On paper, the New York Giants have a solid team capable of making the postseason. However, with holes on the offensive line and a scheme that hasn’t projected any confidence, most have lowered their expectations ahead of the 2021 season.
Last second changes to the offensive line and acquisitions have brought problems to light, but the Giants have plenty of playmakers on offense to have a better unit this upcoming season. Last year, they ranked 31st in points scored per game, so even reaching the average mark with a top-10 defense would propel them to the top of the NFC East.
Nonetheless, not many are convinced that Daniel Jones can lead the team to success, and without a proper protection scheme and starting level talent on the OL, expecting them to win double-digit games this season is optimistic.
ESPN has the New York Giants landing the 8th pick in the draft, with Chicago’s pick coming close behind at No. 10:
Projected record: 7-10
Average draft position: 11.9
FPI chance to earn No. 1 pick: 4.4%
FPI chance to earn top-five pick: 26.9%
Stat to know: Daniel Jones threw 11 touchdown passes in 2020 (14 starts) after throwing 24 in 2019 (12 starts), but despite the drop-off he actually had a better Total QBR last season. While he had the second-highest completion rate on throws 25-plus yards downfield (52%) last season, he could use more consistency in the quick-passing game. He had the second-worst completion rate (66%) on throws 10 or fewer yards from the line of scrimmage.
If the Giants were to settle with the 8th and 10th picks next year, they would likely be targeting a quarterback to replace Daniel Jones and restart the rookie QB window. This would also indicate the departure of general manager Dave Gettleman, who has failed miserably to build a competent offensive line, despite promising he would solve the issue since taking over in 2018.
There’s still reason for hope that the offense can reach an average level, with the additions of Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Kyle Rudolph, and the return of Saquon Barkley. Strategically, these weapons should force opposing defenses to feature fewer blitzers and have more players in coverage.
This season for the Giants ultimately boils down to the line winning their individual battles, something that left tackle Andrew Thomas struggled with in the final preseason game against the New England Patriots. If they can hold their own in 1V1 situations as the Giants expand their scheme and design plays for specific options, they will have far more success. The defense is capable of holding opposing teams to under 20 points per game, but the offense must average more than that if they want to walk away from the season with positives in tow.