzo Carter among key players

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Happy Memorial Day, New York Giants fans! While you are enjoying yourself with family and friends please remember what today is really about. Take the time to honor those who protect our freedoms, especially those who sacrificed their lives to do so.

Before you get busy with your day, here are some Giants-related headlines from the past few days to get you caught up.

2019 NFL season: One key homegrown player for each NFC team - NFL.com

I will agree here with the choice of Evan Engram. His usage and development without Odell Beckham Jr. around is going to be interesting. Gregg Rosenthal writes:

There are times when Engram looks like the future of the tight end position, like a sleeker, more explosive Zach Ertz. Then there are the other times, when the mental errors pile up. Those mistakes led to Engram playing a slightly lower snap percentage than fellow Giants tight end Rhett Ellison over the course of the 2018 season.

Engram's yards per target in 2018 (9.0) compared favorably to Ertz and Travis Kelce, so this season's goal should be about Engram's quantity matching up to his quality. With no Odell Beckham Jr. around to eat up targets, Engram won't need to play that much better to top 1,000 yards. He'll get his looks. More than anything, though, he has to prove to coach Pat Shurmur that he's trustworthy enough to stay on the field more than 61 percent of the time.

Can Jabrill Peppers be Giants’ breakout star on defense? | Ranking top 3 candidates - nj.com

Peppers’ play will go a long way toward determining how good the Giants’ defense is:

After an offseason of turnover that includes draft picks nose tackle Dexter Lawrence, cornerbacks DeAndre Baker, Julian Love and Corey Ballentine, EDGE Oshane Ximines, linebacker Ryan Connelly and defensive tackle Chris Slayton along with free agent newcomers safety Antoine Bethea, EDGE Markus Golden and lineman Pierre Olsen, the Giants hope that an infusion of new faces yields a stinger and more talented defense.

Top 25 NFL players under age 25: Mahomes No. 1 in landslide, Mayfield finishes as third-highest ranked QB - CBSSports.com

Saquon Barkley is the only Giant on the list.

2019 NFL Breakout Players: Here's a look at 10 who are poised for big things this season - CBSSports.com

Here again, I agree with the choice of Lorenzo Carter. Pete Prisco writes:

Carter was a part-time player for the Giants last season, but that role will increase greatly this season with the trade of Olivier Vernon. Carter had four sacks last season and flashed playmaking ability.

I would expect him to push for double-digit sack numbers this season as he settles in as a starter. He is also athletic enough in coverage to make plays. The one knock on him is team can run at him, but a year in the weight room will help him get stronger to handle that aspect of the game.

Carter could be the answer for the Giants as their next edge-rushing star.

NFL Fatal Flaws 2019: Tom Brady and Drew Brees' age, Carson Wentz's health and every team's possible pitfall - CBSSports.com

Will Brinson selects quarterback for the Giants. You probably know I’m going to disagree with that. Brinson writes:

For all the anger about the Odell Beckham trade, it's still possible the Giants have a decent offense this year. I think they upgraded their offensive line enough for it not to be the fatal flaw it was last year (good call, me!). Saquon Barkley is awesome. Golden Tate/Sterling Shepard/Evan Engram is a nice receiving trio. I have a lot of questions about the defense too, but if there's one situation that could derail this team and get everyone fired, it's the quarterback depth chart. Eli Manning has looked like he's nearing/at/past the end of the line lately and Daniel Jones is a rookie people are eagerly waiting to see fail. If neither one can contribute above-average play this season, it's hard to imagine this team coming remotely close to contention.

2019 NFL Season Win Totals: Doubting the Cowboys, believing in the Giants (!) in the NFC East - CBSSports.com

Brinson doesn’t believe in Eli, but he somehow does believe in the Giants:

Win Total: 6 (Over +100, Under -120)

Call me a sucker but I'm starting to be here for the Giants season. I don't agree with all of Dave Gettleman's moves, but I think he's made a lot of smart football decisions in the last 24 months. Shuttling Odell Beckham, going running back (Saquon Barkley) over quarterback (Sam Darnold) and taking a backup quarterback out of Duke at No. 6 overall (Daniel Jones) stand out. But he's actually made some reasonable moves and I can see the Giants becoming a clone of the 2016 Cowboys. Run the heck out of the ball with a revamped offensive line, turn Barkley into the focal point of the offense and don't let Eli Manning blow any games. They open up at the Cowboys, versus the Bills, at the Buccaneers and home against the Redskins. You sure they can't start 4-0??? The Cardinals, Lions and Dolphins are also on the schedule. The secondary is a concern, but the front seven has some sneaky talent including Lorenzo Carter (one of Pete Prisco's breakout candidates), rookie behemoth Dexter Lawrence and B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson. I'm not looking for some 13-win season or anything. They just need to steal seven wins with an option to push at 6-10.

VERDICT: Over 6

The sneaky smart move Giants GM Dave Gettleman made this offseason | Which coach is benefiting? - nj.com

For the second offseason in a row, special teams was a priority.

NFL rumors: Pass rusher remains Giants’ most glaring need | Who are the best remaining free agents? - nj.com

Yes, there are still a few players who could be useful in this area.

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