Good morning, New York Giants fans!
In 2022, Dexter Lawrence was the New York Giants’ breakout player of the year. Lawrence had previously been very solid but not dominant in the interior. A second-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection later, Lawrence is now the focal point of the Giants’ defense, a monster in the middle to pulverize opposing centers.
Who are the three players that could make that jump in 2023? BBV's Rivka Boord points to edge Kayvon Thibodeaux, right tackle Evan Neal and wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins as those who can be the player that other teams have to key on this upcoming year.
A big jump from Thibodeaux could allow Wink Martindale a lot more leeway in his defensive plan, one that is somewhat less reliant on the blitz to get home. On the other side of the ball, improvement from Neal would solidify the team's offensive line and Hodgins is exactly the kind of receiver the Giants seek: a player who can get open quickly and catch the ball.
More from Big Blue View
- Parris Campbell gets to restart his career in New York
- Alex Cook: From wide receiver to safety to Giants UDFA
- Defensive line techniques, gaps explained
- Wink Martindale — Tae Banks is ‘everything you want in a corner’
Other Giants observations
CB Deonte Banks is projected to finish tied for first among his class in interceptions (two) and tied for fourth in tackles (63), according to analysis from ESPN’s Mike Clay.
Rookies are averaging 43.1 interceptions per season over the past decade. That’s despite a decade-high 61 INTs by first-year players in 2022, which was a huge leap from a decade-low 31 in 2021. First-round rookies combined for 12 last season after totaling either six or seven in each of the prior three seasons. Only 15 rookies have reached four interceptions over the past decade, with Marcus Peters (eight), Tariq Woolen (six) and Casey Hayward (six) the only players above five.
A good reason to skip OTAs
University of Maryland graduate Deonte Banks! pic.twitter.com/q6kbMnFz1J— Maryland Football (@TerpsFootball) May 24, 2023
A master at applying pressure with his defense, Martindale is every bit as much under pressure this season as Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who signed a four-year contract extension that guarantees him at least $82 million.
Fans expect Jones to take his game and, in turn, the offense to another level in 2023. The same should be expected from Martindale and the defense.
For the Giants, these OTAs should all look a whole lot more familiar and cohesive this time around, but there are still plenty of unknowns.
NFC East projected starters for 2023 NFL season: Eagles, Cowboys boast conference’s top two rosters | NFL.com
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal:
The Giants set out to get deeper and faster this offseason. They did it. I love how quickly Schoen and Brian Daboll have transformed this roster in two offseasons. Then again, it still may be the least talented group in the division. Can Daboll and Martindale close that gap with coaching once more?
Will rookie WR Jalin Hyatt start right away? Does rookie running back Eric Gray have a chance to serve as Saquon Barkley’s top backup? Those are just some of questions that the Giants will look to resolve before they take on Dallas in Week 1.
Other roles to be sorted out include who will start at left guard and center, the other starting defensive backs besides safety Xavier McKinney and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and ILB2.
Hyatt faster than Hill, Waddle? His former QB says so
Mara was universally applauded at the Giants Town Hall recently, in stark contrast to the icy reception given at MetLife Stadium less than two years ago during Eli Manning’s retirement ceremony.
The Town Hall cheers were likely for a combination of things: the optimism generated by Schoen and Daboll in their first season, one that ended with nine wins and the first playoff victory since Super Bowl XLVI; the event like the Town Hall, is seen as ownership “investing the time and money” for season ticket holders and his battle with the league office that put him on the side of the fans.
New York Giants: Add Another Edge-Rusher. Can the Giants find a bargain at a high-value position? Perhaps their unexpected success in 2022 will persuade a key remaining free agent. Even if Leonard Floyd or Yannick Ngakoue are too expensive for New York, how about Justin Houston or Carlos Dunlap?
Ranked 11th overall, Darren Waller is in the “Tier 3: Good but needs pieces around to be great” grouping.
A year ago, Waller ranked third on this list, but injuries continue to limit his ability to stay on the field and thus, his effectiveness on the field. After two seasons of 86.8-plus grades, Waller hasn't landed above 74.5 as a receiver. If Waller can stay healthy, he’s one of the best tight ends in the NFL.
The critical part for Barkley is getting a fair structure with solid guarantees that give him security, especially since he’s a running back. Barkley does not believe he’s gotten that in any of the offers submitted.
The running back market has not seen much movement, as the top-4 contracts were all signed in 2020. The team and player are not seeing eye-to-eye. Deadlines spur action in the NFL, and both sides have until July 17th to find some common ground.
Around the league
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