New York Giants: Dalvin Tomlinson A Long-Term Building Block

The New York Giants have quickly built one of the best young defensive lines in the NFL recently. Since taking over as general manager in 2018, Dave Gettleman has invested the following into the defensive line: 2018 third-round pick, 2018 seventh-round pick, 2019 first-round pick, 2019 seventh-round pick, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick, $16.1 million franchise tag.

Interestingly enough, one of the best players on the Giants’ defensive line was not a Dave Gettleman acquisition. Jerry Reese’s 2017 second-round draft pick, Dalvin Tomlinson, has been the most consistent and reliable defender on the Giants over the past few years. Soon enough, the young defensive lineman will be due for a new contract.

What Might Tomlinson’s Contract Look Like?

The interior defensive lineman position is growing particularly expensive. Aaron Donald, the league’s best at the position, signed a record-breaking contract worth $22 million on average annually in 2018. Now, Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs is searching for a contract north of $20 million and could find himself on the trade block because of it. With this considered, Dalvin Tomlinson’s contract could be north of $10 million per year. However, there is reason to believe he is fully worth that contract value.

Dalvin Tomlinson Stats and Highlights

Dalvin Tomlinson is as consistent as a defensive lineman can be. In 2019, Dalvin only missed 3 tackles, a missed tackle rate of only 5.8%. In 2018 he was even more consistent, missing just one tackle (1.7%). Tomlinson has played and started in all 16 games in each of his three NFL seasons.

The 2019 season was the best of Dalvin Tomlinson’s young career. In 2019, Dalvin recorded 49 combined tackles, a career-high 7 tackles for loss, and a career-high 3.5 sacks, 13 pressures, and 7 quarterback hits.

2020 could be an even better season for Tomlinson. Tomlinson compared the Giants’ new defensive scheme to the scheme he used at Alabama in college:

“The technique kind of reminds me of my Alabama days. You can only pick up so much on virtual meetings and things like that so I feel like I’ve picked up the playbook pretty well over the virtual meetings,” Tomlinson said to Sirius XM NFL Radio.

Tomlinson has tried his best to learn the Giants’ playbook remotely, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has made that increasingly difficult for the Giants. The Gmen have a new head coach and new schemes to learn on both sides of the ball. If Dalvin Tomlinson is able to learn the new scheme by the start of the season, he could break out for another career-year.

Should the New York Giants Try To Trade For Chiefs DL Chris Jones?

The New York Giants have arguably one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. General manager Dave Gettleman has made it a priority to build through the trenches. Since becoming the general manager in 2018, Gettleman has invested

But what if this defensive line could get even better? What if Gettleman made one last investment to push the unit over the top? One of the best young defensive linemen in the NFL, Chris Jones, could be a potential blockbuster trade target.

Why would this trade make sense for the Chiefs?

The Kansas City Chiefs and Chris Jones are in the middle of a contract dispute. Chris Jones even threatened to sit out the 2020 NFL season if he does not receive a long-term contract extension. Jones is seeking a deal worth more than $20 million per year.

“[Chris Jones] always viewed himself as a $20 million-plus-per-year guy. The Chiefs, frankly, never did. Even before the whole COVID situation, they never made an offer north of $20 million — felt like they could get him somewhere below that. A lot of work to be done here if there’s going to be a long-term deal for Chris Jones…” – Mike Garafolo of NFL Network

Additionally, the Chiefs have another superstar to pay. You might have heard of him. Patrick Mahomes? Yeah, they have to pay him soon. Showtime Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL and he is about to get paid like it. Reports indicate that Mahomes could seek a contract worth more than $40 million per year. It would be tough to pay Mahomes that amount while also paying Chris Jones $20 million. This cap dilemma could lead the Chiefs to trade away Chris Jones.

If the Chiefs were to trade Chris Jones to the New York Giants, receiving Leonard Williams and a draft pick in exchange would make sense for them. Trading away Jones would be a huge loss for this defense. But obtaining Leonard Williams would surely soften the blow. Williams could fit right into Jones’s previous role with the team. He would not perform in that role as well as Jones did, but Williams is still one of the better players in the league at the position. Plus, his contract will be much cheaper than Chris Jones’s.

