New York Giants should target TE Kyle Pitts for these 3 reasons

New York Giants, Kyle Pitts

The New York Giants desperately need an offensive playmaker in the 2021 NFL draft, and Florida TE Kyle Pitts could fit the bill perfectly. As a dominant threat in man coverage, Pitts has the ability to overpower corners and align in several different spots.

Pitts could be the next big thing in the NFL, considering his revolutionary style of play, and most consider him the epitome of the modern-day tight end. For Florida last year, Kyle hauled in 770 yards and 12 touchdowns over eight games. He’s dominant in the red zone and would offer a quarterback Daniel Jones an outlet not only as a security blanket but as an every-play receiver.

Here are three reasons the New York Giants should consider drafting the stand out TE:

1.) Kyle Pitts is only 20 years old

Looking at Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith out of Alabama, both receivers are 22 years old. Pitts, who has the ability to play X, Z, and in the slot, is only 20 years old and hasn’t even scratched the surface of his potential. Not to say that the receivers won’t do the same, but Pitts has two additional years to find his underlying potential and maximize his physical traits.

At 6’6” and 246 pounds, not only is he a big body with the route running of a receiver, but he can line up as a traditional tight end and block in the running game. He needs to add a bit more muscle mass and refine his technique in that category, but if he develops properly, he has top-3 potential at the position in the NFL.

2.) Kyle Pitts didn’t drop a SINGLE pass in 2020

One of the biggest liabilities for the Giants currently is Evan Engram, who dropped a significant number of passes which ended up being significant to the Giants’ playoffs helps in 2020. Some might look at Pitts and compare them to Engram as a primary receiving option of the position, but there’s a simple difference, he doesn’t drop the football.

In fact, Pitts didn’t have a drop on 65 targets, as he was the only receiver in college football to have zero drops when commanding at least 65 targets. His reliable hands make him a fantastic threat in all facets, especially with a quarterback like Jones that spreads the ball around the field.

3.) Kyle Pitts is a dominant man-coverage receiver

Not only can Pitts dominate in the short/intermediate ranges of the field, but he is also capable of thriving as a vertical threat. He lead all TEs last year in catches and yards on targets when being thrown the ball 20+ yards from the line of scrimmage.

Considering Giants’ offensive coordinator Jason Garrett loves to utilize man coverage matchups, Pitts would be an absolute perfect scheme fit, especially when lined up outside against undersize corners. He’s a mismatch nightmare, and in 12 personnel with Engram, if they don’t trade the former first-round pick, the pair would simply be unguardable.

Should the New York Giants target Corey Davis in free agency?

New York Giants, Corey Davis

Promises, promises, promises. That is all New York Giants management feels necessary to provide fans these days. Whether it be guaranteeing the solution to fixing the offensive line or that they will allocate resources toward offensive playmakers, nothing has seemed to come to fruition.

Of course, this off-season could be telling, simply based on the fact that head coach Joe Judge has changed the narrative surrounding the team the last few years. The culture has taken a massive shift, the Giants have one a few games to prove they are on an upward trend, and the coaching has been superior compared to the recent past.

However, drafting must improve significantly if the Giants wish to be an adequate team moving forward. They rank among the worst in the league when it comes to the number of wins produced by spending in free agency, which also indicates poor draft selections.

Last season we saw a bit of a shift, as even late-round picks were contributing toward the Giants’ production. Whether it be in an injury-riddled outside linebacker unit or in the secondary, we finally witnessed youth performing well.

This off-season, though, the Giants don’t have much money to work with and don’t have a fifth-round pick, which they sent to the New York Jets in exchange for Leonard Williams in 2019.

General manager Dave Gettleman believes that the Giants do you have money to spend this off-season, and he’s depending on Kevin Abrams to find it.

“We’ve got cap space, we’ve got room,” Gettleman said during his post-season press conference. “You never have as much room as you want to have. We’ve got cap space, we’ve got room to do the things we feel like we need to do initially. A lot of it is going to be about the drop it’s going to take. How far of a plunge is it going to take? We don’t know. They’re talking 175, who knows. We’ll plan and then once we know the number, we’ll get moving.”

With the cap expected to be no less than $180 million, the Giants have a bit more leeway than previously expected. They still need to allocate resources toward a wide receiver, and with Allen Robinson and Kenny Golladay projected to be franchise tagged by their respective teams, only Corey Davis of the Tennessee Titans and Curtis Samuel of the Carolina Panthers makes sense.

