1. Evan Engram
In what turned out to be a nightmare season for the New York Giants, a silver lining was found in their rookie tight end. With a decimated receiver corps, Evan Engram became Manning’s favorite target. In 15 games last season, Engram was targeted 115 times and caught 64 passes for 722 yards, six of which were touchdown catches.
His developed body proved to be a force in the passing game, and he even stood up against linebackers and defensive backs well in the running game. He was number 4 amongst the league’s rookie receivers, and he was ranked 6th on NFL.com’s best tight ends in the league.
Engram reassured the Giants they chose wisely in last years draft and now he seems primed to have a big season. And the Giants are going to need every bit of it. With Eli Manning apparently under center again this year, you can look forward to the great chemistry to continue. With the Giants receiver core coming back healthy, look for Engram to take full advantage and attack the middle of the defense.
2. Dalvin Tomlinson
At 6’3″, 320 pounds, — Tomlinson led all NFL rookie defensive tackles with 50 tackles. Not to mention he was able to start all 16 games and stay healthy all season for the Giants.
He held his own playing alongside “Snacks” Harrison who became somewhat of a mentor to the young tackle in what can only be described as a disappointing season. Tomlinson showed tremendous skill coming off the ball and put his tackling skills on full display. And while Dalvin has plenty to work on this offseason, he’s clearly trending in the right direction.
The Giants did their part by bringing in James Bettcher who runs an aggressive 3–4 defense. In the three-years under Bettcher, the Arizona Cardinals defense never finished worse than 6th place.
The hope is he can continue his wave of success with the Giants and if so, a quick turnaround on defense seems imminent. And if Dalvin Tomlinson has a good year, the Giants will be playing winning football and that’s the bottom line.
3. Eli Apple
The Giants had a historically bad year by losing the most games ever in franchise history in 2017. And Eli Apple’s locker room issues and benching didn’t make matters any better.
The young cornerback managed to make a bad situation worse by becoming what Landon Collins could only refer to as a “cancer” in the locker room. Apple was dealing with personal family issues and it clearly became too much of a distraction.
The once-promising 1st round pick went from starting 11 games on an 11–5 playoff team to starting seven and getting benched. Eli ‘s numbers were similar to his rookie season but he clearly took a step back. New Giants general manager Dave Gettleman stated that Apple has a clean slate with this regime. And no one needs a do-over more than number 24.
The Giants moved Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to safety recently leaving the starting cornerback job wide open for Apple to secure. If the Giants defense plans to have any success in the future, it will have to be a future that includes Eli Apple.
How will regime change affect QB Davis Webb?
— New York Giants (@Giants) February 6, 2018
EXTREME Dark-Horse: Davis Webb
Davis Webb could turn out to be the most important piece of this offseason puzzle for the Giants. While the organization is sitting pretty with the number two pick in the 2018 draft, they could very well draft the heir apparent to Eli Manning this April.
Let me just say, not so fast.
What if Webb is THE guy. That changes everything, doesn’t it? The Giants would be able to draft what appears to not only be the best player on the board ,but probably the best player in the entire draft with Saquon Barkley. The mere thought has Giant fans everywhere salivating at the mouth. But Webb never got any meaningful snaps under center all year in 2017.
We truly don’t know what we have in Webb, and the Giants blew an opportunity to get a look at him when they decided to bench Eli Manning for Geno Smith. None of this was to the fault of Webb of course, and I believe studying under Manning for a whole year has to carry some value. If Davis can convince the organization that he is indeed the quarterback of the future, that’ll open up the playbook for Gettleman to make the necessary moves to bolster this roster.