On top of that, if the Chiefs do not give Williams a long-term deal, they will be eligible to receive a third-round compensatory pick in the next NFL Draft if Williams walks away in the 2021 free agency period.

Why would this trade make sense for the Giants?

In order for this trade to make sense for the New York Giants, they will need to free up some cap space. This offseason, the Giants placed the expensive franchise tag on IDL Leonard Williams. The one-year franchise tag is worth over $16 million in cap space. Williams is seeking a new, long-term contract. That contract will likely be worth around $16 million per year.

If the Giants were to offer a trade for Chris Jones, they should begin by including Leonard Williams in the deal. Leonard Williams is a highly-talented defensive lineman and is arguably top-ten in the league at his position. But Chris Jones is arguably top-two. If the Giants could make that upgrade for a few million more in cap space, they should.

Chris Jones is a legitimate pass-rushing threat from the interior. In 2018, Jones totaled 15.5 sacks and 49 pressures. He followed that up with a 9 sack, 27 pressure performance in 2019. According to Pro Football Focus, Jones ranks third among interior defenders in pass-rushing grade over the past four seasons. He also has recorded 212 pressures in that time span, fourth-most (PFF).

If this hypothetical trade were to come true, the Giants would have to throw in a draft pick. That pick could be the deal-breaker. If it is a high pick, then they should not take the deal. Draft picks are extremely valuable in the first three rounds, especially for a rebuilding team like the Giants. But if they can complete the trade by throwing in a mid-to-late round pick, plus a new $20 million-per-year contract along with Leonard Williams, the Giants would be acquiring one of the NFL’s brightest defensive stars in Chris Jones.

Why would this trade make no sense?

If this trade were to happen, the Chiefs would be losing the best player on their defense. Keeping Chris Jones is going to cost the Chiefs a lot, but he is worth the money. Jones has been one of the most consistent and dominating defensive lineman in the NFL over the past four years. At only 26 years old, the Chiefs would be wise to keep Jones as part of their long-term plans. If they feel like they can afford to pay him, they will.

On the flip side, the Giants might not consider this trade worth it. As stated previously, the extra draft pick is the key. If the trade requires a second-round pick, the Giants should turn the other way. But even if it only requires a fifth-round pick, the Giants might not be interested. The Gmen are a rebuilding team. Cap space is valuable. Maybe they are not the best team to pay a defensive lineman $20 million per year.

Then again, Dave Gettleman does love his hog mollies and Chris Jones is one of the best hog mollies in the NFL. Maybe he will be enticed by a potential trade for the young and dominant Chris Jones. It may be a long shot, but a trade does hypothetically make sense. This could be exactly what the New York Giants need.

New York Giants: 4 things need to happen for Dave Gettleman to save his job

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are heading toward the 2020 season with question marks all over the roster. Improvement is always a priority, but guaranteeing it is impossible. General manager Dave Gettleman allocated ample resources toward bolstering the offense of line, the defense, and bringing in an entirely new coaching staff.

On paper, it seems as if the team has taken a step forward, but development comes with its problems. The secondary ranked as one of the worst in the NFL last season, but with a year of experience under their belt, adding James Bradberry and Xavier McKinney, we can expect the group to improve their production and efficiency.

Ultimately, the Giants and Dave Gettleman need to see an improvement next season. Gettleman is on his last leg, and if the team fails to compete and show a desire to win, he will likely be out of a job.

Here are four factors that could play into Gettleman getting the acts by the New York Giants:

1.) Daniel Jones needs to improve

Jones had a solid rookie season, posting 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He showed above-average accuracy in the intermediate/short passing game but did have his fair share of struggles along the way.

