Coming off a disappointing first season under the helm of head coach Pat Shurmur and General Manager Dave Gettleman, the New York Giants will look to take the next step in their ascension back to relevance this offseason.
Winners of just eight games over the past two seasons, there are numerous holes to fill on the New York Giants roster. The addition of Offensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner Saquon Barkley brought a dynamic playmaker to New York’s backfield. Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 all-purpose yards, behind a subpar offensive line, a testament to the generational talent the Penn State product has proven to be.
Big Blue’s new-look offensive line struggled to live up to Gettleman’s vision, allowing 47 sacks, the sixth-most in the league.
Free agent acquisition Nate Solder failed to warrant his record-setting 4-year, $62 million contract at left tackle. Right tackle Ereck Flowers and right guard Patrick Omameh proved to be a failed experiment on the right side of the line and were both cut mid-way through the season.
A number of the sacks allowed this season can be attributed to Eli Manning’s lack of mobility. At 38 years-old, Manning struggled to evade pass rushers, often going down at the first sign of pressure within the pocket.
New York’s defense failed to show up in big spots this season. The Giants ranked last in the NFL in fourth-quarter defense, allowing 10.6 points per game in the final frame.
With edge rusher Olivier Vernon sidelined for the first five games of the year, the Giants struggled to pressure the quarterback in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s 3-4 front.
To go along with a struggling pass rush, the New York Giants secondary presented plenty of issues. Curtis Riley was a liability as he transitioned from cornerback to free safety, failing to stay on top of deep routes and getting beat far too frequently.
There are question marks across the board of Big Blue’s roster. However, with dynamic weapons on offense and promising young players on defense, New York may be a season or two away from being a playoff team.
With the offseason approaching, we look at the five biggest positional needs that the New York Giants must address.