Should the New York Giants target Davis in free agency?

This leads us to our main topic, is Davis worth signing to be the Giants WR1? Davis had his best season in 2020 opposite AJ Brown, recording 984 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 15.1 yards per reception and a catch rate of 70.7%, both being career highs.

However, you could make the argument that the attention Brown demanded allowed Davis to realize his potential. That argument would lead us down a path that justifies him being a high-end WR2 and not a premium WR1.

Nonetheless, the Giants don’t have a plethora of options to choose from, so Davis could be a solid option to add to the receiving corps. At 6’3” and 209 pounds, Davis is capable of being a solid possession receiver with above-average route running abilities. He can high point catches well and use his strength to muscle balls away from corners.

Realistically, any upgrade at the WR position will help Daniel Jones excel in 2021. To be quite honest, I would be ecstatic if the Giants fulfill that promise and allocate resources toward the position, one that desperately needs help.

3 New York Giants players primed to make big jumps in 2021

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants’ defense surprised everybody in 2020, ranking ninth in points allowed per game with 22.3. In rushing yards allowed, they were a top 10 unit but struggled in defending the pass until the second half of the year, ending up average, allowing 237.9 yards.

The injection of essential free agents completely overhauled the unit, along with Leonard Williams, who produced 11.5 sacks. Cornerback James Bradberry, formerly of the Carolina Panthers, had his best season to date, allowing 50+ yards just twice over the course of the entire season. He allowed three touchdowns, two of which came in week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, it was some of the rookies and youngsters that played a significant part, and some fresh faces are primed to take a significant jump in 2021.

Three New York Giants players primed to take big jumps in 2021:

1.) Dexter Lawrence

Lawrence is going into his third season in the NFL, and he took a big jump last year with the Giants. Alongside Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson, who both had career seasons, Lawrence nearly doubled his sack totals from 2.5 to 4.0. He also totaled 10 QB hits and six tackles for loss. His combined tackles number went up from 38 to 53 over just 60% of defensive snaps, a decrease of 3%.

Lawrence was double-teamed more than either of his counterparts and ranked near the top of the league in the category as well. He recorded 33 stops, 19 hurries, and just two missed tackles all season long.

With his growth, I expect him to take a nice jump in 2021, especially if the Giants retain both of their interior lineman who are hitting free agency. If all goes well, Dexter is in line to become a staple in the trenches.

2.) Xavier McKinney

Xavier McKinney missed a majority of his rookie season with a fractured foot which occurred during training camp. However, he returned in the second half of the year to post some quality numbers to finish the season.

In week 17 against Dallas, he recorded eight combined tackles, one tackle for a loss, one pass defended, and one interception. He was all over the field making plays, at one point bursting through a TE to take down CeeDee Lamb in the backfield. With that impressive performance, the Giants must feel confident he can take a step forward in 2021.

Based on the fact that McKinney came from a pro-style defense with Alabama, his transition to the NFL was never expected to take long. It seemed as if he finally settled down against Dallas to finish the campaign, so I expect that to translate over to next year.

3.) Darnay Holmes

While rookie slot corner Darnay Holmes suffered through m injuries as well, he didn’t allow a touchdown the entire season, the only starting rookie corner to do so.

In addition, he allowed 30 yards or less in six appearances but did have some struggles toward the end of the campaign. A lingering injury hurt his efficiency, posting four penalties in his last four starts. With a superior mentality and NFL genetics, Holmes has the ability to become a stellar corner in the NFL, but he must remain healthy moving forward.

New York Giants could already be out on top wide receivers in free agency

Allen Robinson, New York Giants

The New York Giants will be aggressive this off-season in adding offensive talent to assist Daniel Jones as he enters the third year on his rookie contract. If the Giants truthfully feel that Jones can be their franchise quarterback, giving him the weapons necessary is a priority, so we should expect them to be active in the free-agent market, but there could be some pushback by teams looking to retain the top receivers.

The consensus is that Allen Robinson of the Chicago Bears and Kenny Golladay of the Detroit Lions are the two top WRs on the market. With that being said, talented players are oftentimes franchise tagged by their teams to keep them around on a one-year deal. Both Robinson and Golladay could be doomed to this reality in the coming weeks, which would make their desire to hit free agency and sign long-term deals a bit more tumultuous.

