How does the New York Giants’ roster compare to the rest of the league ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft?
For most of last season, the New York Giants never ranked higher than 20 in various power-ranking opinion pieces.
But after a busy free agency period in which the Giants added over a dozen players at different position units, things are looking up for Big Blue in Year 2 of the Joe Judge era, at least as far as Pro Football Focus is concerned.
The popular analytics site, which released its pre-draft rankings of every NFL team and its rankings of each team’s draft capital, has the Giants sitting in 17th place pre-draft and their six draft picks ranked 18th.
The middle of the road ranking might elicit a “meh” reaction from those who put stock in this type of analysis, but as PFF explains, it’s good news:
Placing 17th may seem average, but for the New York Giants, this is big news. Their roster was among the worst in the league in the three years following their 2016 playoff appearance, but it took a step forward last year and took another big leap this offseason after two additions: wide receiver Kenny Golladay and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.
Golladay established himself as one of the top deep threats in contested scenarios over the past few years in Detroit. His 53 contested catches and 1,072 deep receiving yards since 2018 are each a top-five mark at the position (keep in mind, he played in only five games in 2020).
Jackson was limited to four games due to injury in 2020, but he has still been one of the 15 most valuable cornerbacks since entering the league in 2017.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman famously went on a massive free-agency spending spree, a sign that the team is all-in on a “playoffs or bust” type of season.
And rightfully so, as the Giants will soon be at a crossroads in terms of deciding between quarterback Daniel Jones, who after this season will be eligible to have his contract renegotiated.
The Giants' brass has been very open about its belief in Jones as the franchise quarterback. Despite such public proclamations, Jones still lacks a winning record in his role, which is the bottom line in a production-based business.
While Jones, who remember last year was in a new and different offensive system playing without his top running back, behind a relatively new offensive line, and not to mention with inconsistent receivers, finally showed some encouraging signs of progress, the bottom line is that he was the quarterback of the league's 31st ranked scoring offense.
That's not all his fault, but it still needs to be mentioned. As for the roster rebuild, Gettleman isn't done yet--that process never ends. However, with only six picks to push the job closer to completion, that's not a lot considering the team could still use another edge rusher, some more depth at offensive line and linebacker, and another cornerback.
Might Gettleman trade down to acquire more? He told reporters he was fine with having only six picks (as he should be given that the team has pretty much maxed out its possibilities for salary cap space.
Per Over the Cap, they have $936,897 in effective cap space, which is the amount it has under the Top 51, and $5.040 million in total cap space, and will need $4.103 million in functional cap space just to sign the rookie class (assuming they stay put at No. 11).
Acquiring future picks is always an option, but it will not help the Giants this year, so the pressure is really on Gettleman and company to knock this draft out of the park.