NFL.com is doing a “State of the Franchise” series for all 32 NFL teams. The one regarding the New York Giants is a week old at this point, but we haven’t really touched on it here at Big Blue View.
Let’s do that today. I won’t go through each item in the analysis by Adam Rank, but I thought it would be worthwhile to point out and discuss s few of the things mentioned. So, let’s do that.
Rank calls coach Joe Judge and quarterback Daniel Jones the Giants ‘VIPs’ for 2020. You know I agree with that, having written recently that the 2020 season for the Giants is all about finding out if they have the right coach and quarterback.
Rank projects Saquon Barkley as the Giants’ 2020 MVP. Well, duh. He’s their best player, it will be an upset if someone else ends up being the answer to that question. Oh, and have you seen some of those Barkley workout videos?
The pick for ‘breakout star’ is edge defender Oshane Ximines. X-Man should have the opportunity, and our readers agree that he should become a huge part of the defense in his second season.
Rank says the Giants “have the luxury of lowered expectations in 2020.” Well, yeah, expectations have been lowered because the Giants have mostly stunk since 2012. But, I’m not sure that’s a luxury. Sooner or later they have to begin winning more football games. What I think they might have is some cover with a first-year coach and a pandemic that has wiped away spring workouts and made everything about the upcoming season a question mark. They might be able to at least partially explain a poor 2020 season by the circumstances surrounding it.
Rank wants to see the Giants play Andrew Thomas at left tackle. He says “If this was a normal offseason, he’d get the work in OTAs and minicamp, you would see what he has and you would just throw him in at left tackle because he couldn’t do any worse. And in all honesty, that’s probably what they should do, even with prep limited by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
I’m not sure I agree. And I’m not sure it matters. Nate Solder is going to play somewhere. That might as well be the position he is comfortable in, especially in the current circumstance. It’s isn’t going to hurt Thomas to play the right side for a year. Tyron Smith did it. Laremy Tunsil played guard. It’s not a big deal.
Rank talks about getting the most out of Evan Engram. Well, yeah. That’s pretty obvious. Engram has to cooperate by getting — and staying — on the field, though.
Here is Rank’s conclusion:
Giants fans should be feeling pretty good. Eli was a beloved member of the organization and there is nothing but respect for the two-time Super Bowl winner. But his presence had started to hang over the franchise like the Sword of Damocles. I’m not saying everything was his fault. Not at all. However, you couldn’t have a fresh start with him there. It would be like doing a total remodel of your home but you still keep that futon you slept on at the Lambda house because it meant so much to you. It was time to move on.
I do agree that Giants fans should feel pretty good. I have no clue how 2020 will unfold. No one can, especially in the current environment. I feel good, though, about Jones and Judge. I feel pretty good about the young talent accumulated over the past three seasons. I feel pretty good about the salary cap because of the way the Giants approached 2020.
I think the Giants are — finally — firmly planted in the direction of the future. As they should be, and probably should have been years ago.