NFL Power Rankings | 31. New York Giants
Updated: May 13, 2020
Prediction: 2-14, 4th in NFC East.
HOG MOLLY. That has been the buzz phrase associated with Dave Gettleman for years now and in this year's draft, he stuck to his beliefs.
4th overall pick Andrew Thomas was the best Hog Molly and best Offensive Lineman available in the 2020 draft and will have the longest career of all the early tackles taken.
GM Gettleman resisted the claims by Draftniks that Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills or Mekhi Becton were the premier assets at the OL position and stuck to the rating that he and many others held for Thomas back in early 2019. Of the OL options, Thomas has the highest floor and will be joined on the line by third and fifth rounders Matt Peart and Shane Lemieux.
Peart and Lemieux may not immediately start, but they are also high floor picks and will provide competition across an offensive line that should be a strength in 2020.
High floor equals solid, but not spectacular and this is a trend for Gettleman and his beloved hog mollies on both sides of the trenches. The Giants' defensive line starters of Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson all come with the pedigree of first and second round picks but have never lived up to their high round billing within the national consciousness.
Irrespective of draft capital spent, these hog mollies are still solid and do what is required of them. All three are capable of occupying multiple blockers and moving the pocket for the flashier, twitchier athletes to pile up the stats.
Herein lies the issue with the Giants. Where are the flashy, twitchy playmakers behind them?
Markus Golden had an excellent 10 sacks last season, 2.5 off his career best but could still depart as an UFA. Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines both had 4.5 sacks apiece. Ximines was a third round pick in 2019 and could flourish into a key cog within the defense, but where is the scary pass rush that Big Blue used to be famed for?
The secondary will be bolstered by the nationally underappreciated James Bradberry, but the talent here is paper thin. Underwhelming 2019 first rounder DeAndre Baker will need to take a leap in order to stave off 2020 draftee Darnay Holmes. A bit of competition may be exactly what he needs to inspire him to begin to repay the first round faith shown in him and it is asking a lot for Xavier McKinney to come in and immediately fortify the back end of a below average safety unit.
On offense, Daniel Jones will be given a long leash. Jones was taken 6th overall by Gettleman in 2019 and showed flashes of real talent, but too many inconsistencies have meant that he is yet to be considered anywhere close to the same echelon as Carson Wentz or Dak Prescott who also reside within the NFC East.
If Jones suffers a slow start, fans in the Big Apple may be clamouring for a 'Tank for Trevor' type season. I get the sense they will be caught in the same kind of draft purgatory that Miami experienced last season.
Nevertheless, Danny Dimes will be a foundational piece to Big Blue as he enters his sophomore year. The running game should be boosted by a fully healthy Saquon Barkley, and Darius Slayton was a genuine find in the fifth round in 2019, finishing the season as the Giants' leading receiver.
The Giants just have too many holes to be considered a major threat for most teams. A schedule with four games against two genuine playoff contenders in their division will not help matters in what will be a batism of fire for new HC, Joe Judge.
Finding the highs are difficult. The Giants could split the series against the Redskins who are also a team in development, but Washington may be just a small a step ahead thanks to the wordly wise Ron Rivera and stronger depth in many areas.
Non-divisional road games against the Rams, Seahawks and Ravens along with welcoming the powerhouses of Pittsburgh and San Francisco will be too much for New York to overcome and Gettleman will be on the clock inside the top 5 again in next year's draft.
Current 2021 NFL Mock Draft Prediction: OT, Walker Little - Stanford