The Giants have brought in a slew of young veterans this offseason and selected some interesting players in the draft. Sorting through them all, it appears GM Jerry Reese is leaving no stone unturned. The roster has competition at almost every position and depth should not be an issue this season.
Perhaps the biggest addition to the Giant family is not a player at all. OC Ben McAdoo brings a fresh approach to an offense that dragged through the 2013 season. The pace will be faster, the execution sharper and the production vastly higher. It is a strategy that hinges on a high-percentage passing attack and limits the type of turnovers the Giants have been suseptible to the past several years.
Who’s new on offense….First round pick WR Odell Beckham, Jr. for one. He’s going to get every opportunity to make plays as possible. Second round selection Weston Richburg is the center of the future, if not the present. RB Andre Williams, the Giants’ fourth round pick, is built to carry a team on his back, which is something the Giants are in dire need of. USC TE Xavier Grimble was signed int he UDFA market and is seen as a sleeper to make the roster.
Free agency landed them two solid interior lineman in LG Geoff Schwartz and C JD Walton and veterans John Jerry and Charles Brown, who will add depth. RB Rashad Jennings is big, tough, versatile back that McAdoo will put to work early and often. TE Kellen Davis is a solid in-kin blocker who is also effective in the short-yardage and red zone situations.
Who’s new on defense…The draft yielded DT Jay Bromley in Round Three, S Nat Berhe and LB Devon Kennard in Round Five and CB Bennett Jackson in Round Six. Bromley was a climber at the draft and is seen as a player who will only get better as time goes on. Berhe, Kennard and Jackson are all character guys who will lift the level of leadership in the locker room and add depth to the defense and special teams.
The Giants added UDFAs by the score: DTs Kelcy Quarles and Eathyn Manumaleuna; DEs Jordan Stanton, Emmanuel Dieke and Kerry Wynn; DBs Thomas Gordon and CJ Barnett and LBs Dan Fox and Justin Anderson. Keep in mind, the Giants always find gems after the draft. Let’s see if the trend continues.
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the big fish the Giants reeled in in free agency. He gives the Giants a legit, veteran presence at corner. The emerging Walter Thurmond, fresh off a Super Bowl win with the Seahawks will try to live up to his boast that he is the best slot corner in the NFL. CB Zack Bowman was added for depth. Quentin Demps, most noted for his ST play, will be very involved in the safety mix now that Will Hill is gone. The underachieveing DE Robert Ayers was signed to fill the jersey and roster spot of the departed Justin Tuck. Reese also scooped up LB Jameel McClain, who was deemed too expensive by the Ravens.
On special teams, the Giants decided it was time to upgrade their return games. Denver’s Trindon Holliday is now their new punt and kick returner. Demps and Beckham will also be candidates for returner spots.