In 2020 the New York Giants lost their star running back early on and the season was as good as lost from that point. After Saquon Barkley was lost to injury the Giants slumped to 0-5. A terrible start to the season had new head coach Joe Judge struggling right at the start of his new tenure. In Week 6 the New York Giants finally got their first win on the board after a closely fought battle with their divisional rivals the Washington Football Team.
The New York Giants would finish the season 6-10 and end up coming second in the NFC East. Going into Week 17 they still had a chance at winning the division. Granted it was the NFC East but it’s all about just getting to the playoffs and then seeing what you can do, and the New York Giants came agonizingly close. In the end, it wasn’t to be as some dodgy roster decisions by the Philadelphia Eagles gifted the division to Washington.
New York finished with the least amount of points scored in their division which is an area they will need to vastly improve on. As for the defensive, the Giants only conceded 30 points twice but did give up 20 points or more eight times. New York finished with 40 sacks which is middle of the road as far as team sacks go but they did give up over 5500 total yards and the offensive line gave up 45 sacks on their young quarterback.
Improvements are needed all over the field if the New York Giants want to win their division for the first time since 2011.
New York Giants Team Needs Plus Predictions
The first opportunity any teams get to really improve their squad for the following season is free agency. As the legal tampering period began the New York Giants closed out day one with the addition of a running back to compliment Barkley. Devontae Booker went from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the bright lights of New York. After only starting one game in 2020, the back-up running back is likely to be in a similar role in the big apple.
After playing back-up to Josh Jacobs for the 2020 season, Booker racked up 423 rushing yards and three scores. Despite playing second fiddle, this was his second-best statistical season on record. With a healthy Barkley coming back in 2021, Booker will provide the New York Giants with a healthy one-two punch as they battle for the NFC East.
Next up in free agency the New York Giants should look to add a deep threat. The only issue with that is the distinct lack of cap space. As it stands, the Giants have under 300 thousand dollars to play with, but there are ways to extend that number. Firstly, cutting Nate Solder and Golden Tate will free up some space that will allow the Giants to go after a player like Kenny Golladay or Will Fuller. Both will command a fair price but the deep threat that they provide could be vital for the New York Giants in 2021.
If the New York Giants want to pick up one of these receivers then they likely need to move quickly, as free agency is set to get busier as the days go on. With Dak Prescott coming back for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021, the New York Giants need to bolster their offense if they hope to keep up with Dak and his electric wide receivers.
The 2021 NFL Draft
Now, when it comes to the NFL draft the Giants don’t exactly have plenty of capital to play with. In fact, they have just six selections and three of them come on day three of the draft. On day one the Giants hold the 11th overall pick. The selection at this point is entirely dependant on what they manage to do in free agency.
If the Giants can acquire either Golladay or Fuller then the attention should turn to the defensive side of the ball. In that case, the player on the Giants card should be Kwity Paye, Edge from Michigan. Paye is far and away the best edge prospect in this class and the Giants would benefit immediately with his arrival. At 6’4 and 247 pounds, the Michigan prospect is set to be a wrecker of offensive lines, and quarterbacks in the NFC East won’t like the thought of lining up against him.
If however, the Giants fail to bolster their receiving core in free agency then the Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith could be their man. In 2020 Smith had one of the best wide receiver seasons ever in college football as he ran out as a favorite for the Heisman Trophy. A natural playmaker at the position and exactly what the New York Giants need if they want to keep up with the high-flying Dallas offense.
What Else For The Giants?
With Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Devontae Booker, Evan Engram, and their newly acquired wide receiver, the Giants offense should be able to compete at a high level. Up next is finding a solution at cornerback. New York has James Bradberry, but they need someone to play opposite him. With their selection in the second round, the Giants should select Ifeatu Melifonwu from Syracuse. In 23 college matchups, he has boasted 19 pass breakups and in 2020 he recorded 54 tackles, three of which were for a loss.
In the latter rounds of the draft look for the New York Giants to bring in more defensive talent as they try to compete with Washingtons’ defense. Further addition of a wide receiver later in the draft would benefit the Giants as they look to find a stud they can develop for the future.
With Daniel Jones getting better as the years go on and the return of Saquon Barkley in 2021, the Giant’s offense could bounce back in a big way when the new season starts. If they want another trip to the postseason then they have a few moves they need to make beforehand.
Thanks for reading my article on the New York Giants’ needs for the 2021 season. For more NFL content, follow me on Twitter @Steelers_Mark and also follow @OTH_Football.
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