New York Giants Won’t Be 2019’s Hard Knocks Team

The New York Giants are likely breathing a sigh of relief right now after it was announced that the Oakland Raiders will be the team featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks. This, of course, means that the Giants won’t be on the show – which is often maligned by the fans of the teams featured on it, as a distraction that no team wants to have around their locker room during the important training camp period each year.

Still, one team has to appear on the show every year and the Giants were one of the main teams that analysts speculated would show up, and had some of the highest Vegas odds to appear on the show. But anyone who bet on the Giants will be disappointed, as it’s Oakland that will appear on the show.

The Giants and the Raiders have been in somewhat similar states during recent years with the Raiders having slightly worse fates and finishing worse off than the Giants did. They drafted defensive end Clelin Ferrel at number four overall while the Giants infamously took quarterback Daniel Jones two picks later at number six.

The Raiders were also thought to be in the market for a quarterback after last season, but unlike the Giants, it looks like they’re sticking with their current franchise QB for another year without making serious moves to acquire other options.

The Giants, meanwhile, have had little drama during this offseason – something which should stay the same now that Hard Knocks is confirmed to not be following the team this season, something that most Giants fans will appreciate as this offseason rolls past quietly compared to 2018’s.

New York Yankees: Thairo Estrada Could Be Trade Bait

New York Yankees, Thairo Estrada

The New York Yankees are in need of a starting pitcher, and when we think of trade bait we go straight to Clint Frazier. But, Brian Cashman said in a phone interview the other day that teams have called about the availability of Thairo Estrada, and he believes that Estrada has potential to be a starting shortstop somewhere.

Estrada is just 23 years old, and is a very versatile player. Not just a middle infielder, he can shift to the outfield when needed. He is batting .280 in 50 MLB at-bats, and has just one error. He is also a career .280 minor league hitter, but has batted under .200 in AAA over multiple seasons.

With Didi Gregorius being healthy and an even younger middle infielder in Gleyber Torres, it would likely be years before Estrada gets an everyday shot with the Yankees. Plus, the Yankees drafted middle infielders with their early picks this year, putting those guys in position for the majors around 2022.

Estrada could be a starter for a rebuilding team, and that team could build around him and set things up where he could be their shortstop of the future. If he gets traded, his team might not win right away, but it could be an enormous opportunity for the young fella from Venezuela.

New York Giants: Is it possible Pat Shurmur uses Daniel Jones in the red zone?

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Daniel Jones.

The New York Giants could take their offense in a unique direction in 2019 with a bit of creativity, centered around rookie passer Daniel Jones and his athleticism.

Eli Manning, one of the NFL’s most tenured quarterbacks, had a very interesting 2018 season in the red zone, especially inside 10 yards. He ranked as the 9th best passer in regards to touchdown passes 10 yards or less from the end zone, but had a significantly lower completion percentage than the quarterbacks ranked around him.

This statistical indicates that Manning scored more on third down than on first or second, which attests to an increase in incompletions. The Giants must help the efficiency of the offense in the red zone, which is where Jones could come into the picture.

Having the ability to utilize the zone-read option within 10-yards takes a player out of coverage and makes the play-action more effective. That’s the potential the Giants’ 6th overall pick brings to the table.

247 Sports’ Dan Schneier touches on this subject:

“The zone-read option is an especially useful tool in the red zone as the field shrinks and it becomes easier for defenses to scheme ways to stop the traditional pocket passing game. The zone-read offense allows the quarterback multiple ways to attack the defense based on how the defense is aligned both before and after the snap. If the quarterback has the option to tuck the ball and run, the defensive ends have to think twice about crashing hard inside and committing to stopping Barkley, and that’s exactly what the zone-read offense accomplishes.”

Finishing his collegiate career with 17 rushing scores, Jones has the ability to systematically break down a defense and give his receivers a better chance at securing a touchdown pass. The threat of running can be just enough to lure the secondary closer to the line of scrimmage.

This is where receivers like Evan Engram come in handy – bigger bodies that can go up and catch the ball at its highest point.

While it’s unlikely the Giants actually carry out this idea, it’s certainly one that makes sense and could be a new take on offensive production in the red zone. It would also provide Jones with game live-game experience. My biggest concern is Eli Manning’s pride, as he once insisted he didn’t want to play at all if he wasn’t the first-choice option for every scenario.

 

 

New York Giants: Dexter Lawrence Will Be Dominant Instantly

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants drafted interior defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence with the 17th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. This pick was acquired via trade and it was the Giants’ second pick in the 1st-round. Dexter was the Giants’ first defensive player drafted in 2019, but he was not the last.

