The New York Giants have plenty of work to do this offseason if they want to return to the playoff next year. The roster is filled with holes that caused the team to sink to the bottom of the NFL during the 2023 regular season.
General manager Joe Schoen will have his hands full addressing the team’s biggest needs this offseason. Among them, Schoen needs to figure out whether or not the team needs to draft a new quarterback this offseason.
While the quarterback position is likely the biggest need for him to address this offseason, doing so is easier said than done, and three other glaring needs on this roster also need to be addressed.
3. The Giants need to produce more pressure off the edge
Despite his impressive 11.5 sack total on the season, Kayvon Thibodeaux’s second season was mostly underwhelming. The former fifth-overall pick struggled to consistently apply pressure to opposing quarterbacks, totaling just 44 pressures this season.
According to Brett Kollmann, the Creator of “The Film Room” on YouTube and Co-Host of the Bootleg Football Podcast, 9.5 of Thibodeaux’s 11.5 sacks were either beating backups or clean-up/effort sacks. The other two came against starting offensive linemen Charles Leno and Zach Tom.
Compounding the issue, Thibodeaux’s pass-rush win rate was only 7.6% on rushes this season that are exactly four-man rushes – no blitzes, and no drop-8 coverages, ranking 90th in the NFL. His running mate Azeez Ojulari was no better with a win rate of 7.4%, ranking 92nd.
Thibodeaux and Ojulari need to take steps forward in 2024 but this team also needs more talent and depth on the edge. Furthermore, they need to nail their next defensive coordinator hiring and bring in a coach who can maximize the talent and potential of the Giants’ best pass rushers.
2. The Giants need a 1,000-yard receiver
The Giants haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2018. Five years without having a wide receiver cross that 1,000-yard threshold is shocking and highlights just how bad this offense has been in the post-Manning-to-OBJ era.
In the 2024 NFL postseason, only two teams that made it did not have a 1,000-yard receiver (the Ravens and the Packers). 30 players in the NFL this regular season topped 1,000 receiving yards. All across the modern NFL, the best teams in the league have dynamic wide receivers who can put up consistent numbers on a week-to-week basis. The Giants are not one of those teams.
WR Darius Slayton led the Giants this season with a career-high 770 receiving yards. While Slayton is good for 700 or more yards per season, it’s hard to envision him blossoming into a 1,000-yard receiver. The Giants need a new weapon to step in and upgrade their offense.
1. It’s time to put an end to the Giants’ offensive line’s historic struggles
The Giants surrendered a league-high 85 sacks in 2023 — the most of any NFL team since 1990. Outside of LT Andrew Thomas (who spent most of the season on the sidelines with a hamstring injury), there wasn’t a single Giants offensive lineman who earned a Pro Football Focus grade higher than 65.0 overall this season. And outside of Mark Glowinski, who started only six games, the Giants’ highest-graded offensive lineman was Tyre Phillips with a 52.7 overall grade.
In both pass protection and run-blocking, the G-Men struggled. New York’s offensive line ranked 30th in the NFL according to PFF but ranked dead last in their weekly rankings on numerous occasions.
Whether it be through free agency or the draft, the Giants need to add talent to this offensive line and fix this issue once and for all. Their offensive line has been among the worst in the league for the better part of a decade. There is hope that new offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo can turn the unit around, but he will have an uphill battle ahead of him.
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