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Fact or Fiction: Deepest, most improved positions


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

Defensive line is the deepest position on the team.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Defensive line is the strongest, and in my opinion, the best position on the team with the presence of two All-Pro level players in Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams and veterans like Rakeem Nunez-Roches, A'Shawn Robinson and Vernon Butler backing them up. There are also young players like Ryder Anderson, DJ Davidson and Jordon Riley. But the Giants are going to struggle pairing down their roster at wide receiver at the end of August.

Lance Medow: Fiction – Coincidentally, Schmeelk and I just had this conversation on a recent edition of Big Blue Kickoff Live, so if he doesn't go fact here, it'll be the biggest surprise since Paul Dottino didn't use a food analogy on the show to make a point. I have defensive line second in this category right behind wide receiver. As of now, the receiving corps showcases at least 10 players who realistically have a shot to secure a roster spot. Yes, there are some individuals coming off injuries and others who have yet to play an NFL snap, but the group overall still makes a stronger case than the defensive line, especially with respect to experience.

Cornerback is the most improved position on the roster.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Deonte Banks certainly helps the position, but the addition of a proven high-level player like Bobby Okereke at inside linebacker could be a game-changer. The Giants struggled to stop the run last year. Okereke will help in those areas and bring a level of speed and strong instincts to the position that the Giants lacked last season. I expect a strong two-way performer that never leaves the field for the Giants defense.

Lance Medow: Fiction – The addition of first-round pick Deonte Banks will help this group, but for the most part, the cornerback unit from last season is returning and receiving some players back from injury. That's why I think the defensive line is the most improved unit. A'Shawn Robinson and Rakeem Nunez-Roches are both polished veterans who have a reputation for stopping the run, a facet of the defense the team is looking to elevate. Those two players should help that cause and create additional opportunities for the edge rushers.

View photos from OTA practice No. 3 at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux is your breakout candidate on defense.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – I'm going to go with Xavier McKinney. He has flashed some big plays and has avoided big mistakes when he has been on the field, but I'm not sure he has broken out yet with a true Pro Bowl-level season. I think this could be the year where we get multiple game-changing interceptions. The same could be said for Azeez Ojulari, whom I think is the best pure pass rusher on the Giants. If he is healthy for 17 games, I think he will lead the Giants in sacks.

Lance Medow: Fact – I think this is a critical year for Azeez Ojulari given the injuries he battled in 2022, but not sure if you can make a case for him as a breakout candidate after he posted eight sacks and led the team in that department as a rookie. That's why Kayvon Thibodeaux is the most sensible choice. He's entering his second year in the league, has much more comfort in Wink Martindale's scheme and should benefit from some of the new additions on the interior of the defensive line.

WR Wan'Dale Robinson is your breakout candidate on offense.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – We have a FICTION SLAM! I am going to ride the Parris Campbell train here. He has an elite set of physical skills, and I have a lot of faith in Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka to put him in position to utilize them in the most explosive way possible.

Lance Medow: Fact – I thought Wan'Dale Robinson had a strong chance to make 2022 his breakout campaign, but he was limited to only six games due to injuries, including a season-ending torn ACL. Robinson provided some flashes of what he's capable of doing in Week 11 against the Lions when he recorded nine catches for 100 yards. If he has a chance to do that consistently this season, he'll absolutely produce a memorable year thanks to his elusiveness and ability to create explosive plays.

View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2023 cycle.