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Giants’ playmakers ranked No. 30 in NFL

Well, that is certainly not encouraging

Syndication: The Record Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants have a running back drafted No. 2 overall. A wide receiver drafted in Round 1. A pair of wide receivers drafted in Round 2. A free agent wide receiver they paid $72 million over a four-year period. A tight end drafted in Round 4.

All of that, yet according to ESPN the Giants’ have only the 30th-ranked group of offensive playmakers in the NFL. Per ESPN, only the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears have a worse collection of playmakers.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell writes:

If you’re a Giants fan, your best hope has to be that former coach Joe Judge simply sucked the talent out of this offense, because just about everybody in this group looked a lot better two years ago.

Saquon Barkley has been limited by injuries to 627 middling rushing yards over the past two seasons and hasn’t looked like his rookie self since suffering a high right ankle sprain in 2019. Wideout Sterling Shepard tore his left Achilles last season, while deep threat Darius Slayton hasn’t built on a promising rookie campaign and was in and out of the lineup in 2021. Big-ticket free agent Kenny Golladay, who averaged more than 74 receiving yards per game for the Lions in 2019, had almost exactly half as many yards per game with the Giants last season.

Hope resides with 2021 first-rounder Kadarius Toney and 2022 second-rounder Wan’Dale Robinson, who unfortunately might play the same role in the lineup as undersized “gadget” wideouts. Toney’s résumé consists of a 10-catch, 189-yard game against the Cowboys; he failed to top 40 yards in a single game the rest of the way. New coach Brian Daboll got the most out of a variety of skill positions when he was the coordinator in Buffalo; he’ll have his work cut out for him in New York, where the names look bigger on paper.

Valentine’s View

Are the Giants really that bad? They certainly shouldn’t be.

They have Saquon Barkley. They have Kadarius Toney. They have Kenny Golladay. They have Sterling Shepard. They have high hopes for Wan’Dale Robinson and Daniel Bellinger.

The No. 30 ranking reflects the dysfunction of the offense, especially last season. I don’t expect the Giants to morph into the Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills overnight. Their group of playmakers, though, should perform far better than the 30th-best in the league.