New Giants HC will inherit Eli-OBJ connection, but also serious roster holes
With news of Tom Coughlin stepping down on Monday, the Giants now join the Eagles, 49ers, Titans, Dolphins, and Browns in the search for a new head coach.
Coughlin led the Giants to the playoffs five times in 12 years and brought home two Lombardi trophies, but his teams have struggled as of late, with three losing seasons in the last four years. Below are a couple of selling points, as well as problem areas, the New York Giants’ new head coach will inherit.
|New York Giants|
|Unit||Overall||Offense||Passing||Rushing||Pass blocking||Run blocking||Defense||Pass rush|
|2015 NFL rank||30th||26th||20th||21st||23rd||24th||28th||26th|
The Giants are in a good spot financially.
New York will have around $35 million in cap space to work with this summer. They could push that cap space up to almost $47 million, depending on how they handle Victor Cruz and Jon Beason’s contracts. They will also have Eli Manning under contract for the foreseeable future, and have Odell Beckham Jr. on a rookie deal. Top off the cap space with a top 10 draft pick, and the Giants have excellent flexibility going forward.
The Eli-to-OBJ connection.
Eli Manning has struggled with consistency over the past couple years, but with Beckham, the potential for an explosive offense isn’t far off. Manning has a 114.1 QB rating when targeting Beckham Jr., a mark that ranks sixth among WRs. The Giants just need to find a couple of viable targets (and hope Victor Cruz can return to full health) to complement Beckham Jr’s. talents. Beckham Jr.’s 90.3 receiving grade ranked seventh overall in the NFL this season—but no other Giant WR is close to that mark.
The Giants will need to be shrewd with both their cap space and draft picks to patch up the many holes on the roster. They have needs at the WR position, offensive line, and on all three levels of the defense.
The most notable holes are at offensive tackle and linebacker. Tackles Ereck Flowers and Marshall Newhouse struggled mightily throughout the season. Out of 75 tackles, Newhouse finished the season ranked 62nd in pass blocking efficiency, and Flowers at 72nd. Will Beatty’s return will help, but they will need him to make a full recovery, and to have an answer at right tackle. At linebacker, Jasper Brinkley made a nice impact in the run game, but only one other linebacker had a positive run grade, and J.T. Thomas was the only Giants linebacker with a positive coverage grade.
Jason Pierre-Paul or Robert Ayers?
The defensive line had a ton of potential going into the season, with Jason Pierre-Paul, Robert Ayers, and Johnathan Hankins all returning. In 2014 they each ranked in the top eight in overall production grade at their respective positions. Hankins will be returning next year, but with quite a few holes to fill, the Giants will be hard pressed to bring back both Pierre-Paul and Ayers. Ayers finished eighth in pass rushing productivity this season, with a 10.5 mark, and Pierre-Paul wasn’t far behind at 10.3.