2012 NFL Offseason: New York Giants
August 3, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
New York Giants (Last Year: 9-7)
2012 NFL Season Preview:
TE Martellus Bennett, NT Shaun Rogers, OLB Keith Rivers, CB Antwaun Molden, CB Dante Hughes.
Early Draft Picks:
RB David Wilson, WR Rueben Randle, CB Jayron Hosley, TE Adrien Robinson, OT/G Brandon Mosley.
RB Brandon Jacobs, WR Mario Manningham, TE Jake Ballard, OT Kareem McKenzie, DE Dave Tollefson, ILB Jonathan Goff, CB Aaron Ross, S Deon Grant.
2012 New York Giants Offense:
Everyone laughed at Eli Manning when he proclaimed himself to be an elite quarterback last offseason. How could he possibly compare himself to Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and even his own brother, skeptics asked. Well, as Manning was hoisting his second Lombardi Trophy in five years after a season in which he threw for 4,933 yards, 29 touchdowns and only 16 interceptions, he had the last laugh, knowing that he made all of his detractors look like idiots.
Manning nearly broke Dan Marino's single-season yardage record (though Brees and Brady beat him to it), thanks in part to his outstanding receiving corps. Hakeem Nicks posted relatively disappointing numbers (76 catches, 1,192 yards, 7 TDs), though he had a dominant playoff stretch. He fractured his foot in OTAs, but all reports indicate that he'll be ready for the opener. Meanwhile, Victor Cruz came out nowhere to haul in 82 passes for 1,536 yards and nine touchdowns. It's unlikely that he'll match that production, but there is some optimism in that he declined an invitation to participate in ABC's Eating Cereal with the Stars - an indication that he's taking his football career very seriously.
Mario Manningham won't be back. He was the lesser of the three wideouts, but he made a spectacular catch in the Super Bowl that Giant fans will never forget. He signed a contract with the 49ers this offseason, so he'll be replaced by second-round rookie Rueben Randle. The LSU product is pro-ready but had serious issues separating from college football's top corners last year. Tight end Martellus Bennett was also acquired this spring, but he'll just serve as a blocker and end-zone threat, as Kevin Boss once did.
Manning's backfield was a concern heading into the offseason because Ahmad Bradshaw hasn't been able to stay healthy, while Brandon Jacobs also defected for San Francisco. The Giants planned on spending their first-round choice on Doug Martin, but the Buccaneers leapfrogged them and stole the Boise State prospect. General manager Jerry Reese then opted for Virginia Tech's Davild Wilson, a talented runner who has fumbling issues. Bradshaw will get the bulk of the carries right away, but Wilson will step in as the starter if another injury occurs.
One area the Giants still need to improve is the offensive line. It hasn't been a huge problem because Manning is so good at getting rid of the football quickly, but the front office will have to upgrade this area in a couple of years as its quarterback reaches his mid-30s. The two worst offenders were left guard David Diehl and right tackle Kareem McKenzie, who surrendered 13 and nine sacks, respectively. McKenzie is gone, but it appears as though Diehl will be used at right tackle, which is a disaster waiting to happen. Kevin Boothe, who also struggled at left guard once Diehl had to move to left tackle in the wake of an injury, will remain at his position.