3 New York Giants poised to have breakout seasons in 2023, including Kayvon Thibodeaux

The New York Giants just wrapped up their second week of OTAs, and all appears to be going well for Big Blue as several players have stood out in their spring practice sessions.

Although there’s limited contact in OTAs, these practices are vital as players get to work on their technique and gradually increase the intensity of the sessions before training camp starts next month. There’s a strong belief that the team will be significantly better than it was a season ago, in large part due to player development.

We’ll take a look at three players that are poised to have breakout seasons in 2023.

Related: 5 games that will make or break the New York Giants’ 2023 season

Daniel Jones

daniel jones

Last season was the first time that Daniel Jones showed he can be a capable starting NFL quarterback. He set career highs in passing yards (3,205), completion percentage (67.2), rushing yards (708), and QBR (60.8). More importantly, he only turned the ball over eight times in the regular season.

Due to his strong effort, leading the team to the playoffs last season, he was rewarded with a four-year $160 million contract.

Some outside the organization were surprised that he received a lucrative deal considering he only threw 15 touchdowns and that New York’s passing offense ranked 26th in the league (185.7 yards per game).

But general manager Joe Schoen supplied his 26-year-old quarterback with new weapons, such as Darren Waller, Parris Campbell, and rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt. Now as he enters his second season with Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka with better playmakers around him, the belief is that Jones can take the next step and become a top-tier quarterback.

Jones has been impressive in OTAs, especially when throwing the ball deep.

Head coach Brian Daboll was asked how he thought his quarterback looked on his deep passes.

“I’d say we just make sure he tries to throw it to the right guy with the right reads. There’s not any emphasis. I think Daniel’s made steady improvements since we’ve been here. He’s throwing to some new players out here. I think that’s important to try to read their body language. Again, we’re trying different things and trying to get to know some of the new players we have, too, and I’d say so is Daniel.”

If Jones can manage to stay healthy, he’ll put up numbers that will be superior to last season’s totals and prove that he deserved his new contract.

Related: Darren Waller’s OTAs performance is giving New York Giants fans reason to be excited

Kayvon Thibodeaux

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

When the Giants took Thibodeaux with the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the expectation was that he would be one of the favorites to win Defensive Rookie of the Year. But he suffered a sprained knee in the team’s second preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, which caused him to miss the first two games of the regular season.

He would go on to start 14 regular games and finished the season with 49 tackles (33 solo), four sacks, and two forced fumbles. The highlight of his season came in Week 15 at Washington when he received NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors after his 12 tackles and strip-sack for a touchdown performance.

As he’s preparing for the upcoming season with the rest of his teammates at OTAs, Thibodeaux was asked what specific aspects of his game he is working on.

“Getting sacks, finishing. There were a lot of times when I had a good pass rush that I didn’t finish. You realize the guy on the other side of the line is paid a lot of money. They’re not going to let (the quarterback) get touched. Continuing to sharpen the end of my rush, that third phase and make sure I start to finish.”

Now that he’s had a season under his belt to get acclimated to the speed of the NFL game, if he can improve on his technique and finish as he stated, he’s poised to have the first double-digit sack season of his NFL career, and hopefully become the next great Giants pass rusher.

Related: 3 reasons why the New York Giants pass rush will improve in 2023

Isaiah Hodgins

NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings

When the Giants claimed Hodgins in November of last season, it would prove to be one of the best moves that Schoen made in his short tenure as GM so far. He would appear in eight regular season games for Big Blue and had 33 receptions for 351 yards and four receiving touchdowns which was tied for most on the team with Richie James.

Then in New York’s 31-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card Round, he had a team-high eight receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.

It was obvious to anyone that watched the team last season, that he and Daniel Jones built an immediate rapport with one another. When the team needed a play from their passing game, Hodgins was Jones’s go-to guy.

Now they’ve had an entire offseason to work together and develop their chemistry even further.  Waller will take away some of Hodgins’ targets, but the 24-year wideout will still see a ton of passes thrown his way. It would not be a surprise if he leads the team in receptions or receiving touchdowns.

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