CBS’s Jason La Canfora believes that Golladay will be tagged by Detroit:

Multiple league sources have told me Golladay will get the tag after his relationship with the prior regime in Detroit got rocky over prolonged extension negotiations. Could this be an eventual tag and trade? People around the league wouldn’t rule that out with the Lions rebuilding and trying to amass picks.

Golladay finished the 2020 season playing just five games, picking up 338 yards and two scores. He recorded a career-high 62.5% catch rate over the small sample size, but he would be a perfect fit with the Giants and coordinator Jason Garrett. As a big possession receiver, he can win 50/50 balls and dominate man coverage. Some would argue he is a proven receiver that has room to grow, and giving Jones a player of his quality would exponentially make him more effective.

As for Robinson, who is coming off a solid season with 1,250 yards and six scores, he will likely demand the most money on the market if he is not tagged. The expectation is that Chicago will do just that and potentially look to trade him for draft capital. However, this might be a good off-season for him to endure that reality, that way, he can cash in next year when the salary cap rises.

If both Kenny and Allen are off the board for the Giants, the mid-tier options are still somewhat attractive. Targeting Curtis Samuel and Corey Davis will likely be the Giants’ latter options, and I’m sure they’re preparing for that reality.

 

New York Giants: Markus Golden could leave Big Blue at any moment

New York Giants, Markus Golden

The New York Giants are entering the 2020 season with major question marks on defense. Their pass rush will be a hit or miss, as they are relying on young players like Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter to step up and make an impact. They’re also depending on the interior defensive line to generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks, which attest to the franchise tag they placed on Leonard Williams this off-season.

However, Markus Golden is sitting idly by waiting for another team to snatch him up and take him away from the New York Giants. New head coach Joe Judge implemented the rarely used free-agent tender on Golden, who led the team in sacks in 2019. Essentially, Golden has until July 22 to land a deal elsewhere before guaranteeing his stay with the Giants for at least one more season.

The fact that Golden hasn’t been signed yet attest to how teams view him as a long-term option at the position. While he did post 10.0 sacks in 2019, most of his production came on the back-end of plays and coverage sacks. Nonetheless, he played well against the run and held his own on the edge, earning a second contract from the Giants, which would count $5.2 million next season. The free-agent tender guarantees 110% of his 2019 salary, and that would be a steal considering the value he brought to the team last year.

The Giants need as much pass rush help as they can get, and Golden brings experience and consistency to the position. I am not comfortable relying solely on Ximines and Carter to keep pressure on the quarterback, especially against tougher teams.

The Giants also brought in Kyler Fackrell, who they are expecting to replicate Golden’s production in 2020. Fackrell played under Patrick Graham as his linebackers coach in 2018 when he posted 10.5 sacks, 42 combined tackles, and 12 quarterback hits. He was extremely efficient in rushing the passer and would pair up well if the team manages to retain Golden for one more season.

Nonetheless, Markus has one more month to secure a multi-year deal that pays him more than $5.2 million per season with a mother team. Given his value, I’m surprised he hasn’t been picked up yet, but there is still a good chance he will not play for the Giants moving forward.

Former Patriot says Giants’ Joe Judge and Patrick Graham have ‘tremendous work ethic’

New York Giants, Joe Judge

The New York Giants brought in Joe Judge to turn over the disciplinary tactics utilized by the coaching staff and hired Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator, a diverse play-caller with immense knowledge and experience in the NFL.

The Giants have failed to implement a fundamental-centric team that does their job correctly. Ultimately, there have been on-field mistakes littered across the past few seasons, and Judge will look to eliminate those to improve the overall efficiency of the team. Coming from New England, Judge is bringing a winning mentality to New York, something that has been absent over the past few seasons

Former Patriot Rob Ninkovich had nothing but good things to say about New York Giants’ head coach Joe Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, referencing their “tremendous work ethic” while appearing on the “Giants Huddle Podcast.

“Well, I think they have a tremendous work ethic,” Ninkovich said. “I was with Pat a long time. Me and Pat are very close and good friends. He helped me a lot in my career because he was so thorough in everything that he did in preparation. Same with Joe Judge. Joe Judge is going to be a guy that’s first in, last guy out. He’ll probably sleep there four or five nights a week. I know that sounds crazy, but he’s that into it. Same with Pat. Those guys, they’re not going to leave any stone unturned when it comes to preparation.”