Fumbles remain a major issue, as he fumbled 18 times, losing 11 of them in 2019. Jason Garrett will bring a much more detailed offense to the Giants, featuring plenty of 12 personnel and pre-snap motions. Jones will have to learn a ton in a short amount of time, but the offense has the talent to succeed moving forward. If Jones can improve and utilize his playmakers appropriately, he could be a significant reason Gettleman retains his job in the future.

New York Giants: Nick Gates Training For Center Position In Las Vegas

New York Giants, Nick Gates

The New York Giants have a huge hole in their offensive line. After shoring up the tackle position in this year’s draft, the Gmen did not do much to improve the center position. Jon Halapio spent most of the 2019 season as the team’s starting center, however, inconsistent play and a season-ending injury will lead the team to find someone else to man the position.

Now the Giants have a positional battle for the starting center job. Players such as Spencer Pulley, Shane Lemieux, and Nick Gates will be competing for the job. A report came out today regarding Nick Gates and his journey to win the center job.

Nick Gates Snapping In Las Vegas

According to Ryan Dunleavy of the NY Post, Nick Gates is practicing snapping to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and working alongside Giants teammate Will Hernandez near his home in Las Vegas. 

Nick Gates has been working hard this offseason. The former undrafted rookie is training to become the team’s center in 2020. Now, entering his third season, Gates is attempting to undergo a position change in hopes of winning the new job opening. Dave Gettleman has mentioned Nick Gates as a strong candidate for the job in previous interviews.

“We have faith in Nick Gates.’’ – Giants general manager Dave Gettleman

“You know, just for what it’s worth, we’ve talked about Nick [playing center]. He did do some of that last year in practice, so it’s not completely new. Nick is smart. The thing you love about Nick is just how tough he is, because it’s a fist fight in there. There’s no doubt about that. History tells you that the toughness of your team is really, really indicated by the toughness of your offensive line. So, we’re always looking for that kind of piece. Nick would be in consideration at center, absolutely.” – Dave Gettleman on Nick Gates

Nick Gates did practice at center in 2019. He also started games at both right tackle and right guard in place of an injured Kevin Zeitler and an injured Mike Remmers. In Gates’s start at right guard in December he did not allow a single pressure and played an excellent game. Gates finished the 2019 season with a 77.0 overall grade and only 1 sack allowed in 290 snaps (Pro Football Focus).

Nick Gates flashed a lot of potential in 2019. He contributed quality snaps when he was on the field and made a lot of progress towards becoming a starting offensive lineman in the NFL. It is encouraging to read that Gates is training for the center position at which the Giants need a major upgrade. Maybe Nick Gates will be that upgrade.

New York Giants Linebacker Corps: Strength or Weakness?

New York Giants, Giants, NYG, Ryan Connelly

The New York Giants have long been plagued with a weakness on defense. For years, the Giants’ linebacker corpse created a vast hole in their defense. New York rarely invested top assets into the position and it was exhibited by the unit’s performance. New York has worked to correct this error under general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman had made multiple key acquisitions at the linebacker position, though not all of them have panned out according to plan.

Alec Ogletree was the first move that Gettleman made to strengthen the middle of the defense. But, as fans know all too well, Ogletree was a severe underperformer in Big Blue and was cut this offseason. Last season, there did seem to bee some improvement in the Giants’ linebacker corps. David Mayo became a serviceable starter, earning a contract extension. Additionally, in the first four weeks of the season, it seemed like the Giants found a gem in Ryan Connelly. Connelly unfortunately suffered a devastating, season-ending injury in the fourth game of the season.

Fast forward to the 2020 offseason: Dave Gettleman has once again prioritized the inside linebacker position. One of the Giants’ big splash signings in free agency was linebacker Blake Martinez. New York then went on to draft four linebackers in the final two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, providing the team with plenty of depth at the position.

Taking all this into account, how does the Giants’ new linebacker corps fare? Is it now a strength on the team, or is it still a weakness?

