All things considered, the New York Giants have had a pretty good offseason but the rebuilding job is far from over for this team. This, even as general manager Dave Gettleman clearly maxed-out, given the team’s tight salary cap restrictions.
Free agency clearly paid some dividends for the Giants who, despite having limited wiggle room with a top-heavy salary cap, addressed areas of need. Beefing up the offensive line with additions such as left tackle Nate Solder and guard Patrick Omameh, as well as under the radar moves in linebacker Kareem Martin and defensive end Josh Mauro. But there are still holes on this team as rookie minicamp and training camp loom.
The NFL Draft was good and the first two selections, in particular, should help answer some looming questions. There still are pressing needs for Gettleman and the Giants.
Here’s a look at three spots where the Giants need to address depth issues:
1) Offensive line is improved but … the loss of center Weston Richburg in free agency hurts. Brett Jones, who started a bunch of games last year when Richburg was injured, has had spells of inconsistency and remains a bit of a mystery. Perhaps a full offseason working with the unit will help Jones stabilize, but the Giants might need to cull the free agent market come training camp if Jones doesn’t step up.
There is also a potential hole at right tackle given that Ereck Flowers appears unsettled and the Giants reportedly were trying to move their former first-round pick. Now, Flowers has been anything but reliable at left tackle. If the Giants are able to move him, they’d still need to find an adequate replacement.
In addition, depth along the line is paper thin. While the Giants did draft highly-touted UTEP guard Will Hernandez in the second round, they still need bodies. Adam Bisnowaty, a sixth-round pick a year ago, might be hurried along a bit. Bisnowaty might battle Chad Wheeler for the starting right tackle job come August.
2) The cornerbacks are talented but depth issues persist. Janoris Jenkins will turn 30-years old this season, an age where cornerbacks begin to traditionally see a decline in production. Opposite of him is Eli Apple, who had a great rookie year in 2016 before injuries and issues derailed his season.
If the Giants secondary is going to be solid, then Jenkins must be healthy all 16 games and Apple has to return to being the player who stood out his rookie year. After these two starters, however, are plenty of question marks.
B.W. Webb brings good experience to the secondary and Brandon Dixon is solid, but the Giants will need one or two players to step up significantly. The roster, as it stands now, doesn’t have a whole lot of proven players after their starters. The Giants could really use an undrafted rookie free agent to step up and provide depth at cornerback after Webb and Dixon.
3) There still is Eli Manning at QB but then …
Manning is likely the Giants starter for this year and the next two seasons but the two-time Super Bowl MVP isn’t getting any younger. He’s been remarkably healthy and while the offensive line figures to be better, the Giants simply need to find a solution as his backup.
Davis Webb has yet to throw an NFL pass, a failing perhaps of the last management regime to not even give him a taste of playing on Sundays. And Kyle Lauletta is a solid mid-round pick for the Giants but he faces a big jump in competition coming from Richmond.
The Giants could be in the market for a veteran quarterback to stand with a clipboard this season and backup Manning. Should Manning go down with an injury, the talent-level behind him just isn’t proven yet. An injury to their star quarterback could derail a whole season for this team.