Giants News | New York Giants –


Presented by

Fact or Fiction: Rookie projections & Year 2 jumps


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

WR Kadarius Toney will have more touchdowns than OLB Azeez Ojulari has sacks in their rookie year.

Lance Medow: Fiction – It wouldn't be a surprise if they finish tied but let's give the edge to Ojulari. Toney had 11 touchdowns as a senior at Florida, but he's joining a Giants receiving corps that also showcases Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton plus tight ends in Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph. Daniel Jones doesn't play favorites and Toney will have some stiff competition to consistently find the end zone. Much like Toney, Ojulari's production will also come down to snap counts, but in all likelihood, the latter will be on the field for most passing downs and have plenty of chances to get after the quarterback.

Dan Salomone: Fact – The NFL is primed for rookie receivers to make major impacts, so there won't be much spoon-feeding the first-round pick. The same can be said for edge rushers these days, but Ojulari joins a deep and ascending defense, which could mean it takes a little more time to break through. Plus, don't forget Toney can also score as a runner and returner – not just catching the football.

Matt Citak: Fiction – Ojulari was one of the best pass rushers in college last season. He led the SEC with 8.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss, while his four forced fumbles were tied for the second in FBS. In 10 games for Georgia, Ojulari earned a 91.7 pass-rushing grade from Pro Football Focus. It was PFF's highest passing-rushing grade in the draft class.

Ojulari is joining a pass rush consisting of Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence up the middle, not to mention Lorenzo Carter, Ifeadi Odenigbo and Oshane Ximines on the edge. With all of the talent around him, the rookie linebacker is unlikely to face any double-teams from opposing O-lines, thus paving the way for him to have a strong rookie campaign in Patrick Graham's defensive system.

WR Kadarius Toney will be used frequently out of the backfield.

Lance Medow: Fiction – In order for Toney to meet the criteria of "frequent," he'd have to be involved in at least five plays per game out of the backfield and it's unlikely to happen, especially if he's involved in special teams and operates as a typical receiver. Although the Giants aren't running the Florida offense, it's still fair to look at his usage in college. In 2020, he ran the ball 19 times in 11 games after 12 carries over in seven games the previous season. He's never averaged even two carries/touches per contest. Last season, Giants receivers and tight ends combined for 15 run plays - with the most going to Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram (six apiece). With Saquon Barkley returning from injury and the addition Devontae Booker, Jason Garrett will be selective when he uses Toney out of the backfield.

Dan Salomone: Fact – If there's anything the Giants' coaching staff covets, it's versatility. There is no question that trait played a major part in what drew the Giants to the former Florida Gator. Heck, he was even a standout quarterback in high school in Alabama.

Matt Citak: Fact – Last season, offensive coordinator Jason Garrett showed he was not afraid to use pass catchers out of the backfield. Even Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram registered rushing touchdowns, and as talented as both of those players are, neither one possesses the same skills as Toney when it comes to rushing ability.

In 38 games at Florida, Toney carried the ball 66 times for 580 yards, good for an average of 8.8 yards with two touchdowns. When Toney played the biggest role in the offense last year, he registered nearly two carries a game while averaging 8.5 yards. Garrett is looking for ways to make the Giants offense more explosive, and getting the ball into the hands of an electric playmaker such as Toney in the backfield is one way to do that.

View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.

OT Andrew Thomas will make the biggest Year 2 jump of the Giants' 2020 draft class.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Second-round pick Xavier McKinney is in position to make the biggest jump. After fracturing his foot right before the start of the season, he only played in six games and logged just more than 19 percent of the defensive snaps as a rookie. With three preseason games and another training camp to help prepare for the upcoming season, McKinney should be that much more comfortable with his role in Patrick Graham's scheme. It's not to say Andrew Thomas won't make a jump this season, but considering he played 96 percent of the offensive snaps and 766 more than McKinney, it's fair to expect a more noticeable jump from the latter.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Outside of quarterback, left tackle is one of the most challenging positions to play as a rookie. On top of that, Nate Solder (whose experience would have been invaluable for Thomas on the field) opted out shortly before the start of last season. With a year under Thomas' belt, the Giants will look for the former fourth overall pick to take the next step.

Matt Citak: Fact – This was a tough one as Xavier McKinney started to show by the end of the season why the Giants were so excited about selecting him in the second round of last year's draft. However, Thomas gets the slight edge here as McKinney only played in six games and is part of a deep and talented secondary. Heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, Thomas was considered by most to be the top left tackle in the class. But without off-season workouts or a typical training camp last year, it was tough for the rookie tackle to get going. Thomas did, however, show vast improvement in the second half of the season. His jump in performance will carry over into his sophomore campaign, as he will likely benefit from this year's normal off-season routine, in addition to the return of a veteran Nate Solder.

OT Nate Solder will start at least five games this season.

Lance Medow: Fact – Considering Solder can play both tackle spots and while you don't wish injuries to anyone, they are part of the game. So it's not a stretch to say Solder could start at least five games. It's also possible the Giants begin a game with a jumbo package where they have an addition lineman enabling him to get credit for a start. And this assume he doesn't win the starting right tackle job, which is still very much a possibility and would make five starts more than realistic.

Dan Salomone: Fact – We haven't seen the last of Nate Solder by any stretch. Yes, the Giants have expressed their confidence in playing the young guys, but let's not forget Solder has 143 starts under his belt, including four Super Bowls (three of which were with Joe Judge on the Patriots' coaching staff) - this number didn't happen by accident. Plus, you can look at him opting out last season as a vehicle for him to be rusty or refreshed – and the latter is very possible.

Matt Citak: Fiction – As long as he can stay healthy, Matt Peart will end up making most, if not all, the starts at right tackle this season. Last year's third-round pick saw limited action, playing about 150 offensive snaps in 11 games. But Peart made the most of his opportunity as he excelled in the run game. He started only once, when he split time with Thomas in Week 6 vs. Washington. In that game, Peart earned an 89.7 overall grade from PFF, including an impressive 93.4 run-blocking grade, while playing a season-high 54 percent of the team's offensive snaps. On the year, the tackle out of UConn received an 81.7 grade in run-blocking from the analytics site and a 69.7 overall grade. The Giants drafted the 6-foot-7 tackle with the hope that it wouldn't be long until he grabbed hold of a starting tackle position. This season could very well be that time.

Catch up on all the action with must-see photos from minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

Home_Schedule 1920x700

Single Game Tickets

A limited number of Giants 2021 single game tickets are on sale now

Related Content