Dexter Lawrence will be thrown into the starting mix immediately. He will join the Giants’ young and underrated defensive front that features rising star B.J. Hill and unsung hero Dalvin Tomlinson. The addition of Dexter Lawrence could make this one of the best young defensive fronts in the NFL.

Dominant In Run Defense

Weighing in at a whopping 342 pounds, Dexter Lawrence is the hog-molliest of the hog mollies. He is an absolute brick wall that will swallow running backs whole in the middle of the Giants’ defensive line.

Dexter Lawrence recorded 36 total tackles in 2018 with 7 tackles for loss. Pro Football Focus gave Dexter Lawrence an 87.7 run-defense grade in 2018. He had 25 total defensive stops in 2018 as well.

Lawrence also exhibited elite strength at the 2019 NFL Combine. His 36 bench reps were the most of any defender in the entire draft class. Dexter will be able to use his superior strength to plug holes and push offensive linemen into the backfield to disrupt plays.

Underrated Pass Rusher

Many critics have already written Dexter Lawrence off as a pass-rusher. He has been toted as a two-down rotational run-stuffing nose tackle. However, this is just not true.

Dexter Lawrence is a criminally underrated pass-rusher. This interior defensive lineman was well-adept at getting to the quarterback during his time at Clemson.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dexter Lawrence racked up 33 total pressures in 2018 (T12th in draft class) and he also had the third-highest pass rush productivity percentage in the draft class, applying pressure on 13.8% of his snaps.

Lawrence was phenomenal as a true freshman. He racked up 48 total pressures during that 2016 season. This season demonstrated Dexter’s true potential as a pass-rusher. He is a little heavy, but if he can drop some pounds (which he admitted he needs to), Dexter Lawrence can be a truly exceptional pass-rusher.

New York Knicks Fans Are Mourning

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

The New York Knicks and their fans woke up this morning in daze.  Their coveted free agent prize, Kevin Durant, most likely has a torn right Achilles.

The whole basketball world knows about Durant and the connection with the Knicks.  That dream of signing Durant has now flew out the window.

The Knicks still have the opportunity to sign Durant, but it does not seem likely or a good idea.  Durant could miss the entire next season with this injury, depending on the severity of the injury.

However, the biggest concern is that Durant may never be the same player again.  The Knicks should not be taking a chance on that despite how good Durant is, or was depending on how he comes back.

It is not the end of the world, but a lot of Knicks fans were banking on Durant coming to New York.  If Durant was smart, he would opt into next years contract, worth 31.5 million.

A majority of Knicks fans saw all the hopes and dreams of being a contender next season crumble when Durant went down.  Again, it is not the end of the world, but a lot of Knicks fans will need time to regroup.

New York Knicks could swipe D’Angelo Russell from Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets, D'Angelo Russell

With the Brooklyn Nets suddenly entering the conversation for star point guard Kyrie Irving and his elusive skill-set, the New York Knicks could contend for D’Angelo Russell in free agency.

Russell, who finally came into himself in his fourth season as a professional, proved the LA Lakers wrong with an All-Star performance in 2018. The Nets enjoyed his progression, as he averaged 21.1 points-per-game (basketball-reference), leading an unexpected team to the playoffs, despite falling to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.

At this point in time, it seems as if the Nets have surpassed the Knicks in terms of potential and success. However, the Knicks, ran by Scott Perry, could be a suitable destination for the Nets point guard if they do, in fact, go after Irving.

Russell has been rumored to stay with the Nets as of late, as his image and pride has forced him to make a difficult decision. The Knicks might be the only team that could pry him away, allowing him to stay in New York and compete on the biggest stage.

With $73 million in cap space, the Knicks will have plenty of cash to splash on the dynamic point guard, and if Kevin Durant is set on bringing his talents to the Mecca, it might convince D’Angelo to take his talents up the street.

Other option still remains on the table for the New York Knicks:

If the Knicks strike out on Irving, Kemba Walker, and Russell, they could still elect to trade the farm in favor of Anthony Davis and still bring in Durant. They would take up just about all of their available cap space and they would lose a majority of their youth talent. However, the starting team would be instant playoff caliber.

In addition, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins, Jimmy Butler, and more, will all be on the open market. The Knicks simply couldn’t have picked a better time to open up the flood gates with cap space.

 

New York Giants: Corey Coleman finally ready to take his game to the next level

New York Giants, Corey Coleman

With the New York Giants trading away star wideout Odell Beckham Jr., the wide receiver unit was shaken up and has been left a bit uncertain as we head towards the 2019 regular season.

Options like Cody Latimer and Russell Shepard present value on the field going into their second-year with Big Blue, but former first-round pick Corey Coleman might be the player to win the No. 3 job. Coleman, coming off a quiet season of just 71 yards on five receptions, will compete for the staring role alongside Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard.

