While the New York Giants shored up their defense this offseason, adding youth and talent to the secondary and linebackers, the team allowed both free agent wide receiver Hakeem Nicks and free agent tight end Brandon Myers to depart without extending a competitive offer to either.
New York had valid reasons for both decisions; Myers was an utter disappointment and Nicks gave lackluster effort in 2013. The Giants were right to wipe the slate clean and turn over last year’s stagnant offense with entirely new personnel.
Recently the team has vocalized its desperate need for a tight end, and many scouts speculate that New York will spend its first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft on tight end Eric Ebron. Surprisingly, after signing Mario Manningham, the Giants seem content with their current roster at wide receiver. While this may unsettle some Giants fans, I believe that New York’s management feels confident in the system and playmakers they have.
History has also shown that when quarterback Eli Manning is well-protected and complemented by a competent running game, he makes plays with just about any receiver. This year the Giants strengthened their running game by inking Rashad Jennings and bolstered their offensive line with the signings of Geoff Schwartz, J.D. Walton and John Jerry.
Even without any additional wide receiver help, I believe that the Giants will benefit from their new offensive system and exceed offensive expectations with the pieces they have. The Giants are replacing Hakeem Nicks with in-house talent Rueben Randle because they have great faith in Randle’s ability. Second-string wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan showed electrifying flashes of athleticism in his brief moments on the field last season.
Look for Randle to have a breakout year in 2014 and Jernigan to replicate his explosive bursts with greater consistency. If these things happen, the Giants will exceed all offensive expectations.