After finishing the 2014 campaign with a 6-10 record, the New York Giants had key decisions to make heading into the offseason. Those key decisions didn’t come in free agency, as the G-Men were relatively quiet on the free agency signing front.
The Giants made two signings of note back in March when they brought in running back Shane Vereen and former New York Jets linebacker Kendrick Ellis to the squad, but those aren’t exactly additions that will sell tickets. Vereen will find himself in a role where he can pack a big bunch on offense behind starter Rashaad Jennings, and Ellis should see some significant snaps as well.
Perhaps New York’s most interesting free agency signing was the decision to bring in J.T. Thomas and give him a decent contract despite the fact that Jacksonville chose not to re-sign him. Note: Jacksonville needs all the help that it can get. So, that was an interesting move.
Assessing the Draft
Tom Coughlin and company decided that offensive tackle would be their area of choice with the No. 9 pick in the draft, as they took Ereck Flowers, the excellent run-blocking phenom from Miami. He likely will need to make an immediate impact so that the Giants can better protect Eli Manning next season.
However, while the Flowers move was great, the decision to trade up to get former Alabama safety Landon Collins in the second round was brilliant. The G-Men needed help in the secondary without a doubt, and Collins is an absolute gamer. While some speculate that he’ll have issues in coverage, he has enough overall skill to really help this defensive unit.
The Giants continued their trend of picking high potential players when they went with UCLA defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa in the third round. This guy will step onto the field and make his presence known when it comes to pass rushing. New York certainly needs more of that, so that’ll be a big boost for sure.
Overall, it’s hard to complain about the Giants’ draft. It was a fine effort from this franchise.
Other Off-Season Notes
Let’s start with the negative first. New York chose to move in the right direction by keeping Jason Pierre-Paul around for the long haul, but then came the July 4 fireworks accident that led to Pierre-Paul getting his right index finger amputated. As for where that puts him heading into next season, it’s anyone’s guess at this point.
Graphic via giants
On the positive side, Steve Spagnuolo returns to the Giants in hopes of leading the defense back to the glory days. Obviously, he won’t have the same type of talent that he had during his previous run with the franchise, but the guy knows defense and he’s a major asset for this squad.
Looking Ahead to the 2015 NFL Season
But of course, it’s the regular season opener that Giants fans will be waiting for, as we’ll see right away where this team stands when it heads to Cowboys Stadium on September 13 to take on Dallas in primetime.
That should give fans a nice little glimpse into whether or not the Giants can be a true contender and make their return to the postseason.
Graphic via www.bigblueview.com