The New York Giants are coming off just about the most positive 6-10 years that you can possibly have.
With training camp officially underway, 6-10 won’t be met with any positivity in 2021.

With all the moves the Giants made this offseason, there are still four big questions regarding this team.

To get over the hump, these questions need to be answered with an overwhelming yes.

1) Do the Giants Have a Bonafide Edge Rusher on This Roster?

The Giants were able to put a together a top ten defense last year whilst being number 10 in the NFL in team sacks.  They did this with Leonard Williams 11.5 sack’s accounting for nearly 30% of the team’s sacks. Relying on Leo to do this again with minimal help from anyone else asks for the defensive production to go down. Giants’ second-round pick, Azeez Ojulari, will be expected to do big things his rookie year but needs a partner coming off the other edge.

Our best option there?  Lorenzo Carter.

Yes, he is coming off of a torn Achilles, but as a former third-round pick, it is put up or shut up time for the former Georgia Bulldog.  Behind those two is a group that needs to contribute as well. Oshane Ximines is the biggest name out of that unit.  Just like Carter, Ximines needs to live up to his draft stock starting Tuesday, or he may not even be on this roster in 2021.

The depth at this position is deep with former Minnesota Viking Ifeadi Odenigbo, Carter Coughlin, Cam Brown, and new fourth-round draft pick Elerson Smith.  Having depth is great, but one of these guys has to step up and become a pass rusher defenses need to plan for.

2) Is This Offensive Line the Real Deal?

The Giants finished in the bottom five of the league when it comes to sacks given up.  Despite this, Dave Gettleman and Company decided to add no new starting pieces and released arguably our most consistent offensive lineman in Kevin Zeitler.  The starting Offensive Line from left to right is expected to be Andrew Thomas, Shane Lemieux, Nick Gates, Will Hernandez, and Matt Peart.

This is a young (average age: 24), unproven offensive line, albeit with 5 guys who have flashed potential.  Thomas and Hernandez were high draft picks who have to become staples of this line if the Giants go anywhere this year and beyond.  Nick Gates must build on what he started last year as he performed better than anyone thought he would at the center.

The two wildcards on this offensive line are Shane Lemieux and Matt Peart: two mid-round draft picks who, in their second year, are essential to the success of this team.  This has the potential to be the Giants’ line of the future, and for the Giants’ sake, it better be.

3) Can Jason Garrett Improve This Offense?

Photo: Jason Leach/Elite Sports NY

I’ll be the first to admit that I liked the Jason Garrett hired when it happened.  With that being said, his first season as the Giants Offensive Coordinator was a failure as they were the 31st ranked offense in terms of yards per game and were near the bottom of the league in nearly every other offensive category.  Daniel Jones went from throwing 24 touchdowns as a rookie to only 11 in his sophomore season, playing in one more game than his rookie year.  Yes, Saquon Barkley was hurt, which obviously made Garrett’s job harder, but he had ample time to adjust as Barkley was injured in the second game of the year.

Along with Barkley being hurt, last year was Daniel Jones’ first year in a new offense with no OTA’s or minicamp, and COVID, in general, made implementing a new offense harder.  These are the main reasons why Jason Garrett is still the Giants’ offensive coordinator. Garrett must prove that these are why the offense performed poorly because he has a lot of shiny new toys to work with, and he better work them well.

4) Is Daniel Jones the Franchise Quarterback?

I, of course, saved the most important question for last.  Daniel Jones IS our franchise quarterback, and I will tell you why.  He came into New York his rookie year and had the “It” factor.  He made throws that earned him his now-famous “Danny Dimes” nickname.  He was on pace to break the rookie touchdown record before injuring his ankle and was doing so with a shoddy offensive line and no true number 1 receiver.  Was his 2020 season as successful? No, it was not.

Yes, his turnovers need to improve, which he already started to do in 2020. He also threw for only 11 touchdowns in 2020, but I do not think that is his fault.  Throwing half as many touchdown passes with the same offensive weapons, same caliber line, but in a new offensive system leads to questions regarding the offensive system.  If the offensive system allows Daniel Jones to be “Danny Dimes,” then there will be no doubt that the Giants have their franchise quarterback.

Featured Image: Jason Leach/Elite Sports NY
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