Just two years ago the New York Giants were in more than just a state of peril, they were spiraling towards their demise with no end in sight. Eli Apple and Landon Collins were causing serious issues in the locker room, leaders were deteriorated to their raw self, and management was benching Eli Manning for Geno Smith.
Essentially, the entire state of the franchise was in jeopardy, and it required a complete overhaul in management and personnel. General manager Dave Gettleman and his no-nonsense approach have found a way to not only revitalize the offensive line but has improved the state of the locker room and brought in players to maintain it.
Newly signed receiver Golden Tate has already seen the camaraderie on the Giants, stating:
“You can already tell a week in we have a really solid locker room. It’s been great so far. I’m looking forward to building these relationships.”
Installing fresh leaders that have no relation to the dark days of the past was a priority going into the offseason. Players like Antoine Bethea, Markus Golden, Kevin Zeitler, and Tate will all play a significant role in helping the younger guys develop.
The New York Giants are fighting to succeed:
In addition, extending Sterling Shepard was a great move for the atmosphere of the team. His leadership abilities and skill set will help his teammates elevate their game and improve in any way possible.
The trio of Saquon Barkley, Wayne Gallman, and Evan Engram have been pushing themselves to improve as well.
If the Giants take a running back high in the draft, an investigation is in order. They are set with generational talent Saquon Barkley and happy with Wayne Gallman in reserve. Taking a running back, strictly for depth purposes, could conceivably be in order on Day 3 of the draft.
The trade of Odell Beckham Jr. assures there will not be a superstar receiver on the roster. Veteran Golden Tate was signed as a replacement, but he is a smallish target — with exceptional yards-after-catch prowess — and has a similar skill-set to Sterling Shepard, whose role will increase without Beckham on the scene. There are plenty of returning options — Corey Coleman, Cody Latimer, Bennie Fowler — with experience, but adding a receiver is something the Giants will look to do in this draft.
They could use a youngster with size, and Hakeem Butler of Iowa State fits the bill at 6-foot-5. Butler had 101 receptions and 16 touchdowns the past two seasons, and eight of the TDs were 40 yards or longer. He is raw and his hands need to improve but he could be a developmental project.
There is great optimism that Evan Engram’s late-season surge (mostly when Beckham was out with an injury) will carry over into this season. Engram’s second NFL season was disappointing, stopping and starting because of injuries and reduced playing time.
Rhett Ellison does a little bit of everything and is a particular favorite of coach Pat Shurmur. A blocking tight end would be a nice addition. Zach Gentry did plenty of in-line blocking at Michigan and Trevon Wesco of West Virginia is a wide body at 270 pounds.