The Positives

The New York Giants’ linebackers excel in run defense. Blake Martinez and David Mayo are both excellent run defenders. Martinez has recorded 144 or more combined tackles in each of the last three seasons. He posted a career-high 155 combined tackles in 2019. In 2018, Martinez only missed 12 tackles (7.7%) and in 2019 he missed 18 tackles (10.4%). Mayo earned a 90.1 run-defense grade according to Pro Football Focus in 2019.

Another positive of the Giants’ linebacker corps is its depth. As stated earlier, Gettleman has invested into the position group multiple times in the past two years. The Giants’ starting linebackers, Mayo and Martinez, will be accompanied by rising star Ryan Connelly once he returns from injury. Behind the three of them are three new rookies drafted in the final two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. If injuries strike the linebacker corps again, the Giants have the depth to stay afloat.

The Negatives

The Giants still do not have a linebacker that excels in coverage. Some fans believed this flaw in the unit would lead the Giants to draft Isaiah Simmons in the first round. Evidently, that did not happen, and Giants fans are all happy to have their left tackle of the future in Andrew Thomas.

However, this still does not solve the Giants’ issue pertaining to a coverage linebacker; But a different draft pick just might. The Giants drafted safety Xavier McKinney in the second round. The versatile safety will see plenty of reps in the box as a coverage linebacker. McKinney serves as a possible solution to the Giants’ weakness, but they will still need to see improved coverage out of their linebackers in 2020.

In 2018, Blake Matinez surrendered a 73.8% completion percentage on the 61 targets in his coverage (45 completions). The opposition gained 410 yards on those 45 completions and scored 5 touchdowns. Martinez allowed a 118.9 passer rating when targeted in 2018.

2019 was an even worse performance by Martinez in pass coverage. His completion percentage allowed rose to 83.8%, allowing opponents to complete 62 passes on 74 targets for 570 yards and 2 touchdowns. This is definitely a major red flag for teams interested in signing Blake Martinez during the 2020 free agency period. Blake Martinez must improve in coverage for the Giants’ defense to flourish in 2020.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman’s Plan Is Finally Starting To Take Shape

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

When Dave Gettleman was hired by the New York Giants in 2017, there were several challenges laid out ahead of him following a two-win season. He was tasked with ushering in a new era for a once-proud franchise. Job one was addressing the quarterback position, as Eli Manning failed to keep the Giants competitive throughout the season. In the 2018 draft, Gettleman ignored the quarterback position until the 4th round. Finally, he selected Kyle Lauletta, who is best remembered for his off-field transgressions rather than on-field progression.

Trading Jason Pierre-Paul in one of his first moves as general manager implied an incoming rebuild. However, by trading for veteran Alec Ogletree, Gettleman seemed to be taking measures toward being competitive with a roster that otherwise was not capable of making a run. 

In 2018, drafting Saquon Barkley was a controversial decision, as he passed up a plethora of quarterbacks who had the physical tools to turn any franchise around. Nonetheless, getting the best player in the draft was an understandable move. What happened next, on the other hand, was not. Failing to surround Barkley, the new face of the franchise, with a talented offensive line was a recipe for disaster. Considering the daunting history of running back longevity, this ignorance was all the more confusing. The lack of a plan was apparent yet again, as the franchise’s new toy was at risk of being run into the ground before the team had a chance to regain relevance. 

Trading fan-favorite Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns was initially an unpopular move, but it has proven to be a shrewd one. Committing to a rebuild by adding talented youngsters Jabril Peppers and the pick that became Dexter Lawrence showed the direction for a franchise in desperate need of a rebuild. 

The signings of Nate Solder and Patrick Omaneh were attempts to rehabilitate the offensive line and pound the ball with Barkley. With Omaneh cut before his first season ended and Solder moving to right tackle two seasons into his record-breaking contract, fans were left to wonder how their general manager would next try to build this unit.

Despite two years of subpar results, owners John Mara and Steve Tisch showed confidence in Gettleman, while exiling head coach Pat Shurmur. It is anyone’s guess how long they will give him going forward.   

With this new life, he sure has taken off running. 

