Saturday, March 16, 2013

Grading the Giants Offseason so far

Needless to say, the Giants season followed the continual trend of Super Bowl hangover. After winning it all in 2012, the Giants beat themselves out of a playoff spot. Now, as I examined a few weeks back (Giants Offseason Guide) there are positions which need to be addressed, most notably on the defense. Now, the Giants still need to look at a few things, so let's take a look at what has changed.

David Carr could still be back, but he's not a priority. Ryan Fitzpatrick would be a great target as a backup. Again, not a big priority. UPDATE: Carr is reportedly re-signed. Grade: B

Running Back
I would still like to see a veteran for depth. There are many options, but ensuring Andre Brown does not sign an offer sheet with another team is important, and Ryan Torain has been resigned. Michael Turner would be a great signing. Grade: C+

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Martellus Bennett is gone, and Domenik Hixon and Ramses Barden are UFA's. I would like to see Hixon back, particularly in the return game. The Giants signed WR Louis Murphy for some reason, but at least he's speedy and adds depth. They must sign Victor Cruz to an extension; a 1st round tender will scare away teams but he's crucial to the team. For tight end, the Giants have 3 options: internal with Adrian Robinson, external with a Brandon Myers/Fred Davis or draft via Zach Ertz or Tyler Efert. I would like Brandon Myers as a pass catcher; tight end in the 1st round is a waste of a pick with bigger needs present.
UPDATE: Brandon Myers has signed withe Giants. New grade to the right: Grade: B-

Offensive Line
LT Will Beatty was resigned, thankfully, but work needs to be done. I do not love Kevin Boothe, but the Free Agent O-Guard market is not pretty at all, so he's a priority. I want David Diehl cut, but it looks like the Giants will only restructure his contract. The Right Tackle market is loaded, so the Giants could make a splash, but the safe route would be signing Sean Locklear back and have him and Jim Brewer compete at RT. Grade: B

Defensive Line
At DT,Shaun Rogers had a clot and missed the season, but was resigned. Cullen Jenkins was signed from the Eagles. They're solid vets who do their perspective jobs well (Rogers run stopping and Jenkins pass rushing). I would like to see some more depth, particularly with a run stuffer (Alan Branch or Casey Hampton would be nice, particularly Branch). DE needs some work. Tuck looked slow last year, and rumor has it Dwight Freeney might want to play for the Giants (he's from CT): as a pass rusher, its a great move. Also a great move: move Mathias Kiwanuka back to DE. Grade: B-

Total overhaul needed. Even if Kiwanuka stays here, 2 starters are needed. I don't want to see Paysinger or Williams compete for 1 OLB job: they're not good enough. Keith Rivers has been resigned and I would like him to compete for a starting gig. Newly signed Dan Connor makes total sense as a MLB starter, but since the LB market is still saturated, the Giants could take a look at 2 more free agent starters, particularly Karlos Dansby or Rey Maualuga. Grade: C+

Defensive Back
Let's start at Corner: they're letting the bottom feeders go, thankfully. Aaron Ross is back as a depth piece (so he can get burned deep toiling in mediocrity again) and Corey Webster took a pay cut to not get cut (should be packing his bags, though). There are plenty of veteran corners available: Quentin Jammer would be a fantastic pickup as a short-term starter, but the Giants must go here in the draft. At Safety, no worries with Antrel Rolle, but Kenny Phillips is gone and Stevie Brown is an RFA. Brown needs to be back. Signed was Ryan Mundy from Pittsburgh: will he start at SS? Who knows? Will the Giants go with some quasi-rotation with Mundy in run support, Brown in pass coverage and Will Hill? We will see, but Quintin Mikell would be an excellent signing. Grade: D+

Special Teams
Lawrence Tynes will be replaced either by Josh Brown or David Buehler, presumably Brown. Brown's a solid kicker. Weatherford is a solid punter. I do wonder who will be doing kick-offs with David Wilson starting at RB. Using Rueben Randle on Kickoffs would increase his versatility, and since he does punt returns already, why not? Looking for a speedy return guy would be nice in the draft, but not a priority. Grade: B+

Yikes. Work is needed, but since free agency is only a few days old, the Giants have plenty of time until the draft rolls around in 5 weeks to will some needs, but so far? Grade: C+

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