The New York Giants are looking to build on their shockingly successful 2022 season with a well of youthful talent that could break out in 2023. In Brian Daboll’s first year as head coach, New York went 9-7-1 and won their first postseason game in over a decade. Much of the Giants’ core talent comprises young players who could take the next step and propel the Giants into an even bigger 2023 season.
Evan Neal struggled to put it all together during his rookie season. The seventh overall pick in last year’s draft started 13 games at right tackle for Big Blue. During that time, Neal surrendered 52 pressures and eight sacks.
This offseason, Neal has been training with former All-Pro offensive lineman Willie Anderson. Neal has all the potential to dominate at right tackle if he fixes his footwork entering 2023.
The Giants have a potential position battle brewing at slot cornerback. With no clearly defined starter at the position, Darnay Holmes, Aaron Robinson, Cor’Dale Flott, and other players could battle it out during training camp. If Flott were to win the position, though, it could propel him into a breakout 2023 season.
Flott was selected in the third round of last year’s draft. He appeared in 11 games and made six starts as a rookie. The majority of Flott’s snaps were played as a boundary corner, however, that position is likely to be taken by new first-round pick Deonte Banks.
The Giants are in need of a player to step up and man the nickel cornerback role. Flott could be that player after he turned in some solid snaps down the stretch of the regular and postseason. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound corner may struggle to hold up in run defense. However, he could carve out a role on New York’s defense as an additional defensive back on passing downs.
One may argue that Isaiah Hodgins already had his breakout. After being claimed off waivers by the Giants midseason, Hodgins quickly became one of Daniel Jones’ top targets, totaling 37 receptions for 392 yards and four touchdowns in eight regular season games with Big Blue.
Hodgins’ top performance came in the team’s Wild Card win over Minnesota in which he totaled eight receptions for 105 yards and one touchdown against the Vikings. Having already established himself as a starter entering 2023, Hodgins is in a position to take his game to the next level.
The Giants may very well rely on Hodgins as their WR1 this upcoming season. Expected to play an expanded role in the offense, Hodgins will be far more prepared for the challenge. He managed to make an incredible impact last season despite joining the team mid-way through the year. This year, Hodgins has even more time to train and practice with the team, which should make him more prepared to have a stellar 2023 season.