“Coach Graham and Joe Judge are going to hold guys accountable, which is very much so needed in the NFL. You have to be accountable. You have to be expected to play at a high level week in and week out,” he said.

Having coaches that are connected and have experience with one another is essential for the overall development of the team. Ever since Tom Coughlin left to become the general manager for the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Giants have been void of disciplinary tactics and a winning culture. Judge set out to fix that problem, primarily by bringing in high character players that have one goal in mind, to win.

Of course, having two players arrested this off-season has not been a great start to his tenure, but the virtual aspect of things disallows him from keeping his team in check. This cannot be blamed on him by any means, but I imagine over the next few seasons, he will begin to refine the types of people he brings into the building.

Saquon Barkley in line to land massive contract extension, is he worth it?

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants need to start thinking about Saquno Barkley’s next deal:

The New York Giants are nearing a significant decision on a contract extension for Saquon Barkley. Barkley is entering his third season in the NFL — next season could see him begin talks with executives on a potential long term deal.

Barkley posted 1307 rushing yards and 721 receiving yards in his rookie season two years ago. His 2028 yards from scrimmage were excellent and most expected an even better year in 2019. However, a high ankle sprain and a lack of offense of line efficiency significantly hurt his production. Despite missing three games and battling through injury the entire season, he posted 1441 yards from scrimmage. He also reached pay dirt seven fewer times.

Dan Duggan of The Athletic reports that a potential extension for Barkley could be ginormous. Compared to Christian McCaffrey and Le’Veon Bell, Barkley will eclipse both running backs in terms of money per season.

“I don’t think the Giants can escape a monster contract unless Barkley has a poor year,” [Over the Cap’s Jason] Fitzgerald said. “Christian McCaffrey getting a monster contract with Carolina pretty much sets the stage that Barkley will be the highest-paid running back.”

Projected contract: 4 years, $70 million

I believe this relies on an extremely productive 2020 campaign, considering Christian McCaffrey at 23 years old posted 2392 total yards last year. He also reached the end zone 19 times with an 81.7% catch rate. He made Saquon’s rookie season look like an average one, which means the Giants need to see much more from their star back if he wishes to land upwards of $17 million per season.

In McCaffrey’s most profitable year, he’s only earning $16.3 million per season. The Giants desperately need to see a first-team All-Pro level player in Barkley next season. Ultimately, it boils down to the offensive line and if Daniel Jones can improve on his 2019 statistics. Plenty of factors play into his success, but he has shown he can supplement those weaknesses on the line at times with breath-taking explosiveness and excitement.

The big question is: Is signing Barkley to a deal this big worth it?

Based on the production of other running backs in the league, paying him over $17 million per season is not worth it by any means. However, if he can replicate McCaffrey’s ROI and essentially carry the offense, you can justify it to a degree. It all depends on how he performs in 2020/21.

New York Giants could land star WR Ja’Marr Chase in 2021 NFL Draft

New York Giants, LSU, Ja'Marr Chase

The 2020 season for the New York Giants is going to be just if not more difficult than the 2019 campaign. With the fourth-strongest schedule in the NFL, the Giants are gearing up to face off again some of the league’s best talent on a weekly basis. Their defense is still in a rebuilding phase, and franchise quarterback Daniel Jones is only in year two. There is no guarantee that the team will even improve, but we can estimate most of the graduating year one defenders will take a gradual step forward.

However, based on the strength of the schedule and the state of the roster, the Giants could very well end up with a top-five pick in 2021. That would put them in range to land stud wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase out of LSU. Chase is an elite wideout, standing at 6 foot one and 205 pounds. He won the Biletnikoff Award, coining him as the nation’s top receiver in 2019 with 84 receptions, 1,789-yards, and 20 touchdowns.

Adding a receiver as talented as Chase to a Giants unit that could lose Golden State next season due to Costs would be a huge step forward. His speed and catch rate are awe-inspiring, and pairing him with Jones and Saquon Barkley would make the offense as intimidating as any. If the star LSU player would have committed to the draft this year, he easily would’ve been a top 10 pick, but waiting until next off-season could guarantee him a top-five selection, increasing his monetary gain over the first five years of his NFL career.

