With a subpar 2018 season, Big Blue will be looking to make some major roster changes this offseason. Pat Shurmur will likely look to build his offense around 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley by getting a better offensive line during free agency. With a veteran team, and and a potential explosive offense, can the Giants make the playoffs in 2019?
The Giants will look to retain players before March 13th as they have multiple quality starters slated to hit the market. With about 28 million in cap space (according to Overthecap.com) they will likely need to cut a few players that are accounting for large amounts of cap space in order to obtain some free agents. Some players that may be at risk to be cut before Free Agency starts are listed below:
- Olivier Vernon – Edge – saves 8 million in Cap Space
- Janoris Jenkins – CB – saves 7 million in Cap Space
- Alec Ogletree – LB – saves 11.25 million in Cap Space
Releasing one or more of these players will give Big Blue the capability of going after some high quality free agents that could dramatically increase the chances of making the playoffs next year.
Also, the Giants will need to retain some players from last year and resign them to new contracts. Some players they should try and resign are:
- Jamon Brown – RG
- Landon Collins – S
- Aldrick Rosas – K
As I said before, the Giants will be looking for an offensive line in free agency. Particularly, a new right tackle and a new center. Also, they need to improve the defensive side as the ball as they were ranked 24th in total defense last year. Olivier Vernon, Alec Ogletree, and Janoris Jenkins are superior starters on defense, but are not guaranteed a roster spot next year (cuts). Also the leader of the defense, Landon Collins, is scheduled to hit the open market. Ultimately, defense needs to be a priority for the Giants because if they want to win Super Bowls again, they will need a revitalized Big Blue Wrecking Crew. Some players NY should target in Free Agency are listed below:
***Note: Not all players listed below are guaranteed to hit the market. They can all still be re-signed by their teams.***
- Jadeveon Clowney: 3-4 OLB/ Edge
- Grady Jarrett: DT
- Anthony Barr: LB
- Ronald Darby: CB
- Lamarcus Joyner: S
- Za’Darius Smith: 3-4 OLB/ Edge
- Daryl Williams: RT
- Matt Paradis: C
- Teddy Bridgewater
Yes, the Giants will need to make a decent sized splash in free agency in order to be a playoff contender in 2019.
This could be the year that Big Blue gets their successor to 2x Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning. After throwing only 40 touchdowns in two years along with 24 interceptions, Eli could be entering his last season in a Giants uniform and perhaps the last of his career. NY will look to grab a quarterback in the first round this year. As of now, I can only see 3 players that the Giants will target with the 6th pick and they are:
- Dwayne Haskins- Ohio State
- Kyler Murray- Oklahoma
- Drew Lock- Missouri
The most likely is Dwayne Haskins but there is question on if he will be available at 6. Or if they will need to trade up for him. Kyler Murray is expected to be available at 6, but there is concern if he will be taken this early due to his height. Another thing to note is that Kyler has a quiet personality and this may be preyed upon in the NY media/market. Drew Lock is the outlier here, but is rapidly flying up draft boards as of late. If Lock has a solid combine, I believe he will be looked at as a possible pick at 6 for the Giants.
There is more to the draft than the first round though. The Giants are slated to have 11 picks this offseason, which will give their roster good depth and solid young talent, or it gives them good trade capital to trade up for a QB in the first round. Here are some prospects I believe the Giants will look to target in the draft:
- Greg Little – OT – Ole Miss
- Dalton Risner – OT – Kansas St.
- Mack Wilson – LB – Alabama
- Daniel Wise – DT – Kansas
- Lil’Jordan Humphrey – WR – Texas
Simply put, the New York Giants need some major pieces if they want to make the playoffs next year. Mainly, a new quarterback will be the key. I believe Kyler Murray is the most pro-ready QB in this class so I can see him taking the giants to 9-7 or 10-6 next season. If they go Haskins, or a free agent like Teddy Bridgewater for example, I would say 6-10 or 7-9 is more realistic.
In the end I would say right now Big Blue is an average team, that needs some major pieces to become competitive… but with Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham leading them, they are on the right track.
Final Record Prediction:
- Likely, the Giants will not have a great offseason. So no, they are not a playoff team. But I think in 2-3 years the Giants can be one of the more scarier teams in the league.