In his third season, he has compiled a roster and coaching staff that puts his biggest investment, Daniel Jones, in a position to succeed. If Jones is going to step up to the task of becoming a franchise quarterback, he now has the pieces around him to prove it. By adding Will Hernandez in 2019, as well as Andrew Thomas and Matt Peart in 2020, Gettleman has committed to getting younger and stronger in front of his franchise QB. One of Jones’ biggest strengths is his ability to stretch the field. He recorded nine touchdown passes of over 20 air yards in his shortened rookie campaign, putting him in a tie for second in the NFL. This makes the protection in front of him essential, as he needs time to find dynamic veteran playmakers Evan Engram, Golden Tate, and Sterling Shepard. Not to mention electric vertical threat Darius Slayton, who is coming off a rookie season highlighted by big plays and a rapport with Jones that indicates he can be the quarterback’s big-play running mate for years to come. 

Gettleman has put together a group that can work cohesively to physically dominate the opposition, leaving the defense exposed to the threat of play-action. This allows Jones to use his legs and scan a field with one-on-one matchups across the board, putting him in a position to succeed. 

Jones struggled with turnovers in his freshman season, which is a significant issue, but being thrust into a situation where he would go on to be sacked 38 times in under 13 full games would make any rookie quarterback uncomfortable. With more time in the pocket, a healthy cast around him, and a full (albeit limited) offseason under his belt, now is the time for Jones to prove that he is the quarterback of the future for the New York Giants.

The addition of Jason Garrett to the offensive coordinator position is a seemingly ideal fit. A young and physical offensive line, paired with a young quarterback surrounded by dangerous playmakers, models Garrett’s old Dallas Cowboys’ rosters. Furthermore, Garrett’s nine seasons as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys make him the perfect voice to guide inexperienced but innovative coach Joe Judge in an attempt to bring the New York Giants back to relevance.

The current model of consistency among NFL Super Bowl winners is building a strong offensive line with a quarterback who limits mistakes. In recent seasons, the Patriots, Chiefs, Niners, and Eagles have all followed this model to build impressive rosters that competed for super bowls. Building a strong offensive line will allow Jones to feel comfortable and improve his decision-making, setting the organization up for consistency at the highest level.

The job is not done yet. Steps need to be taken on the defensive side of the ball, but progress has been made. In spite of a serious hole at the inside linebacker position and a lack of pass rushers, an improved secondary that is highlighted by promising young athletes such as Jabril Peppers, Xavier Mckinney, and James Bradberry offers hope that there is a young foundation budding for years to come. 

Being able to run the ball effectively will increase the time of possession and mask the flaws of the defense. As the old adage goes, the best defense is a good offense, and this will likely be the New York Giants best chance to field a competitive defense in spite of only having a few strong cornerstone defensive players.

As it stands, the Giants are gearing up for a 2021 playoff run. This year will provide tape for the brass to decide where they stand at several key positions. Although the idea of winning the offseason is generally a trap, there is finally hope for Giants fans. 

After two directionless seasons, Dave’s plan is starting to take shape.

Why The New York Giants’ Defensive Line Is The Strongest Position Group On The Roster

The New York Giants‘ defense is loaded with young talent. New York has invested a lot of draft capital over the past two years to improve its defense. They have found talent in the secondary and linebacker corps, but they have found more talent on the defensive line than anywhere else. The Giants have quickly turned their defensive line into the team’s strongest unit, thanks to some hefty investments that have loaded their roster with young, talented players.

Hefty Investments

Since 2018, Dave Gettleman has invested 2018 third-round pick, 2018 seventh-round pick, 2019 first-round pick, 2019 seventh-round pick, 2020 third-round pick, 2021 fifth-round pick, and $16.1 million franchise tag into the Giants’ defensive line. Additionally, former general manager Jerry Reese spent a second-round pick on the defensive line in 2017. All of these investments have allowed the Giants to build an excellent group of defensive linemen.

