New York Giants: Ranking the best and worst unit for the 2019 season

New York Giants, Alec Ogletree
Nov 18, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker Alec Ogletree (52) celebrates after his interception with cornerback Antonio Hamilton (30) during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are flush full of youth on their roster and have plenty of talent for the expected success in the near future. The issue is, with youthfulness comes inexperience, which could cause deficiencies and difficulties against opposing starting units.

 Here are the strongest and weakest units for the New York Giants:

The strongest group: Running backs

Saquon Barkley alone solidifies the running back corps, but their depth is also incredibly durable. The only real competition happening in this group is for the No. 3 RB spot, which is being fought over by Paul Perkins and Rod Smith. Wayne Gallman is the assumed No. 2 option given his familiarity with the Giants’ scheme and Eli Manning.

Smith has been plagued by fumbles and Perkins hasn’t played a game in quite some time. He has looked decent in the pass-game but his running ability to limited due to his lack of strength and power. He’s more of a glorified scat-back, and Gallman can operate in that fashion as well if need be.

I believe Saquon and Gallman will be the top dogs during the 2019 season but as Smith’s seniority and experience will likely earn him the last spot on the roster over Perkins, who hasn’t shown enough to stay around.

The weakest unit: The linebackers

The middle of the defense for the Giants is entirely in disarray. The idea of Ryan Connelly as the starting linebacker isn’t comforting, even though he’s looked good in limited action this preseason. It seems as if Tae Davis will be the “money backer” in DC James Bettcher’s scheme and Alec Ogletree, who has missed all of preseason with a strained calf will be the inside linebacker.

Connelly is set to be Ogletree’s backup in the middle, but if the veteran is forced to miss anytime, the Wisconsin product could find himself starting against the Dallas Cowboys week one in Arlington. An intimidating task for a mere rookie. In three games played, Connelly has eight total tackles, five being solo. He has shown the ability to shoot the gap very quickly but needs to work on his angles and tackling ability.

While he misses on this play, you can see his athleticism and speed from a stand-still position. That’s angle-work and will be refined through trial and error.

Despite his promise, the Giants are thin at the linebacker position and need their veterans to step up and perform. Health will be a concern here, and if Ogletree is forced to miss any time, Connelly will be the next-man-up.