Saquon Barkley healthy in training camp?
Daniel Racz @Danny___Dimes
The New York Giants released tickets to FanFest, their one day of training camp that fans are permitted to partake in earlier today, so let’s dive into what fans should care about this pre-season. The New York Giants are one of the most confusing teams in the National Football League, as they have a wide range of outcomes. The New York Giants spared no expense this offseason when it came to adding weapons. Their additions of Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Kyle Rudolph will undoubtedly make the offense more dynamic. In the backfield, the Giants will be hoping they get the 2019 version of Saquon Barkley. And, even if Barkley is back to his all-pro ways, he will still have to navigate one of the worst offensive lines in the league. The NFC East is ripe for the taking, but are the Giants up for the task?
Battle for WR3
The Giants’ wide receiver room will be a top ten unit in the league if they are comfortable in three-wide receiver sets. Kenny Golladay is a big-bodied, alpha wide receiver that can win in the red zone. Sterling Shepard offers inside-outside versatility and is a phenomenal blocker. Shepard’s role will likely depend on whether Darius Slayton or Kadarius Toney wins the third spot on the depth chart. Toney and Slayton could not be more different stylistically. While Slayton is a more nuanced route runner and deep threat, Kadarius Toney excels with the ball in his hand. Early reports of Toney missing practices point to Slayton having the inside track on the job, but it is worth monitoring throughout the offseason.
Everything On The Offensive Line
On almost any offensive line metric last year the Giants ranked in the bottom five. Whether it be inexperience, a lack of continuity, or poor coaching; the Giants had it. Rookies Andrew Thomas and Shane Lemieux had their struggles throughout the year, though Thomas improved as the year progressed. Will Hernandez battled covid during the year and his play suffered. During the season, Joe Judge fired line coach Marc Columbo. This season, the Giants are bringing in former Louisiana Lafayette line coach Robert Sale to develop their hog mollies. The Giants will also have a battle at right tackle between 2020 third-round pick Matt Peart and veteran Nate Solder. The offensive line will make or break the offense, so making sure the Giants get the best five players starting as many games as possible is imperative.
Saquon Barkley’s Recovery
The highest selection Dave Gettleman has ever made was running back Saquon Barkley in the 2018 NFL draft. The former Nittany Lion put the league on notice during his rookie season by totaling over 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Unfortunately, Barkley suffered a high-ankle sprain that derailed most of his 2019 campaign. Saquon returned to full health by the end of the 2019 season, but it did not make an impact. In 2020, Saquon Barkley tore his ACL and MCL early in Week two against the Chicago Bears. After allowing the MCL to heal, Barkley received surgery in late October. His timeline puts his status for week one in jeopardy. Though Saquon is expected to be healthy for Week one. If the Giants have a healthy Saquon Barkley running behind a league-average offensive line this season, they will be a force to be reckoned with.