Giants stellar rookie class a key component in recent surge: Here’s a breakdown of all seven

The Giants stunned the NFL world not just by beating the previously 8-3 Seahawks but also by the way they did it. Seattle came into the Week 13 battle averaging 31 points per game. New York’s defense held them to 12. The Seahawks also entered the contest as one of the league’s stoutest run defenses. The Giants ran for 190 yards at 6.1 yards per pop. 

And they secured their biggest win of the season to date with backup quarterback Colt McCoy under center, on the road, and he averaged a measly 4.8 yards per attempt. 

This win — and quiet four-game winning streak — has been in large part to the Giants 2020 draft, a hefty 10-player class that couldn’t have been more Dave Gettleman — three offensive linemen, four defensive front seven players, a strong safety, and two corners. Now, this collection of first-year pros isn’t as excellent as the most famous rookie class in Giants lure — the 2007 group that featured Aaron Ross, Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, and Ahmad Bradshaw, a quartet integral in New York’s Super Bowl title that season. But it’s a draft class that collectively has played a sizable role in the club’s recent surge. 

Giants rookie draft picks played 269 total snaps in the win over the Seahawks and some of the late-round selections have slowly taken on larger roles as New York has crawled back to respectability while looking like a much more formidable out in the playoffs, if they get there. Let’s pinpoint all of the 2020 draftees who’ve contributed recently and/or importantly chipped in against Seattle and give them the credit they deserve.

When the Giants sputtered out of the gate in 2020, Thomas was an easy whipping boy as the surprise top-5 selection at offensive tackle who had struggled mightily while others at his position — Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, and Jedrick Wills — thrived early in their rookie campaigns.

From Week 5 to Week 11, Thomas carried the unenviable distinction of being the offensive tackle who allowed the most pressures in the NFL. He’s now turned the corner. Since Week 9, the former Georgia star has surrendered just four pressures of the quarterback. What’s encouraging too — he’s blanked opposing pass rushers in each of the past three contests. No sacks, no hits, no hurries. 

McKinney was only on the field for six snaps in Week 13, the same number of snaps he registered in Week 12, his NFL debut. The start to McKinney’s pro career was delayed after he fractured his foot and was placed on IR in early September. Fortunately for the Giants, strong safety Jabrill Peppers has taken a step in Year 4 — and second with the G-Men — particularly as a pass rusher. Peppers too has already set a career high in pass breakups with 10. 

Peart was a star on many poor UConn teams, and his film was squeaky clean at the right tackle position — length, balanced footwork, and awesome hand placement time and time again. The Giants snagged him in the third round for offensive line depth, and he’s been a quality stand-in when needed. He’s only given up four pressures on 63 pass-blocking snaps and has demonstrated much more push for the run game than he showed for the Huskies, an encouraging sign that he’s added more power to his game. Peart’s played double-digit snaps in six outings this year — including 15 plays against Seattle and has yet to be a liability whatsoever. He has high-end upside due to his explosive athleticism at 6-foot-7 with nearly 37 — yes, 37 — inch arms. 

Holmes was a fascinating yet puzzling prospect because he’d have a three-game stretch with first-round caliber play. The next two outings? Undrafted free agent film. But, the athleticism popped regardless of whether or not he found the football, and he ran 4.48 at nearly 200 pounds at the combine. 

Holmes has absolutely taken his lumps as a rookie but has a respectable five pass breakups from the slot and the double-deflection interception of Russell Wilson in the Week 13 win. For being a fourth-round pick, Holmes has represented quality value at an increasingly vital position. There’ve been 40 catches in his target area this season — not a ridiculous figure for a slot corner — on 50 targets, but those passes have gone for an average of just 9.8 yards per. 

Lemieux has been the weakest link of the Giants rookies, and he probably wasn’t ready to be on the field in Year 1 but was forced into the lineup due to injury. At Oregon, he started 52 straight games at left guard. As a prospect, there were clear athletic limitations, and he needed to gain strength to deal with power at the NFL level. And those two areas are where he’s struggled. But Lemieux has followed the upward trend of most Giants rookies of late. In the last two outings, he’s accounted for just one quarterback pressure. 

Coughlin is the most interesting rookie on the Giants. Why? Because after a nine-sack, 15 tackle for loss junior campaign at Minnesota, he received first-round buzz and seemed locked into the top 50. Then, his senior season was a dud, and he weighed in at under 240 pounds at the combine, falling short of an edge-rusher weight threshold for most teams. 

New York was able to pick him in the seventh round, No. 218 overall. Hello, value selection. Coughlin understands how to use his hands at the point of attack and flashed bend in that productive 2018 campaign. In Week’s 12 and 13, the former Gophers star played more than 10 snaps for the first times in his NFL career and registered a total of six pressures on just 37 pass-rush naps. He was the most active and disruptive outside rusher in the victory over Seattle. 

Mr. Irrelevant in the 2020 draft, Crowder will forever be an answer to a trivia question, and after mostly being a liability in September, he made his largest impact as a rookie in the win over the Seahawks with two quarterback pressures (one sack) on five pass-rushing snaps. The 6-3, 235-pound linebacker actually began his career at Georgia and running back but played the final three seasons at linebacker for the Bulldogs. 

He had 10 sacks and five pass breakups in his final two seasons in Athens. Proving to be a quick study at a new position coupled with his build likely led to him being drafted. Side note: “Tae” is short for his full name, Dequartavous. Awesome.

(All advanced stats courtesy of TruMedia unless otherwise noted)

Source link

What do you think?

Written by Chekmagazine


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Reuters reveals PayPal to allow cryptocurrency buying, selling and shopping on its network; market reacts

Ann Arbor VC CEO gets his ‘moonshot’ in COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna