New York Giants
New York may have drafted Eli Manning’s replacement in Davis Webb last month, but the team is going all in with Manning over he short term. This was apparent when New York signed former Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall away from their co-tenant New York Jets.
Sure Marshall struggled to do much last season but that was primarily due to the Jets’ absolutely disastrous quarterback situation. Remember, here’s a dude that is one season removed from putting up over 1,500 yards and a league-leading 14 touchdowns with Ryan Fitzpatrick tossing him the rock. He surely has something left in the tank.
If signing Marshall to team up with superstar Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t enough, New York added former Mississippi tight end Evan Engram in the first round of the draft. Engram is an interesting case-study in that he can play both the in-line tight end role and move to the slot. Too fast for linebackers to cover and too physical for most slot corners, Engram presents a tremendous mismatch.
These two additions were sorely needed after New York regressed on offense in Ben McAdoo’s first season as the team’s head coach. Overall, this unit ranked 25th in yards after finishing in the top 10 the previous season. Despite an improved defense and an 11-5 record, upgrading on offense was a necessity.
Defensively, the Giants have done a tremendous job mixing young talent with established veterans. Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon combined for 15.5 sacks along the defensive line. High-priced free-agent addition Janoris Jenkins performed much better as a No. 1 corner than most anticipated he would. Meanwhile, Landon Collins proved to be the ball-hawking safety some believed he would never be.
With Dallas set for potential regression after last season’s surprise performance, it would not be a surprise to see the Giants leap them in the NFC East standings. Clearly, the Giants are also better than both Philadelphia and Washington. Look for big things from this team in 2017.