The Giants needed a shake-up after another disappointing NFL campaign that saw the team limp to a 4-13 record, and luckily for the Big Blue faithful, they got just that. The Giants’ offseason began with a purge; longtime general manager Dave Gettlemen retired and head coach Joe Judge was fired.
Joe Schoen was brought in as the new general manager after working with the Buffalo Bills as their assistant general manager from 2017 to 2021. He has also worked extensively as an NFL scout for the Panthers and the Dolphins during his career. Schoen was brought in primarily to change the culture around the NY Giants and specifically to draft and develop talent rather than having to overpay in the open market for free agents, something the Giants have been accused of doing in the past. Schoen decided to bring in a familiar face from the Buffalo Bills franchise in Brian Daboll to fill the head coach vacancy, and it was lauded as one of the best coaching carousel decisions of the 2021 offseason.
Brian Daboll was widely regarded as the architect of the versatile and high-flying Buffalo Bills offense. Additionally, he is known as somewhat of a quarterback whisperer for taking the highly talented but raw Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen and turning him into a bonafide dual-threat superstar capable of taking over a game on any given Sunday. This is great news for the Big Blue faithful and for quarterback Daniel Jones as well, as he surely has demonstrated the talent that got him selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft but has never nearly been consistent enough to elevate the team around him. Daboll will also get to work with many talented players that could greatly contribute to the versatility of the team, such as tight-end Evan Engram and running back Saquon Barkley.
With a new front office in place, the Giants decided to proceed with purging old and expensive players from their roster to free up cap room. This meant moving on from players such as Logan Ryan (cornerback), Devante Booker (running back) and Kyle Rudolph (tight-end). Not only did moves like this begin to help the team repair their bleak salary cap situation, but it advanced the idea that the new front office is committed to bringing in young talent and developing that talent rather than overspending on free agents that may no longer even be in the prime of their careers. Free agency was unspectacular, but much to the chagrin of almost even NFL fan base that wants to see their club procure the NFL’s premier talents, an unspectacular free agency is sometimes the healthiest approach to team-building.
The 2022 NFL Draft however was a massive one for Big Blue. The Giants undoubtedly shored up the trenches on both sides of the ball with three linemen selected with their first four draft picks. Kayvon Thibodeaux (#5 pick) was the first man selected. He was widely regarded as a top edge rusher in the draft after a highly-successful career at Oregon, and despite being very raw in regards to skill and instinct he has a tremendous amount of power that he rushes the ball with and is very internally motivated to succeed. Two picks later, the Giants landed massive offensive tackle Evan Neal (pick #7), who at 6 foot 7 inches and 340 pounds was a monster on the line for Alabama. He will do wonders in shoring up both the passing attack and the run game. Overall, the draft was considered a universal success by pundits, receiving an A- from The Washington Post, USA Today and NFL.com.
Only time will tell how the 2022 NFL season plays out for Big Blue. With one of the easiest schedules in the NFL based off records from last season, however, the Giants have the opportunity to make a splash and even compete for a playoff spot in the NFC East. There is talent littered around the roster, a lot of it largely undeveloped and with a little attention from Brian Daboll and his staff, this Giants team could be a force to be reckoned with.