Loads Of Youthful Talent

The oldest player in the group is Dalvin Tomlinson, and calling him old is wildly inaccurate. Tomlinson will be only 26 years old when the season starts. The next oldest player is Leonard Williams, who will also be 26 years old when the season starts. Dexter Lawrence is entering his second season at 22 years old. All three of these players are 26 years old or younger and highly efficient at their positions.

Dalvin Tomlinson had a breakout season in 2019. He racked up a career-high 3.5 sacks to go along with 49 combined tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, and 13 pressures. Dalvin is primarily a run-stuffer but he showed great improvement as a pass-rusher last season.

Leonard Williams arrived and made a significant impact in 2019. Nearly every other player on the defensive line saw their efficiency increase due to Williams absorbing double teams. To read more about the improved play of the Giants’ defensive lineman after Williams arrived, click here.

Dexter Lawrence showed tons of promise as a rookie in 2019. The hog molly out of Clemson totaled 38 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks, and 15 pressures as a rookie. He was even the highest-graded rookie at his position according to Pro Football Focus.

Behind these top-three talents, the Giants have tons of depth on their defensive line. BJ Hill was a solid starter as a rookie in 2018, prior to Leonard Williams’s arrival. RJ McIntosh showed flashes and Chris Slayton was recently elevated off the practice squad. New York has no shortage of defensive line talent heading into the 2020 season.

New York Giants: The 2020 season is make or break for Dave Gettleman

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

Did New York Giants‘ GM Dave Gettleman save his job with his latest draft haul?

Going into the third year of a rebuild often shows more results, and the New York Giants have experienced thus far. Gettleman started his tenure in New York by drafting Saquon Barkley with a second overall pick in 2018, claiming that the team could win while rebuilding.

He later retracted those comments and stated their goals were a bit lofty for the state of the franchise. He reverted to a general rebuild that included the overhaul of the entire roster and drafting of youth talent to build a foundation.

At this point, only four players remain from the Jerry Reese era — tight end Evan Engram, defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, and running back Wayne Gallman. Three of these players are position players who have either struggled with injuries or are on the fringe of being cut.

The Giants recently picked up Engram’s fifth-year option, keeping him around for 2021 and guaranteeing his contract. There is a possibility they attempt to trade him at the deadline next season, but they also extended Sterling Shepard on a four-year deal in 2019. Concussions have put his career in jeopardy since. Tomlinson had his best campaign in 2019, thanks to the addition of Leonard Williams, and Gallman is on the cusp of being released after the signing of Dion Lewis.

However, Gettleman has failed to piece together a successful team after three off-seasons and two regular-season campaigns. The Giants are now on their third coach in three years, having moved on from Pat Shurmur this off-season in favor of Joe Judge, formally the special-teams coordinator for the New England Patriots.

This past draft clearly had Judge’s stamp on it, considering the type of players they targeted. However, this haul was a bit different and more focused on building the depth at weaker positions and solving the offensive line once and for all.

Ultimately, this new group of players could have saved Gettleman’s job. This was essentially his last shot at being retained by the Giants, who are in dire need of development and signs of progress. The last time the organization tasted the playoffs was in 2016 when they overspent on defensive free-agents and were knocked out in the first round by the Green Bay Packers. The infamous boat trip, including Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Roger Lewis, was suspected of throwing them off their game. Beckham dropped multiple passes, including a touchdown grab.

Moving forward, the Giants must see some sort of positivity in 2020. Despite having an incredibly difficult schedule ahead of them, they now have the pieces in place to at least compete and stay in football games.

Judge must bring a more detailed and fundamentalist approach toward their mentality, and making the right in-game decisions is a significant part of that. Ultimately, Gettleman is the last remaining scapegoat for the Giants, and if they fail to piece together a respectable season in 2020, he will indeed be relieved of his duties.

Projecting The New York Giants’ Top Roster Strengths in 2020

New 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.

Projecting What The New York Giants’ Offensive Line Of The Future Will Look Like

The New York Giants completely rebuilt their offensive line in the 2020 NFL offseason. The team hired Marc Colombo to coach the position group after years of success coaching the Dallas Cowboys’ line. They then signed OT Cameron Fleming as a stop-gat right tackle for the 2020 NFL season. After that, the Giants invested heavily in their future offensive line, spending three draft picks on the line in the 2020 NFL Draft.

