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Giants No. 29 in ESPN’s future power rankings

There is some optimism heading into the season, but the Giants need to prove they are on the right path

Syndication: The Record Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

In a nod to just how bad a situation GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll inherited, the New York Giants are ranked No. 29 in ESPN’s annual future power rankings heading into the 2022 season.

The rankings project which NFL teams are in the best position for the next three seasons — 2022 thru 2024.

Why they’re here: There is deserved optimism about the leadership of GM Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll for the Giants, but they take over an organization in need of major repair. Perhaps no team had a worse cap situation at the start of this offseason (the Falcons and Bears are also in this mix), so the first step in progress is going to be undoing some prior errors. Additionally, QB Daniel Jones is in a now-or-never season after the team declined his fifth-year option. But two top-seven picks this year and a healthier cap outlook going forward bode well. — Yates

Biggest worry: Can Daboll get out of Jones what none of his other coaches has been able to up to this point? Can running back Saquon Barkley still be even a fraction of what he showed as a rookie in 2018, the last time he played a full season without missing a game? Those are two huge concerns. — Riddick

What could change for the better: New York has to establish defensive cornerstones. The Giants’ draft hits on that side of the ball in recent years are scarce. Safety Xavier McKinney is certainly one. Edge rusher Azeez Ojulari has a chance, and New York has big plans for pass-rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. The Giants need these three to create a young core that will excite the fan base for years to come. — Fowler

Stat to know: Among players with at least 150 routes run, receiver Kadarius Toney ranked seventh in targets per route run (29.8%) and 11th in yards per route run vs. man coverage (2.8). Although the playing time was limited, those numbers suggest significant potential for the 2021 first-round pick going forward. — Walder

Valentine’s View: Even after what appeared to be a solid offseason, it is hard to blame anyone for putting the Giants this far down on a ‘futures’ list like this one. The Giants are 22-59 over the past five seasons, tied with the New York Jets for the worst won-loss record during that time period.

They still haven’t answered their Daniel Jones question. They don’t know if their best player, Saquon Barkley, is still really their best player. There is optimism about Brian Daboll, the new offensive and defensive schemes, and the rookie class. All of that optimism though, has to be borne out by production on the field. Until then, it is hard to have anything concrete to base long-term optimism on.

I think the Giants are headed back on the right path, and that the Schoen/Daboll combo will at least get them to respectability — if not back to championship contention. Those are just words, though. I have thought the same in other years.

We need to see the proof.