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Cover 3: Describe the Giants' offseason in a word


While roster-building is a year-round process, the Giants have now passed two major checkpoints in the draft and free agency. Next on the horizon is rookie minicamp, which is set to take place Friday and Saturday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, followed by 10 organized team practice activities (OTAs) starting on May 20.

That is when free-agent additions, draft picks, and undrafted rookies will come together with the returning players for the first time on the field. As we move closer to that marker, the crew was asked to look back on the offseason so far and summarize the moves in one word:

John Schmeelk: Playmakers. When you take a look at the offseason as a whole, I could use a word like "stabilizing." The Giants tried to acquire players on the offensive line and in the secondary that might not be stars but should be able to step in, plug holes, and guarantee a higher floor at those spots. The best example is on the offensive line, where the Giants threw numbers at the position and added four free agents with starting experience.

But I'm not going to do that. Instead, I am going to look at the two splash acquisitions. One word comes to mind when I think of those moves: "Playmakers." First, the Giants used a high second-round pick, which could have been used to add a good player at a position of need, to add Brian Burns.

You win football games by impacting the opposing quarterback, and Burns does that. Even though the sack numbers every year might not show it, Burns has elite talent as a pass rusher. He can bend the edge and win one-on-one on any given snap. He is the consummate playmaker on the defensive line and can make key plays in the game's most important situations.

The other playmaker they added is their sixth overall pick, Malik Nabers. Nabers is someone opposing defenses will have to account for in their planning. You score points in the NFL by making explosive plays, and Nabers is an explosive play waiting to happen. He can win deep or take a short pass and run it for a touchdown from anywhere on the field. He can even work out of the backfield. He has star potential.

Safety Tyler Nubin, the Giants' second-round pick, is a playmaker in his own right. With nine interceptions in his final two college seasons and 12 in his final three, Nubin showed he has the ability to take away the football. Those plays can turn losses into wins. Much like Burns, he will impact the opposing quarterback, except from the defensive backfield.

The Giants' Day 3 picks, tight end Theo Johnson and running back Tyrone Tracy Jr., also have the physical ability to make special plays. Both are raw and don't have a huge history of production in college, but their athletic profiles indicate potential future playmakers.

Every NFL team needs playmakers. You need a certain level of natural talent to do that on a regular basis. Both Burns and Nabers have that special ability and Giants fans should be excited to see them show it off at MetLife Stadium in 2024.

View photos from the college careers of all six members of the New York Giants 2024 Draft Class.

Dan Salomone: Calculated. In the NFL, additions often come at the expense of subtractions. The Giants added two-time Pro Bowler Brian Burns, potentially multiple starters on the offensive line, a dynamic playmaker in Malik Nabers with the sixth overall draft choice, and two pieces of the secondary with top-70 picks. They also subtracted, among others, Saquon Barkley and Xavier McKinney in free agency.

General managers have the difficult task of balancing short-term needs and long-term plans because you can't get to the latter without the former. Now, having gone through three cycles of the draft and free agency, Schoen likes the state of the roster in terms of doing both. The Giants have key players under contract for more than one year, a list that includes Burns, Dexter Lawrence, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Bobby Okereke, and Deonte Banks on the defense alone.

"You've got a young core group of players that will be able to be together," Schoen said. "Again, I know people want instant gratification, but it takes time to build this, and then over time, you have guys that are able to create continuity because they play together year over year. It was something we experienced in Buffalo. By the time we left, some of those guys had been playing together for four years in the same exact scheme, same defense, and playing together. I think that's important from communication and just being on the same page when you're playing as one and everybody knowing their job."

Schoen added, "We still have work to do, and I just think it's year three and we are just going to continue to build the roster and the team. I think where we are with some of the contract status … you can keep a core group together over a two- to three-year window, and you have another offseason and another draft, and then you look up and there's some really good pieces on the table."

The Giants entered Phase 2 of the offseason workout program at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.