NFL New York Giants

5 Most Irreplaceable Players for the New York Giants in 2014

5 Most Irreplaceable Players for the New York Giants in 2014

Eli Manning, New York Giants
The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries were just one of the reasons why the New York Giants struggled so badly last season. New York lost numerous impact players for extended periods of time. This year, the Giants hope to avoid any major injuries that will disrupt their lineup. New York would be in an especially difficult position if one of these five players gets injured.

5. Justin Pugh, OT

Justin Pugh, New York Giants
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

5. Justin Pugh, OT

Justin Pugh, New York Giants
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Pugh started all 16 games at right tackle for the Giants as a rookie last season. Pugh improved each game and was New York's most consistent offensive lineman. This year, the Giants need Pugh to remain their stabilizing force in front of Eli Manning. An injury to the second-year pro would reveal the Giants' lack of depth along their offensive line.

4. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE

Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

4. Jason Pierre-Paul, DE

Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Pierre-Paul has battled injuries the last two seasons. His production has dropped as a result. Pierre-Paul recorded just two sacks in 11 games last season, the lowest total of his career. The Giants need JPP to stay healthy in 2014 and return to form as one of the best pass-rushers in the NFL. Pierre-Paul's health is also key now that Justin Tuck is no longer in the mix for New York.

3. Victor Cruz, WR

Victor Cruz, New York Giants
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

3. Victor Cruz, WR

Victor Cruz, New York Giants
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Cruz is Eli Manning's favorite target and the Giants' best offensive weapon. Cruz has led the Giants in receptions and receiving yards each of the last three seasons. He is a dynamic playmaker in space who has the ability to take the top off opposing defenses. Despite drafting Odell Beckham Jr. in the first-round of the draft, the Giants are still thin at receiver. Losing Cruz would cripple New York's offense.

2. Antrel Rolle, S

Antrel Rolle, New York Giants
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

2. Antrel Rolle, S

Antrel Rolle, New York Giants
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Antrel Rolle is the Giants' most important defensive player. His ability to make plays in run-support as well as in coverage makes him one of the best safeties in the NFL. Last season, Rolle led Big Blue in tackles and interceptions. He is also one of New York's captains and vocal leaders. The Giants' secondary is arguably their greatest strength. Without Rolle, this unit would struggle.

1. Eli Manning, QB

Eli Manning, New York Giants
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

1. Eli Manning, QB

Eli Manning, New York Giants
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having an awful 2013-14 season, Eli Manning is still New York's most important player. Manning may not put up video game numbers, but he has demonstrated the ability to win big games, especially during the playoffs. Another factor that makes Manning the Giants' most important player is their lack of an alternative option at quarterback. If Manning is injured, New York's season is effectively over.

 

Kevin Major is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMajor_Rant, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google