His ambition and work ethic has been elevated lately, as he seeks to perform at the level expected of him coming out of college. After breaking his right hand in Cleveland, Coleman never returned to form, struggling to stick with the starting unit and landing with the Giants in a reserve role.

However, the way he’s been practicing and preparing has presented a clear indication of his goals for the season ahead.

“We are going to see the best of [Coleman],” head coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s the first one to tell you when he came in the league, he had a lot to learn. Now he’s got an opportunity to maybe be a front-line player.”

Corey asked Shurmur how he managed to develop both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen into such effective pass-catchers, and that he wants to reach that type of success. His motivation is intoxicating, and something that will hopefully allow him to reach his potential.

What makes Corey Coleman special for the New York Giants?

The one attribute that separates Coleman from his counterparts is his elite speed. Coming out of Baylor he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash, and he has shown that quickness in the NFL at times.

“I don’t think anyone’s ever questioned my speed,” Coleman said. “Being fast is great, but being able to play fast, that’s what it has to be about.”

His top utilization is the deep ball — Coleman is a capable route runner as well with solid hands. I feel as though his primary issue is more mental than physical. The tangible traits are present for Coleman, he just has to learn how to harness them. If he can build upon success early on in the season, we could see his production increase quickly.

 

 

New York Giants News, 6/11 – Daniel Jones beaming with confidence

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones.

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

There’s a simple truth to rookie quarterbacks – while they’re very mendable, they are susceptible to bad habits and lack of confidence. The Giants are taking a cautionary route towards developing Daniel Jones, allowing him to sit for a season behind Eli Manning.

Other teams have no problem throwing their rookie passers right into the fire – Dwayne Haskins with Washington and Kyler Murray with Arizona are two first round picks preparing to make an immediate impact.

Jones, however, might need a year of experience under his belt to fully reach his potential. His weaknesses don’t fall under the tangible category, nor intangible. He’s more of a do-it-all signal caller that needs to refine skills he has already begun developing.

Having a lack of talent around him in college only enabled his growth to a certain degree. Practicing with NFL-level player consistently will get him up to speed and put him in a position to win in 2020. The Giants and GM Dave Gettleman have appropriated plenty of resources towards weaponry for Jones to utilize when he eventually takes over.

“You can see him getting confident,” tight end Evan Engram said, via NJ Advance Media. “Anytime you’re coming in as a rookie, you’re going to be a little shaky or a little nervous. You kind of see him starting to brush that off, get into his groove and take advantage of everything he’s given.”

Nonetheless–

Your Giants top news of the day!

Dan Salomone (Giants.com) – Who stood out at Giants OTA practice? (6/10)

Mark Schofield (Big Blue View) – Evaluating the quarterback position: Competitive toughness

Serena Burks (Giants Wire) – Giants’ R.J. McIntosh is now healthy, opening eyes on OTAs

Jared Schwartz (New York Post) – Giants’ underdog Grant Haley is fighting new names for his job

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: Saquon Barkley v Landon Collins – who wins in the hole?

Check out my Twitter page! You won’t regret it.

New York Giants: Evan Engram Explains Minicamp Absence, Being Smart

New York Giants, Evan Engram

Plenty of players showed up to minicamp for the New York Giants last week and showed flashes of what fans should expect from the season coming up this fall, but one of the notable players missing was one that’s expected to play a big role on the offense in 2019: tight end Evan Engram, who dealt with injuries last year and seems to still be struggling with that right now. While some might be disappointed by Engram’s absence, it’s not because the player himself didn’t want to turn up to training camp.

Engram spoke with NJ Advance Media and claimed that it’s the team’s decision to keep him out of minicamp. “Just the Giants being a little pre-cautious. Since day one, anything, they are going to be smart with, especially in the offseason,” Engram said. It would seem that the team doesn’t want to risk a projected starter going out with an injury before the season can even begin.

“Not my choice. One hundred percent,” Engram reaffirmed.

Fans should, however, expect to see Engram back in training camp, which is also when left tackle Nate Solder should hopefully make a return. Solder underwent ankle surgery and missed minicamp due to undergoing ankle surgery – but it looks like the Giants are taking a safer and more conservative approach across the board, as Solder hasn’t completely committed yet to a return by training camp.

As for Engram, the tight end has predicted improvements for the receiving corps and the tight ends, a group that includes himself. “That receiver room right now is going crazy in practice. All of them look really good. The tight ends are getting so much better. We’re making plays.”

“Everybody is improved, and we’re definitely excited about this group. We feel like we have enough to compete and try to be one of the best offenses in the league,” Engram continued.

With other players expected to take larger roles this season such as Sterling Shepard and new addition Golden Tate, Engram might just find himself with more openings which could lead to a breakout season of his own, assuming his current injury problems can be avoided during the regular season.