Ranking the Giants’ 3 weakest roster links entering Week 1

J.C. Hassenauer, new york giants

The New York Giants reinforced some crucial areas this offseason, particularly the wide receiver corps, but there are still some areas that need significant improvement coming into this season. Entering Week 1, the Giants’ three weakest roster links need to improve in order to find success during the 2023 season.

1. The Giants still have question marks on the offensive line

The Giants’ offensive line is still dreadful. Despite having 2022 second-team All-Pro Andrew Thomas at the left tackle position, there is serious uncertainty about the remaining spots on the line.

Right tackle Evan Neal was not as advertised last season, and nothing from his camp performance stood out, so he still has plenty to prove entering his second NFL season. Center John Michael Schmitz has plenty of upside, but given that he is a rookie, the expectations must be tempered for now.

The guard positions are where the biggest troubles lie for the Giants, as they will be relying on Ben Bredeson and Mark Glowinski to protect quarterback Daniel Jones over the middle. The team lacks depth at the position, so unless they dramatically develop over the course of the season, Jones could still be forced to deal with an unprotected pocket.

2. Despite some upgrades, New York is still thin at linebacker

The Giants did address the linebacker position in the offseason, as they signed Bobby Okereke to a four-year, $40 million deal in free agency and later traded for former first-round pick Isaiah Simmons at the end of the preseason.

The real issue lies in the No. 2 linebacker spot. With Jarrad Davis out for the season, the Giants will be relying on Micah McFadden to play a crucial role in Wink Martindale’s defense.

The second-year linebacker has shown some upside, but he also said that last season he was uncomfortable in pass coverage. While he may be a little more comfortable now that he has a full season under his belt, there are still questions that need to be answered as to whether or not he can provide consistent quality play at the position.

While the Giants’ linebacker group this season is much less of an eye-sore than last year, they are still far from a perfect unit. However, the potential for the linebacker corps to improve through the duration of the season exists.

3. Banking on rookies to excel at cornerback

The Giants addressed the cornerback position through the draft this offseason. They took Deonte Banks with their first-round selection and drafted Tre Hawkins III in the sixth round, both of whom are expected to start in their Week 1 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

What makes this position a relatively weaker area in comparison to the rest of the depth chart is two key issues. Firstly, relying on two rookies to play the most important position in the secondary is a bold strategy given the massive gap in talent level from college to the NFL, and has a major risk of backfiring quickly.

Secondly, this sudden youth movement has forced veteran Adoree’ Jackson to move over to the slot corner position where has never played in his six-year career. Therefore, the Giants will essentially be starting three players who have minimal experience at their respective positions. This leaves Big Blue with a lack the depth at the position.

The cornerback position could either be an exciting group or a tough watch this season. It is all dependent on Banks’ and Hawkins’ development, as the Giants will be putting their depth to the test.

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