The direction that the New York Giants are building in has become slightly clearer over the past couple years – their roster has improved, their wins have increased, and they have a head coach that should be around for a long time. The roster is definitely in a better state than it was when the Giants drafted Saquon Barkley, one of the most significant past moves in their rebuilding history.
But years into the rebuild, which players stand out as the most notable pieces in it? It’s a hotly debated subject, but Pro Football Focus took a swing at judging it and picked three players that, while predictable, might be a bit controversial due to the omission of one player.
CB James Bradberry
DI Leonard Williams
WR Kenny Golladay
In an ideal world, Andrew Thomasâ€™ rookie season would have resembled Tristan Wirfsâ€™ year, making him an easy inclusion here. There were promising things to take away from how Thomas closed the year, but his 62.4 grade was underwhelming. Bradberryâ€™s and Williamsâ€™ performances in their first full season on the defense were not. They both ranked fourth at their respective positions in PFFâ€™s Wins Above Replacement metric during the 2020 season.
The Giants will be hoping Golladay entices quarterback Daniel Jones to take more downfield shots. Golladay recently ranked as the leagueâ€™s third-best deep threat, regularly winning in contested-catch situations downfield. Golladay’s 53 contested catches overall over the past three seasons are second to only Allen Robinson II at the position, even despite all his missed time in 2020.
Evaluating the chosen players
The omission, of course, is Daniel Jones. As we’ve seen from many articles this season from both the national and local media, much of the expectations on Jones this year center around taking a step forward and becoming a franchise player. As of now, though, PFF doesn’t list Jones with the franchise building blocks they have right now.
The three players that were listed, however, are non-controversial enough. James Bradberry looks like one of the best corners in the league, Kenny Golladay is predicted by many to be a top 10 receiver, and Leonard Williams led the team in sacks last season. Williams, though, will likely be the most boom or bust player on this list considering his inconsistent performance throughout his career.
His surroundings are different compared to when he was with the Jets, and Williams plays well under Patrick Graham, so it’s possible that the inconsistency will be shrugged off – but it’s still a concern that will have an impact on how fans look at Dave Gettleman’s decision to bring back Williams on a big contract.
Golladay hasn’t played with the Giants yet one way or another so it’s hard to judge his status as a building block just yet, but based on his performance with the Lions, he could very well be the deep threat Daniel Jones needs.
These three players all have to prove they can perform at a high level consistently in their current surroundings to truly take the title of franchise players, but out of all the players the Giants have, it’s hard to object to them receiving the title of players to build around.