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Fact or Fiction: Way-too-early predictions (offense)


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

Malik Nabers will have at least 89 catches, his SEC-leading total from his final season at LSU.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - There were only 16 players that finished with at least 89 catches last season. The only player in his first two seasons to finish in that group was Puka Nacua. Asking a rookie to catch that many passes is a big ask. I think it is more likely he finishes with 1000 yards or even 8 touchdowns on a lower volume of catches given his big play ability and explosiveness. The Giants also have a lot of other wide receivers to get the ball to. Wan'Dale Robinson should be a high-volume target, with Darius Slayton and Jalin Hyatt getting their share of looks outside and down the field.

Dan Salomone: Fact – There's no reason the highest drafted receiver in team history can't take a run at the franchise's rookie records, which are held by another former LSU star. Reduced to a 12-game season in 2014, Odell Beckham Jr. caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns, all franchise rookie records (Saquon Barkley tied the receptions record in 2018).

Matt Citak: Fiction – Nabers is going to get his NFL career started with a strong rookie campaign, but 89+ receptions might be setting the bar a bit too high. The last time the Giants had any wide receiver reach that number was 2016, when Odell Beckham Jr. caught 101 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. Now the No. 6 pick could come close to 89 catches this season, but with Wan'Dale Robinson emerging as a potential breakout player and Jalin Hyatt and Darius Slayton rounding out the WR room, I believe the rookie wideout will fall just short of this number. I see him ending the year closer to the 75-80 catch mark.

Continuity on the offensive line will be the biggest factor to success for the Giants this season.

John Schmeelk: Fact - I will cheat and say continuity and more consistent play up and down the line. Continuity will help the team's ability to achieve that play-to-play consistency, but it does not guarantee it. The individual players at the position, specifically the younger ones like Evan Neal and John Michael Schmitz, must perform at an NFL starter level. If they can, even just an average offensive line will help the offense reach a level of consistency that escaped it in 2023.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Last season, the first time the Giants started the same five offensive linemen at the same five positions from the previous game wasn't until Week 11 at Washington. And guess what? They won that game, the next game, and the one after – all while starting the same line.

Matt Citak: Fact – The Giants spent big on the offensive line this offseason with the additions of Jon Runyan Jr. and Jermaine Eluemunor, among others. The veterans will likely man the two guard spots on the line, with the rest of the unit consisting of Andrew Thomas at left tackle, John Michael Schmitz at center and Evan Neal at right tackle. If these five players start a majority of the games this season, that should mean good things for the offense, which should lead to good things for the team as a whole.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2024 active roster as it currently stands.

The Giants will have more than two players with at least 300 rushing yards.

John Schmeelk: Fact - Unless there is an injury to Devin Singletary, I don't think the Giants will go to a three-man running back committee to get three players to 300 yards. I could see Tyrone Tracy Jr. get to 300 yards rushing along with Singletary, but right now I doubt anyone else will. But wait! This doesn't say running back. Daniel Jones, if he stays health enough, will easily surpass 300 yards rushing. Jones looked as mobile and explosive as ever running around at the end of minicamp, so I don't expect his running to be curtailed at all.

Dan Salomone: Fact – All signs point to a full-go Daniel Jones this season, which gets you one-third of the way to "fact" here. In his two seasons under Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka, Jones averages 7.3 carries for 41.5 yards per game. In his three seasons prior, he averaged 4.6 and 26.9 as a starter, respectively.

Matt Citak: Fact – Barring injury, there's a good chance that both Devin Singletary and Daniel Jones will reach 300 yards on the ground this season. The question of who could be the third 300-yard rusher is where things get interesting, but I believe Tyrone Tracy Jr. will be able to hit that mark. Tracy's abilities as a pass-catcher should earn him some playing time early on, and once he's given an opportunity, the rookie will take advantage. Tracy, who averaged 6.6 yards per carry on his 130 rush attempts at Purdue over the last two seasons, brings both explosiveness and elusiveness that should help him succeed at the next level.

Jalin Hyatt will lead the Giants in yards per reception this season.

John Schmeelk: Fact - Darius Slayton has consistently averaged over 15 yards per catch during his career, so he might be the safer pick here. Malik Nabers has the dynamic, physical ability to make explosive plays and pump up his yard per catch average. However, I think the Giants will try to get the ball to him enough in space on short passes to depress his average. Can Jalin Hyatt reach 16 yards per catch like he did last season? I think the answer is yes. Even though I expect Hyatt to run a more nuanced and complete route tree, I still expect him to be targeted mostly on downfield throws. Hyatt might finish 4th in receptions on the team, but he will lead them in yards per catch.

Dan Salomone: Fact – While Malik Nabers is a big play waiting to happen, the volume of catches could bring down his average. On the other hand, Hyatt had just 23 catches as a rookie last year, but six went for 25 yards or more.

Matt Citak: Fact – This one was close between Hyatt and Darius Slayton, but I'm going with the second-year wideout here. Hyatt beat out Slayton last year in this category by 0.8 yards per reception, albeit on 27 less receptions. However, the 22-year-old was used sparingly as a rookie, playing just 51 percent of the team's offensive snaps. I expect that number to increase this year, and with Malik Nabers and Wan'Dale Robinson likely running more of the shallow and over-the-middle routes, Hyatt should get plenty of chances to come up with big catches downfield.

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Re-live the celebration with the "Giants 100: A Night With Legends" One-Hour Special. Premieres Thursday, June 27th at 7PM on
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