The New York Giants have a very young roster. They currently have 41 players on their 90-man roster that are under the age of 25, and another 19 who are 25 or 26. But their youngsters aren’t particularly impressive on paper, at least according to Pro Football Focus.
PFF put out their annual rankings of the top 25 players under 25 years of age, and there aren’t any Giants on the list.
The top 10 of that list is certainly impressive:
- Nick Bosa (EDGE, San Francisco 49ers)
- Justin Herbert (QB, San Diego Chargers)
- Jonathan Taylor (RB, Indianapolis Colts)
- Tristan Wirfs (OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- Justin Jefferson (WR, Minnesota Vikings)
- Micah Parsons (LB, Dallas Cowboys)
- Ja’Marr Chase (WR, Cincinnati Bengals)
- Jeffery Simmons (iDL, Tennessee Titans)
- A.J. Terrell (CB, Green Bay Packers)
- D.K. Metcalf (WR, Seattle Seahawks)
It’s fair that after disastrous 2020 and 2021 seasons, the Giants’ young players wouldn’t be very highly regarded. However, they do have a few players who could crack PFF’s rankings with a good season in 2022.
LT Andrew Thomas is the obvious candidate. He will need to continue to build on an improved 2021 season and show that he is truly past the struggles of his rookie season. Likewise, EDGE Azeez Ojulari could crack the list if he’s able to be consistently disruptive and productive in Wink Martindale’s scheme.
Safety Xavier McKinney played well last year after missing much of 2020 to injury. Martindale makes heavy use of nickel and dime packages, and his pressure games could create opportunities for McKinney to produce. Similarly, cornerbacks Aaron Robinson and Darnay Holmes are both 23 and could have opportunities to step up in the Giants’ reshuffled secondary.
WR Kadarius Toney is 23 as well, and the Giants need their 2021 first round pick to step up and contribute consistently, even if he isn’t playing at the level of Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase.
Obviously, the Giants are hoping 2022 first round picks Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal are able to establish themselves as rising stars in their rookie seasons.
(Or break out as stars straight away. That’d work too)
However, they haven’t done anything yet at the NFL level. We can’t ding PFF too hard for not counting Thibodeaux and Neal among the best players in the League before they’ve played in the NFL. Even if Neal and Thibodeaux were the six and seventh players on PFF’s big board and the 2nd and 3rd rated players on the Consensus Big Board.
All that said, the Giants need at least some of their young players to step up. They might not crack any “25 under 25” lists, but the Giants desperately need their young players to form a reliable foundation to build on for 2023 and beyond. Though it’d be nice to have at least a couple of the Giants’ youngsters be among the best in the NFL at their position or age group.
It should be noted that even if Dexter Lawrence III or Daniel Jones have breakout seasons in 2022, they’re both 24 and will be 25 before the 2023 season starts.