In this edition of Cover 3, the Giants.com crew discusses overlooked 2021 storylines.
John Schmeelk: Is it the Giants' third cornerback or depth chart at guard? Perhaps the team believes Jonatthan Harrison, Chad Slade and Zach Fulton can provide the veteran experience they need to supplement Will Hernandez and Shane Lemieux, so let's go with cornerback.
The Giants had four different starters at their second cornerback position last year, then added veteran free agent Adoree' Jackson (Titans) to play opposite James Bradberry. Rookie Darnay Holmes showed promise in the slot, but the corner depth - Corey Ballentine, Ryan Lewis, Isaac Yiadom, and Julian Love – has not proven to be consistent and defenses are often required to play three or four cornerbacks at a time.
Dan Salomone: The direct benefits of the Giants' additions in free agency are obvious, but the indirect ones cannot be overlooked. For example, Kenny Golladay, John Ross, and Kyle Rudolph bring much-needed scoring ability to the Giants' offense, but they will also take some of the defense's attention away from players such as Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and even Saquon Barkley on the ground. The additions should open up more opportunities for everyone while taking pressure off third-year quarterback Daniel Jones. A rising tide lifts all boats.
"I think surrounding Daniel with more weapons was certainly a priority coming into this off-season, but that would be true no matter who the quarterback is," Giants president and chief executive officer John Mara said Wednesday. "You always want to put as many weapons on the field as possible. It's becoming more and more of a passing league, and we saw an opportunity to add some guys who have some unique talent and hopefully it'll pay off for us."
Lance Medow: During this time of the year, everyone gets consumed with the players being added to rosters and many assume the more aggressive you are, the more successful you will be during the season. Unfortunately, many teams declared winners in free agency in March rarely translate that projection into the postseason. Players bouncing back from injury to help a team improve are often overlooked and this may be the case for the Giants.
Saquon Barkley, Nate Solder, Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines and Xavier McKinney are returning to the roster and hope to provide a boost this season. Barkley tore his ACL and was limited to just two games, Solder opted out, Carter ruptured his Achilles in Week 5 and Ximines played in only four games due to a shoulder injury. McKinney (foot) missed the bulk his rookie season due to a fractured foot. Each of the five could cut out an integral role in 2021 – and Barkley is the biggest game changer of all.
View photos of the Giants' roster as it currently stands.