By Michael Stewart @TheTruthNYG
The New York Giants season is over with a disappointed loss to the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles 38-7. So what went wrong for the Giants? Well Giant fans, actually nothing! This was a game every Giants fan never expected the team to be in at the start of the season as this was expected to be year one of the rebuilding processes. Despite the loss, all Giant fans should feel good about this team and have higher expectations for 2023. Now GM Joe Schoen will need to figure what needs to be done in order for the Giants to challenge the division leaders Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC east crown in the upcoming years. Here are my top 5 areas of concern (In no particular order) that I believe Joe Schoen will look to address.
- Inside Linebacker: The Giants surrendered 144.2 yards per game on the ground, which ranked them 27th overall in the NFL. The lack of the true thumper in the middle of their defense was a major area that GM Joe Schoen must address either via free agency and/or through the draft.
- Wide Receiver: Despite the hidden gem discovery by Joe Schoen in Isaiah Hodgins off of the Buffalo Bills practice squad. The Giants must look for a true #1 Wide receiver for 2023. The 2023 free agent class at the wide receiver doesn’t have a legitimate top tier receiver to invest in, so Joe Schoen could look at other avenues such as the trade market or through the draft. It’s unclear if Schoen would surrender draft capital for a more established wide out on the trade market, but at this point all options should be considered.
- Interior Offensive Lineman: Despite having an up and down rookie campaign Evan Neal will be penciled in at right tackle in 2023 along with Andrew Thomas at left tackle who is arguably a top 3 offensive tackle in the NFL. The issue for the Giants is their interior line positions where I expect to see Joe Schoen addressing in the off season, possibly in both free agency and via the draft. Look for a prospect with versatility to play multiple positions well that can possibly jump right into the mix as a rookie in 2023.
- Cornerback Coverage: It’s no secret that the Giants secondary was assembled during the 2022 with waiver wire and practice squad players after a few injuries to key players such as Aaron Robinson, Adoree Jackson, Kadarius Williams and Cordale Flott. The Giants need to get a bona fide corner who can play solid man to man coverage and also help defend run support. Whether that will be through free agency or via the draft remains to be seen.
- Edge/Defensive End: The Giants defense finished with a total of 41 sacks in 2022, led by Dexter Lawrence with 7.5 sacks. Rarely does an interior defensive lineman lead their team in sacks and despite this achievement; the Giants must address this area for better production in 2023. In my opinion, the Giants need to increase this total somewhere in the mid 50’s or better if they truly expect to take that big leap forward and contend with the likes of the Eagles and the 49ers in the NFC conference defensively.
Final Thoughts: The Giants currently have $57.3M cap space available and must address their top 3 free agents currently on the roster in Quarterback Daniel Jones, Running Back Saquan Barkley and Safety Julian Love? GM Joe Schoen can increase the cap space through some cuts/releases of a number of players such as Kenny Golladay (after June 1st) which will add another $13M to the cap space. Joes Schoen isn’t a big fan of re-structuring contracts but might not much choice. Schoen has also expressed that the rebuilding process will be primarily through the draft where the Giants will have a total of 11 picks. Keep an eye out for upcoming articles throughout the off season as I will dive into in more detail what the Giants should do with possible free agent player profiles and draft prospects scouting reports.