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Fact or Fiction: Most intriguing addition so far

FACT-OR-FICTION

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

Outside linebacker Jihad Ward is the most intriguing addition so far.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Here's that word "intriguing" again. What does it mean exactly? Mark Glowinski is the signing I am most excited about, but I think we know what he will bring, given the extensive evidence of his play on tape. I'm going to go with Jon Feliciano because even though he is over 30 years old and has been in the league for seven years, he has only take 307 snaps at center. That's about five games' worth. I'm intrigued to see him in that role full time and how well he plays as a blocker, but more importantly as a leader and someone that helps Daniel Jones set protections and organizes the entire front.

Dan Salomone: Fact – What we've seen in free agency is the obvious connection to coaches at their previous stops. It's a two-way street, though. The players are drawn to the coaches as much as the other way around. Ward, who played under defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale in Baltimore, falls into that category.

"Wink is one of those coaches where basically he's going to make me extend my career being the best that I can be," Ward said. "Wink is one of the coaches that did a hell of a job with me when I was a Raven so I'm here now and ready to win some games."

Let's see what they can do for each other in Giants blue.

Matt Citak: Fiction – I am excited to see Ward back in Wink Martindale's defense. The OLB spent the 2020 season with Martindale and the Ravens, where he matched his career-high of 3.0 sacks to go with four tackles for loss, eight QB hits and two pass breakups. But the most intriguing offseason addition so far has to be Jon Feliciano. Throughout his career, Feliciano has shown an ability to excel in both run and pass blocking, and now for the first time in his career, the veteran is expected to see extended action at center. Feliciano spent the last three seasons with coach Brian Daboll and O-line coach Bobby Johnson, so both coaches know him quite well and have seen him thrive. I am interested to see how they bring the best out of the veteran lineman.

The Giants' biggest position need heading into the draft is tight end.

John Schmeelk: Fact – By the numbers, it has to be tight end. Ricky Seals-Jones is the only tight end on the roster with any significant NFL experience at a position where two or three players routinely get snaps every week in the NFL. The Giants probably don't have to use one of their first four picks on a tight end given the depth of the class. Their second third-round pick or  fourth-round pick should be a sweet spot to grab a top three player at the position. I still think finding a starting right tackle is a bigger overall need for the long-term success of the franchise.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – Even with the signings in free agency, the offensive line will remain the biggest need until it's not. Joe Schoen believes in drafting, developing, and retaining. He hasn't even gotten to the first part yet as general manager.

Matt Citak: Fiction – As the roster currently stands, the Giants certainly need to add a tight end at some point in the draft. But following the addition of Ricky Seals-Jones, the tight end position is a slightly less pressing need. While adding depth to the TE room will be one of the top priorities heading into the draft, there are other positions that present bigger needs. With Lorenzo Carter departing in free agency, the Giants have an opening at edge rusher opposite Azeez Ojulari. Additionally, the offensive line still needs more improvement, especially at right tackle considering Matt Peart tore his ACL late last season.

View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2022 offseason.

Of the holdovers, the player you're most interested to see this season is safety Xavier McKinney.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – I think we've already seen a pretty big jump from Xavier McKinney, though more could be in store. I want to see what Azeez Ojulari can do in his second year and what progress he can make after an eight-sack rookie campaign. Given the benefit of the additional blitzers and disguises up front in Wink Martindale's system, Ojulari could be looking at double-digit sack production in 2022.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – I'll stay on that side of the ball. While also setting the franchise rookie record, Azeez Ojulari ranked third among NFL rookies with eight sacks and became the fifth rookie since 2000 to record at least one sack in each of his first three career games. The others? Myles Garrett (2017), Tommy Kelly (2004), Barkevious Mingo (2013), and Terrell Suggs (2003).

Matt Citak: Fact – This one was close, as left tackle Andrew Thomas almost got the nod following his promising second-year jump. But Xavier McKinney truly looked like a star in the making last season, registering five interceptions and 10 pass breakups. PFF ranked him as the No. 15 overall safety, No. 12 in coverage alone. McKinney now gets to play under the guidance of Wink Martindale. While Martindale led Baltimore's defense, the Ravens saw strong play from several different safeties, including Eric Weddle, Tony Jefferson, Earl Thomas, and Chuck Clark. Martindale will put McKinney in a position where the young safety can lean on his strengths, and I for one cannot wait to see it.

The Giants will have an offensive-minded identity under Brian Daboll, a former offensive coordinator.

John Schmeelk: Fact – Great offense is the best way to sustain winning in the modern-day NFL. We see it around the league. Brian Daboll and Joe Schoen saw that in Buffalo. I imagine they will bring that lesson to the Giants.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – Let's wait to make any assumptions. Just look at the Bills, whose head coach came up through the ranks on defense and now has one of the most-feared offenses in the NFL.

Matt Citak: Fact – With Daboll, Buffalo had a top three scoring offense the past two years, along with a top five offense in total yardage. Josh Allen clearly played a big role in that success, but Daboll helped to get the most out of the young quarterback. Given his track record, it would be difficult to picture the Giants not having an offensive-minded identity. While their defense was up there among the league's best as well, Buffalo leaned more towards an offensive identity in recent years, and that's with a head coach (Sean McDermott) with an extensive defensive background. You can attribute that largely to Daboll's success as the offensive coordinator.

View behind-the-scenes photos of the newest members of the team touring the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

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