Giants could bring in a free-agent linebacker to shore up position

nfl: los angeles rams at minnesota vikings, anthony barr, new york giants
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants‘ recent performance during joint practices with the Detroit Lions highlights a team that shows promise, especially with the rebound of quarterback Daniel Jones. However, there are uncertainties surrounding the lineup, especially at the linebacker position. This comprehensive analysis sheds light on the situation and the potential moves the Giants may make.

Daniel Jones’ Red Zone Performance

Coming off a strong day at practice, Daniel Jones displayed a massive bounce-back, showing his prowess in the red zone. After a struggle against the Lions on Tuesday, Jones put together a series of five touchdown passes, illuminating the potential he has for the upcoming season.

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The Giants May Need to Add a Veteran Linebacker

As September approaches and the regular season looms, questions continue to surround the Giants’ roster, particularly regarding the second linebacker spot next to free agent addition Bobby Okereke. This uncertainty calls for a closer examination.

Young Talents: Micah McFadden and Darrian Beavers

The Giants are looking for a solution at LB2 and have been utilizing second-year players Micah McFadden and Darrian Beavers for this purpose.

  • Micah McFadden: His rookie season was a mixed bag, recording 35 tackles with a 9.1% missed tackle rate and allowing 269 yards with a touchdown. McFadden’s strengths lie in tackling ball carriers, but his performance in coverage and taking proper angles has been inconsistent.
  • Darrian Beavers: Despite coming off a torn ACL, Beavers shows promise with his NFL size and excellent vision. Though lacking in athletic upside, his great metrics in college-level coverage set him apart.

Potential Veteran Acquisition

The Giants may be looking to bring in a veteran linebacker to enhance the position.

Anthony Barr’s Visit

The expected visit by Anthony Barr, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, suggests a possibility in this direction. Barr’s stats last year:

  • 707 snaps
  • 52 tackles
  • 9.6% missed tackle rate
  • 262 yards allowed in coverage
  • 81.8% reception rate
  • A touchdown allowed in coverage

At 31, Barr’s best years might be behind him, but his connection with Giants defensive line coach Andre Patterson could lead to a potential signing.

Jon Bostic’s Availability

32-year-old Jon Bostic, with experience in various teams, including the Washington Commanders, is another option. Bostic’s limited play last season resulted in only 263 snaps and 14 tackles.

Conclusion: Experience vs. Upside

With a thin linebacker market, the Giants may have to prioritize experience over upside. Anthony Barr’s substantial number of snaps and recent success could be a reliable option, even if the Giants are settling to some extent. The decision between cultivating young talent or integrating an experienced player will play a significant role in shaping the Giants’ defense in the coming season.

The situation highlights the complex choices that coaches and management must make in building a balanced and competitive team. By addressing these crucial positions strategically, the Giants are positioning themselves for a season that could defy expectations.