What the New York Giants’ wide receiver corps would look like:

Let’s assume that the Giants cut Tate and save $6 million in cap space; they would be left with Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Chase. This could be an elite trio, as y has shown immense potential in his young career, and Shepard is a proven commodity that can dominate from the slot position. Two speedsters like Chase and Slayton would wreak havoc in defensive backfields, and as Slayton’s route tree expands, Daniel Jones would have plenty of weapons to utilize in the passing game.

The New York Giants’ secondary in 2020 could be vastly underrated

New York Giants, James Bradyberry, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Xavier McKinney

The New York Giants could have an underrated secondary:

The New York Giants’ defense ranked 30th in the NFL last year, allowing a putrid 28.19 points per game on average. They allowed 19 rushing touchdowns and 30 passing touchdowns, showing how inconsistent the secondary was.

General manager Dave Gettleman allocated ample resources toward bolstering the secondary in the 2019 NFL draft, which played a significant part in the degradation of the unit and deficiencies across the board. However, one year of experience and more draft capital spent on reinforcing the defense, and we should see a gradual improvement from the unit as a whole.

Players like DeAndre Baker, whose lawyer said the charges are just about dropped and they have won the case to acquit him of any wrongdoing, are expected to take a big step forward in 2020.

Baker finished 2019 playing in all 16 games, tallying 61 combine tackles and a 61.4 completion rate. He did allow six touchdowns, an astronomical number that needs to be decreased moving forward. Nonetheless, he was used mostly in zone coverage, while his strength was man/press coverage in college.

I expect Baker to take a step forward in his development considering new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham utilizes man coverage on 50% or more of defensive snaps, historically.

In addition to Baker, the Giants are also expecting safety Julian love and supplemental draft pick Sam Beal to step up and provide some sort of quality. They also went out and signed James Bradberry, formally of the Carolina Panthers. Bradberry was the second-best corner on the free-agent market and has impeccable health, and coverage skills justify the money they spent on acquiring him. Bradberry posted a 44.2 completion rate and six touchdowns allowed in 2018, but cut down his red zone deficiency significantly in 2019, allowing just one score on 59.8% completion rate.

Bradberry will inevitably replace Janoris Jenkins, who had filled the number one corner role over the past few seasons. Bradberry is on a three-year deal, giving the Giants leverage if they want to move on after year two on a low dead cap hit.

I believe the secondary is one of the more underrated units for Big Blue, acknowledging their increased experience and the resources dumped into its reinforcing. The Giants also drafted Darnay Holmes with their fourth-round pick, who was rated as the top nickel corner in the draft. If he can lock down the starting slot position, the Giants will have two solid corners in Bradberry and Baker manning the outside.

While depth might be a little bit scarce, they also acquired Xavier McKinney to fill the free safety spot in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft. McKinney is a sure-fire tackler and created seven turnovers for Alabama last season. His versatility makes him a perfect fit for Graham’s defensive scheme, which focuses on unpredictable blitzing habits and man coverage.

New York Giants: Top News 6/2 – Eli Manning has gas left in the tank?

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

Good Morning, New York Giants fans!

Another Eli Manning homer has surfaced! His name is Golden Tate, newly acquired receiver for the Giants. Is he a homer or does he simply think Eli can still get the job done?

Tate commented that Manning sees the game extremely well and still has a strong arm…should we believe him or cough it up as friendly teammate chatter. Eli has always been a quality quarterback in the slant-game and on short post-routes. I imagine Tate will be a major benefactor of that reality.

Extending Sterling Shepard should further indicate that head coach Pat Shurmur wants to utilize the slot-position more frequently in his second season running the offense. Both Tate and Shep can play inside and out, which will create unpredictability and open up the field for Eli.

Additionally, I’m very excited to see the play-action in full form. A poor offensive line hurt Manning’s ability to properly carry out an effective play-action simply because he didn’t have much time to scan the field. Adding Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers should increase his efficiency from the pocket. His overall production should actually see a jump because of the line, something general manager Dave Gettleman prioritized this offseason.

Nonetheless–

Your top Giants news of the day!

Dan Benton (Giants Wire) – Things ‘slowing down’ for Daniel Jones as he caps a solid week of practice

Ed Valentine (Big Blue View) – Giants’ 90-man roster: WR Bennie Fowler competing for spot in crowded field

Matt Lombardo (NJ.com) – Here is the Giants’ current unofficial offensive depth chart

Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants might have a darkhorse linebacker in Tae Davis

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – Giants’ Golden Tate specializes in making tacklers miss

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