New York surprised fans by selecting stud left tackle Andrew Thomas with the fourth pick in the NFL Draft. They then drafted two more offensive linemen in the later round of the draft. But those later picks are not expected to start in 2020. Those selections were made with the long-term in mind. But what does that long-term plan look like? In this article, I will project the future of the New York Giants’ offensive line.

What Does The Line Look Like Now?

  • LT – Nate Solder
  • LG – Will Hernandez
  • C – Spencer Pulley
  • RG – Kevin Zeitler
  • RT – Andrew Thomas

The rookie offensive tackle Andrew Thomas is going to be in the starting lineup. The question is, on which side of the line will he play? Will they put Andrew Thomas in at left tackle immediately, or leave Nate Solder in the position he already holds? Solder has admitted he is fine with a position switch, so the two tackle positions could be swapped between now and August. But, if I had to guess, the Giants will likely place Thomas on the right side of the line to start his career, then switch him to the left side once Solder’s contract is off the books.

Will Hernandez was the Giants’ second-round pick in 2018 and has looked the part so far. He did take a slight step backward in 2019, but that could have been caused by a multitude of confounding variables, such as an incompetent coaching staff. Entering his third season with a new, talented offensive line coach in Marc Colombo bodes well for Hernandez’s future at guard for the Giants.

The center position is a glaring weakness on the Giants’ roster. There will be a three-way competition for the starting job in 2020. As a default, though, I plugged Spencer Pulley in at the starting center position. He is the only player on the roster with long-term starting experience at the position and is also the only true center on the roster. He has a good chance of winning the competition because of that.

Kevin Zeitler will man the right guard position again. Zeitler is a rock at that position and is as reliable as it gets. He is easily the best offensive lineman on the Giants at the moment and will continue to be in 2020.

What Will The Offensive Line Look Like In The Future?

  • LT – Andrew Thomas
  • LG – Will Hernandez
  • C – Shane Lemieux
  • RG – Nick Gates
  • RT – Matt Peart

As crazy as it may sound, I genuinely believe Dave Gettleman and the Giants managed to find three future starting offensive linemen in the 2020 NFL Draft class. Andrew Thomas, at a minimum, will be a solid left tackle for years. He is technically sound, played against top-tier collegiate talent, and dominated through all his years at Georgia. The Giants locked down their most important offensive line position for years when they selected Andrew Thomas fourth overall.

On the opposite side of the line, Matt Peart, out of UCONN, was an extraordinary pick at 99 overall in 2020. He will not be ready to start day one, but after some time developing behind the scenes with Marc Colombo, fixing some flaws he possesses, and adding much-needed strength/muscle mass, Peart has the tools to be a starting right tackle in the NFL. He is athletic with very agile feet and already has solid technique. Just a bit of grooming, and he can make an impact as early as next season.

Kevin Zeitler is the best player on the Giants’ offensive line at the moment. But the thirty-year-old guard is only under contract through 2021 and could be pushed out the door sooner than later by the youthful inexpensive options already on the Giants’ roster. Thirty is still relatively young for an offensive lineman, so maybe he sticks around for a second contract with New York, but eventually, he will go, and I think there is a good chance his replacement is already on the roster.

Zeitler’s replacement could be Nick Gates or Shane Lemieux. At the future right guard position, I placed Nick Gates. Nick Gates and Shane Lemieux could end up switching positions, though, with both players being natural guards training to compete for the center position. But I think Gates’s NFL experience at the right guard position gives him the edge. Lemieux is a high-IQ mauler, though, and already understands the importance of positional versatility and will be prepared to move to center if he must.

When looking at the potential of the future offensive line, one trait stands out in particular: youth. These are all young, growing offensive linemen with high ceilings and plenty of work to do to reach their maximum potential. The future of the Giants’ offensive line is in great shape after the 2020 NFL Draft.