New York Giants - 2014 Off-season Overview
The 2013 season was a total bust for the New York Giants. They were hammered with injuries and the guys that stayed healthy didn't do much to stand out. The Giants' offense was horrible, finishing 28th in total yards per game, 19th in passing yards that was largely due to being down early in games, especially at the start of the season, so they needed to pass to try and come back. Also they only had the 29th best rush attack, forcing them to rely on the passing game. Eli Manning had what could have been his worst season of his career, passing for his least amount of yards since 2008 and failing to pass for at least 20 touchdowns for the first time since his rookie season, not to mention a career high 27 interceptions.
Hakeem Nicks (who is leaving in free agency this season) was a total bust this season; despite playing in 15 games, he failed to score a touchdown. Victor Cruz was the best and most consistent receiver of the bunch and even he had a down year with only 73 receptions and 4 Touchdowns. Rueben Randle definitely took strides and improved all of his stats, but that was more to do with a large increase in targets. Unfortunately he wasn't very consistent. Jerrel Jernigan was a huge fantasy surprise late in the season when the offense was struggling, Jernigan someway found a way to shine. If the Giants do NOT find a receiver through free agency, that may signal a ringing endorsement for Jernigan.
TE Brandon Myers was brought into to replace Martellus Bennett. That didn't go well. Myers can't block and never got in sync with Eli.
The running game was a complete disaster from game one when second year man David Wilson (our 2013 Breakout Player) fumbled twice, went into the coaches' dog house and never really got out. His season (and possibly his career) ended early when he suffered a serious neck injury, playing only 5 games. He had surgery and his future is up in the air. After him, the Giants used Andre Brown, brought back Brandon Jacobs, and signed Peyton Hillis off the street. All of them had flashes of good games, but nothing sustained. A large reason the offense was this bad was due to the O-Line being absolutely horrific as well as losing three of the five opening day starters.
1 – Most important need is to revamp the OL. They need to get younger, bigger and better.
2 – Can't count on David Wilson, so they need to re-sign Andre Brown and bring in at least one more running back.
3- Wide Receivers. Nicks is leaving via free agency and there uncertainty about if Randle can be counted on as a legit number two.
4-Tight End. Brandon Myers likely won't be brought back (even if he is, they still need to bring in someone who will mesh better with Eli). We're hearing that Ed Dickson is a potential target, as well as Garrett Graham.
If I were GM these would be some of the moves I would make
1 - First move I would make is signing center Alex Mack, of the Cleveland Browns. The last time the Giants did that was when they signed Shaun O'Hara. That worked out well and he locked down an OL that won a Super Bowl. Getting Mack would really help solidify the OL. They should also look to the draft to help them out
2 - They Definitely need help at running back. I like Knowshon Moreno, but I think he will cost too much, same goes for Ben Tate. With that said, I think I would look at one of the veterans like MJD, James Starks (familiar with the new Offensive Coordinator) or even kick the tires of Bradshaw. My real focus would be on finding someone in the draft in the middle rounds, like Auburn RB Tre Mason.
3 - Get Eli some help in the receiving game at the wide receiver spot and tight end. I would focus on signing a veteran TE that is good a blocker, and look to draft a TE like -- Troy Niklas from Notre Dame or Austin Seferian-Jenkins from Washington. In terms of receiver, I would seriously take a look at Eric Decker depending on his price tag. After him, I'd look at James Jones as he is very familiar with the new OC, then look at a guy like Dexter McCluster, who is versatile and would help in the return game where the Giants are very weak. In the draft, I would look at some guys in the middle rounds, like Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State.