New York Giants, Def, Giants
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2016 Outlook: Bye Week Fill-inLast updated on Jul-27-2016 by Shawn Childs
New York finished 24th in rushing yards allowed (1942) with 15 rushing TDs. They allowed 4.4 yards per rush on 27.8 carries per game.
Their failure on defense was tied for the most passing yards allowed (4783) in the league with 31 TDs and 15 Ints. The Giants only managed 23 sacks in 2015.
The two free acquisitions will become New York's best two defensive linemen. DE Olivier Vernon had strength against the run while posting 7.5 sacks in 2015. Over the last three years with the Dolphins as a starter, Vernon had 25.5 sacks. His overall production ranked highly at his position. DT Damon Harrison was part of a very good run-stopping line with Jets. His success may be a result of better players around him. Either way, Harrison will improve the run defense with no real value in sacks (1.5 in his career over 53 games played). DT Johnathan Hankins handled himself well against the run in limited snaps last year with risk rushing the QB. New York hopes DE Jason Pierre-Paul regains some of his pass rushing form after his bad injury to his right hand that cost him the first eight games of the season. Jason struggled against the run in 2015 with only one sack due to playing with a cast on his right hand.
LB Keenan Robinson will compete for the starting middle linebacker job after playing poorly in all areas in 2015 with the Redskins, which was partly due to a shoulder issue. LB Jasper Brinkley should work as a rotational guy in run support, but he has high risk in pass coverage. LB J.T. Thomas played his way of a starting job last year with failure against the run and weakness in pass protection. LB Devon Kennard held his own against the run with no value rushing the QB. Overall, there is plenty of weakness at the second level of the defense. New York probably needs rookie B.J. Goodson to at least add value as a run stopper on early downs.
The Giants should have two serviceable cornerbacks in coverage as Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie grade in the top half of the starting NFL CB class. Rodgers does have risk in run support. Rookie CB Eli Apple should add depth to their secondary once he gains NFL experience. The options for both safety positions have risk in coverage. Rookie S Darian Thompson may have value on early downs, but QBs will look to test him in pass coverage.
This defense will be improved for sure. The DL and CB positions should be above the league average with some of their upside tied to the success of Pierre-Paul rushing the QB. New York needs improved play at the linebacking and safety positions. The Giants may have matchup value at times in the Fantasy market.
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