Projecting The New York Giants’ Top Roster Strengths in 2020

Anthony Rivardo
New York Giants, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, DeAndre Baker, Xavier McKinney, Corey Ballentine
New York GiantsNew York Giants, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, DeAndre Baker, Xavier McKinney, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants have rebuilt their roster over the past couple of seasons. They found their future franchise quarterback, Daniel Jones, in 2019 and revamped their offensive line in 2020. The future is bright for the New York Giants, but the rebuild is not complete. There are some legitimate strengths on their roster but also some glaring weaknesses. Today, I will break down those strengths heading into 2020, and tomorrow I will be back to breakdown those weaknesses.

Running Back

Saquon Barkley is entering his third season in the NFL. The 23-year-old freak athlete out of Penn State is coming off of a thousand-yard rushing season, despite playing in only 13 games. He led the NFL in scrimmage yards as a rookie with 2028 yards. He is arguably the most talented running back in the league and will be playing in a new, run-heavy offensive scheme in 2020.

The hiring of Jason Garrett should be music to Saquon’s ears. Garrett has led one of the NFL’s best rushing attacks over the past decade in Dallas. Jason Garrett and the Dallas Cowboys ran for 2,153 yards last season on 4.8 yards per attempt with 18 rushing touchdowns. The team has rushed for over 1,900 yards in every season since 2016. In 2015 they were 10 yards short of that mark but were coming off of an explosive 2,354 rushings yards in 2014. Expect to see the New York Giants’ offense feature a heavy dosage of run plays with Saquon Barkley and the solid depth behind him in Dion Lewis.

The Defensive Line

Dave Gettleman has invested plenty of assets into the Giants’ defensive line. Reese invested a 2017 second-round draft pick on Dalvin Tomlinson. Dave Gettleman followed that up in 2018, drafting BJ Hill in the third round and RJ McIntosh in the seventh round.

In 2019, Dave Gettleman and the Giants went all-in bolstering the defensive line. They spent a first-round pick on Dexter Lawrence, a seventh-round pick in Chris Slayton, then made the controversial trade for Leonard Williams. Trading for Williams cost a 2020 third-round draft pick and a 2021 fifth-round draft pick. Plus, of course, the $16M+ franchise tag.

Altogether, the Giants have invested seven draft picks and around $20M in their defensive line. But this pricey investment has paid off. The Giants have one of the NFL’s best defensive lines with plenty of young talent that will only get better. Heading into 2020, the defensive line is the strongest positional group on the New York Giants’ roster.

The Secondary

Another positional group that the Giants have invested plenty of assets in recently is their secondary. In 2019, the Giants drafted three defensive backs (four if you count Sam Beal, the supplemental draft selection). The Giants traded up into the first round to draft DeAndre Baker, stole Julian love in the fourth round, and picked Corey Ballentine in the sixth round.

The Giants did lose Janoris Jenkins this year, but they quickly replaced him with James Bradberry. The Gmen signed Bradberry to a lucrative three-year, $43M contract. Bradberry will serve as the Giants’ primary cornerback in 2020 and beyond. The team also found two cornerbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Darnay Holmes, their fourth-round pick, could be a day-one starter in the slot. Chris Williamson was also a solid pick in the seventh round.

On the back end, the Giants have Jabrill Peppers, the talented safety acquired in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade. Peppers impressed in 2019 but had his season cut short due to injury. The Giants have also paired another young, talented safety with Peppers. Their second-round pick in 2020, Xavier McKinney, is an uber-versatile, instant-impact player. Combine those two talents with Julian Love mixed in and the Giants have a young trio of safeties to build their defense around for years to come.