Posted by Adam Kaplan on Sunday, February 27, 2011
There are two things the Giants always seem to have a plethora of: pass rushers and running backs. At one point, Packers running back Ryan Grant was 5th on New York's depth chart behind Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Reuben Droughns. Even though the team traded Grant, released Droughns, and let Ward walk when his contract ran up, this team still has a damn fine rushing combination of Bradshaw and Jacobs.
On the other side of the ball, this team won a Superbowl based upon the pressure of Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. The next year when Strahan retired (and did everything but play football) and Umenyiora got injured, the Giants were still able to bring great pressure Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka.
This is a great great GREAT formula to win games and divisions every year. Except for the tiny fact that the Giants missed the playoffs in 2010.
Last year the Giants offensive line ranked 7th in run blocking and 2nd in pass blocking. This offensive line is really good and have been above average for the past couple of years now. The Giants also have one of the best receiving corps in the game right now considering the breakout year that Hakeem Nicks had, Steve Smith (who has since earned the title "The Better Steve Smith" and Carolina's Smith now gets the title of "The Crappy Steve Smith") and Mario Manningham. Smith has proven to be a number one wide out but I think he has a better role has the possession #2 guy. Smith is a free agent this offseason and I think it would be wise to re-sign him. However, if this team truly doesn't have the cap space for him, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to let him go.
The biggest problem with the Giants offense is Eli Manning. I know Giants fans love Manning but he is on par with David Garrard for me- an average player who will have great seasons and some bad ones; a player who has the talent to start but not the talent to be elite and lead a team down field to win a game. When Manning was drafted everyone knew he didn't have the strongest arm- which is a HUGE problem when you play in the wind tunnel d.b.a. The Meadowlands. New Meadowlands helps out Manning's play a bit but considering how amazing Philip Rivers is and considering what a whiny little brat Eli Manning was coming out of college, I truly believe the Giants made an awful decision trading away Rivers for Manning.
Just a fun fact, career back up to Peyton Manning Jim Sorgi is now Eli Manning's back up in New York.
On the other side of the ball, the Giants biggest problem is their run playing abilities. As I mentioned earlier in this post, this team can rush the pass like nobody's business (which more than makes up for an average secondary) but their linebackers and defensive tackles aren't the greatest at run blocking and tackling. According to Football Outsiders, the Giants ranked 3rd in overall defense (7th in weighted defense), 3rd in pass defense but 15th in rush defense.
Like the San Diego Chargers, this team has a GREAT core and as much as I hate on them, there's very little need for improvement. And like the Chargers, the Giants main flaw was that they turned over the ball like nobody's business. The Giants were 10th in the NFC with a -3 turnover margin and dead last in the NFL with 42 give aways. Ahmad Bradshaw had 7 fumbles last year (6 lost) and Manning had a career high 25 interceptions (more than he's had in the past two years combined).
I'm going to say that the Giants should draft Illinois defensive tackle Corey Luiget here. Both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have Luiget as a top 15 player overall but I'm going to trust The 'Bright' One's opinion- and he says Luiget is a early-to-mid second round talent at best. But the scouting report says that Luiget is a fantastic run blocker and NFL teams love him. So even if Corey Luiget isn't a first round talent, he'll be drafted on Day 1.
- Run Stoppers
- Tight End
Game Of Inches Mock Draft (so far):
1) Carolina Panthers- DT Nick Fairley (Auburn)
2) Denver Broncos- DE Da'Quan Bowers (Clemson)
3) Buffalo Bills- CB Patrick Peterson (LSU)
4) Cincinnati Bengals- WR A.J. Green (Georgia)
5) Arizona Cardinals- QB Blaine Gabbert (Missouri)
6) Cleveland Browns- OLB Von Miller (Texas A&M)
7) San Fransisco 49ers- CB Prince Amukamara (Nebraska)
8) Tennessee Titans- QB Cam Newton (Auburn)
9) Dallas Cowboys- DT Marcell Dareus (Alabama)
10) Washington Redskins- DE Robert Quinn (North Carolina)
11) Houston Texans- CB Jimmy Smith (Colorado)
12) Minnesota Vikings- OT Nate Solder (Colorado)
13) Detriot Lions- OLB Akeem Ayers (UCLA)
14) St. Louis Rams- WR Julio Jones (Alabama)
15) Miami Dolphins- DE/OLB Aldon Smith (Missouri)
16) Jacksonville Jaguars- DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
17) New England Patriots- OT Tyron Smith (USC)
18) San Diego Chargers- G/C Mike Pouncey (Florida)