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Giants news, 3/31: Jones and analytics, new turf installed, Bono to Bozo, more headlines

New York Giants news for Friday

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Good morning, New York Giants fans!

Who were the best quarterbacks in the NFL in 2022?

In the eyes of football analytics, Daniel Jones saw significant gains then from a year ago. While Jones ranked 15th in yardage overall with 3,205 yards, his rankings go up for those in the analytics fields.

Jones finished 13th in expected points added (EPA)/play, a huge improvement from his rankings in 2019 (34th), 2020 (36th), and 2021 (28th). That seems consistent with what we saw in 2022, especially after the first few games. It’s a couple of slots higher than his ranking in passing yards but not dramatically different.

Kevin Cole of Unexpected Points has created a method to adjust quarterback EPA/play numbers for the positive and negative factors outside the QB’s control, such as drops by receivers and quality of the offensive line blocking among other metrics. Jones was ranked 5th in this metric.

BBV’s Tony DelGenio notes in his article

As for the QBs who didn’t look as good as they really were tied for first is Daniel Jones (+31.7 adjustment). Jones was one of the QBs most affected by dropped passes last season (+13.4), and the quality of his receivers in general (+8.8) and his pass blockers (+6.9) did him no favors either. On the other hand, he gained 7.7 EPA because of his good fortune in not having passes intercepted that should have been. Interestingly, scheme was a negligible factor in his success. My guess is that any benefit that accrued to Jones from the creative play-calling of Mike Kafka was offset for EPA purposes by the run-heavy, short passing approach the Giants felt they needed to use to limit the damage from their subpar blockers and receivers.

More from Big Blue View

Other Giant observations

How the Giants’ taste of success in 2022 hit the accelerator on their rebuild plans | The Athletic

“It was a great feeling for me and for our organization to finally win a playoff game,” Mara said. “Then we had kind of a crash landing the following week that kind of reinforced to us that we have a long way to go to be able to win that division and get into the championship game.”

“I obviously feel much better about our team now than I did a year ago,” Mara said. “Obviously though, our division is much tougher. So we’ll see. I think we have the pieces in place to continue to improve and ultimately contend for a championship.”

An all-time quote from Giants’ co-owner John Mara

Giants, John Mara envision ‘long-term’ role for Sterling Shepard: sources | New York Daily News

Ownership’s hope is that it will be ‘Once a Giant, Always a Giant’ for Sterling Shepard.

NFL Draft 2023: Giants continue their dinner tour with elite wide receivers |

They’ve already been to dinner with Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Boston College’s Zay Flowers and now reportedly had another get-to-know-him dining experience with TCU’s Quentin Johnston Wednesday night ahead of the school’s Pro Day in Fort Worth, Texas.

“We go to dinner with a lot of players,” general manager Joe Schoen said earlier this week at the NFL Owners Meetings. “It’s not just wide receivers, which is what everybody focuses on.”

2023 NFL Draft: Biggest pro and con for PFF’s top wide receiver prospects | PFF

We evaluate the pros and cons of each top 2023 NFL Draft wide receiver, including Quentin Johnston and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.

Bills knew Giants would pluck good players from Buffalo roster, GM says |

Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane knew what was going to happen last season after his former assistant Joe Schoen and his former offensive coordinator Brian Daboll left for more prominent roles with the Giants.

“Whenever we cut down our practice squad, we know we can lose guys, but particularly with Joe and Brian moving to New York, they knew our players and so you know it’s going to be harder to get guys through the cracks,” Beane said. “So I was thinking about it when we made the moves, but if it wasn’t the two guys they got, it would have been a couple of other guys that they would have done the same thing with.”

NFL Defensive Players Ready to Become Stars After 2023 Free Agency | Bleacher Report

Free agent signee Bobby Okereke is spotlighted as one player to breakout this year.

In some respects, Okereke has already broken out. Last year with the Indianapolis Colts, the 26-year-old piled up a career-high 151 tackles and nearly posted 100 solos. It marked the second season in a row in which Okereke topped 130 total stops.

However, there's quite a bit of difference between playing in the shadow of Shaquille Leonard in a small market like Indianapolis and being the No. 1 off-ball linebacker for a team in one of the largest media markets in the world. And the four-year veteran said he's looking forward to showcasing what he can do.

Most Overvalued Players In A 2023 Fantasy Football Draft | Football Outsiders

But it's time to acknowledge reality: Saquon Barkley is, as Gen Z says, very mid. His ability to get volume is noteworthy, one of six backs with 20 or more intended touches per game last year alongside Derrick Henry, Josh Jacobs, Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, and Joe Mixon. But this is a back with a -0.05 EPA per rush and =0.25 EPA per target per Sports Info Solutions, a flat 0.2% DVOA on rushes, and a -22.5% DVOA on receptions. That shakability Barkley is known for? That's also gone with just a 13.6% avoided tackle rate in 2022.

Around the league

Commanders focus on NFL-ready players in seven-round mock draft | FOX Sports

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy ‘spent some time’ with QB Dak Prescott going over interceptions |

Cowboys didn't offer Ezekiel Elliott a reduced deal to avoid "insulting" him | ProFootballTalk

Jets now own longest playoff drought in North American professional sports |

Katie Blackburn hopes Bengals, Joe Burrow "can be happy together" on contract | ProFootballTalk

Belichick clarifies focus on 2023, not 'last 25 years': 'We're not resting on our past laurels' |

Colts GM Chris Ballard explains why team isn't interested in trading up the draft board |

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