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Two Positions The New York Giants Must Focus On For 2015 Season To Be Successful

We will pick two positions that the Giants have to focus on in order to compete in the difficult NFC East and in the entire NFL.

 

With Super Bowl XLIX in the books and the New England Patriots lifting the Lombardi Trophy once again, it’s time to begin thinking about the 2015 NFL season leading into the 50th Super Bowl in NFL history. For some of us in the tri-state area, it’s time to think about our local teams, in particular the New York Giants and how they can improve from their 6-10 record this past season.

With the emergence of Odell Beckham Jr. in the last two moths of the year, the Giants appear to be set at the wide receiver position with Beckham, the returning Victor Cruz and Reuben Randle as their third pass catcher on the depth chart. While some other positions are set (cornerback, running back, possibly tight end), there are some other positions that seem like they haven’t been touched for a few seasons.

We will pick two positions that the Giants have to focus on in order to compete in the difficult NFC East and in the entire NFL. The first position is one that many Giant fans have complained about for years.

  1. Linebacker

This is a position that fans have been screaming about for years. It seems that the New York Giants have been content with plugging the position with late-round draft picks, undrafted rookies and veterans from other teams who are washed up and past their prime.

At this stage, the Giants need some linebacker help in the worst way. Jacquain Williams and Spencer Paysinger are not the answers and Jon Beason, while a vocal leader on defense, is too injury prone to make an impact. This is the draft where the Giants should select a linebacker in the first round for the first time since 1984 when selected Carl Banks out of Michigan State. The man that should be selected at number nine is very easy.

Shaq Thompson, who is projected to be selected in the latter half of the first round, is a pick that the Giants should make. With Beason coming back at middle linebacker, the two outside spots are up for grabs and Thompson is the athletic and speedy linebacker they need in Steve Spangnuolo’s pressure 4-3 defense. A first-team AP All-American, Thompson looks like a safety but plays the linebacker position like Kam Chancellor. This is one of the players the Giants should target.

In the free agency market, the Giants could look at Justin Houston from the Kansas City Chiefs. An unrestricted free agent, Houston has 48.5 career sacks with seven forced fumbles in his four year career. He is someone that could wreck havoc for NFC East offenses if the Giants don’t mind spending a bit more money. Another option that could be on the table are younger free agents such as Quentin Groves from the Tennessee Titans or Andy Studebaker from the Indianapolis Colts. They both are cheaper options and players young enough to develop under Spangnuolo’s defense.

  1. Offensive Line

The offensive line of the New York Giants has been in rebuilding mode for what seems like years now. The old guard of Chris Snee, Shaun O’Hara and others left and the line has to regroup. There has been some hits such Weston Richburg and some misses like John Jerry and David Baas.

This off-season, the Giants must finally solidify the offensive line and stop the rebuilding. There are some building blocks like Richburg and J.D. Walton. Even Will Beatty showed some flashes this season but the improvement must continue and added to. This brings us to the NFL Draft where if the Giants do not go with a linebacker, they can look at Brandon Scherff, an offensive tackle from the University of Iowa. A great pass and run blocker, Scherff can play both the guard and tackle positions and that versatility will help the Giants find the best position for him and other players along the line. Also don’t rule out general manager Jerry Reese digging deep in the late rounds to find some line help with names like Brey Cook (Arkansas) and Patrick Miller (Auburn) as possible selections as well.

Free agent wise, there isn’t much for the Giants to choose from. They could resign James Brewer to be a backup who knows the offense or took at high priced linemen like Corey Hilliard from the Detroit Lions or King Dunlap from the San Diego Chargers. Being the Giants, they would probably look further down the list to cheaper free agents like Jason Fox (Dolphins) or Chris Spencer (Titans). The line played their best football towards the end of the season so with that said, the offensive line is not far away from becoming a force for defenses to handle in the NFL.

While I only mentioned two positions, the New York Giants have some other holes to fill. Linebacker and offensive line are the major spots where the team must improve and continue to build upon. With those slots filled, the Giants may be able to compete and get back to where they believe they belong…the playoffs.

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