New York Giants Are Middle Of The Pack In NFL Future Power Rankings
ESPN forecasted the next three seasons in their NFL Future Power Rankings and the New York Giants placed right in the middle of the pack, but 2nd in the NFC East.
A panel of ESPN experts ranked each of the 32 NFL teams based on their future success, not just the 2016 season, but the next three seasons. Louis Riddick, Mike Sando and Field Yates scored each team based on the quarterback, the roster around the quarterback, the draft, front office and coaching.
The New York Giants – with a veteran quarterback, new head coach and embattled general manager – ranked 16th, smack dab in the middle of the pack.
The ESPN panel’s main critique of the Giants organization will sound familiar to Giants fans: Jerry Reese. Here’s Riddick’s analysis of Reese’s performance:
“GM Jerry Reese’s inability to do his part in the draft process led to four consecutive missed playoffs and this roster’s lack of quality talent prior to free agency. But I believe the 2016 draft will end up being Reese’s best since 2007, with Eli Apple and Sterling Shepard having superstar ability early in their careers. Later-round selections like Darian Thompson, B.J Goodson and Jerell Adams all look like quality starters, which should give Giants fans hope for the future.”
Reese’s inability to draft, especially in the mid-to-late rounds, has hurt the Giants depth over the past few seasons. When injuries hit the Giants last season, the backups couldn’t play at a high level. Draft misfires have a lasting effect as evidenced by the worst defense in the league in 2015.
The 2016 draft class, as Riddick points out, could be the best in nearly a decade for Reese, which helps to move the Giants up the rankings. Not mentioned is late-round steal Paul Perkins. The Giants have been trying to piece together a rushing attack for years to little success. Maybe not in 2016, but Perkins could be the three-down back the G-Men have been looking for in the next couple years.
While many have been critical of Eli Manning this offseason, the panel cites his recent success under McAdoo and his durability as reasons to stay excited about the Giants. In a quarterback-driven league, Manning is a proven winner and he’s coming off his best statistical season. While age would be a factor for most 35-year old quarterbacks, Eli has yet to miss a start unlike some other NFC East quarterbacks.
Speaking of the NFC East, the Washington Redskins are the only division rival ranked above the Giants at 12 citing the work of GM Scot McCloughan over the past two drafts. Oddly, the ESPN experts fail to mention whether Kirk Cousins’ 2015 productivity will hold up for seasons to come.
The Future Power Rankings were not kind to the Philadelphia Eagles or the Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles ranked 24th in the NFL; the experts apparently don’t believe giving up all that draft capital for Carson Wentz will pay off long term. All the way down at 26th in the NFL are the Cowboys. Riddick describes their roster as “more hype than substance” and they have no viable plan in place for life after Tony Romo.