New York Giants legend Carl Banks breaks down the 2018 team

(Photo by Brian Killian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brian Killian/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

On the offensive side of the ball, it’s no secret the Giants heavily invested in their ground game. They spent top dollar in free agency to land left tackle Nate Solder and selected Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Banks believes the Giants made the right decision taking the Penn State running back and not a quarterback.

"“Yup, absolutely. I think when you look at the class that came out and you look at the learning curve. Let’s just say an average quarterback, it takes them a couple years to really get acclimated and learn the game of football. If you got a good one, it’s going to probably take you a year to a year and half but there’s no guarantee. The position with most mistakes ever in the history of football has been the quarterback position. So it’s a 10-year proposition either way. If you take a bad quarterback and he can’t play, you just spent four years and then you spend another three to four years trying to get around to see if the next guy can play.” “You shouldn’t be in too big of a hurry to get rid of a proven quarterback when he still has the ability. You build around him and make sure the tools fit his skill-set, and then you can offset some of things he doesn’t do well anymore with different play calls and different players. That’s why a guy like Barkley is important. If you want to see a perfect example of that, there’s a 41-year-old quarterback who looks brand new every year. If you look at how they structure the team around him and the plays they call for him, you can see why. His deficiencies don’t show up as a much because they put together a good system and offensive plan every year based on his skill-set.”"

Giants fans are undoubtedly excited to see No. 26 in action. But as Banks explains, Barkley will only be as effective as the players around him.

"“He’s dangerous as a runner and as a pass-catcher. Having him takes a lot of pressure off a lot of areas of the football field, particularly at the quarterback position. But none of it works unless the offensive line is functioning well.”"

Banks wasn’t ready to give a full evaluation of Big Blue’s new offensive line. He’s waiting for preseason games to determine how the unit has improved. He believes the “jury is still out” on Ereck Flowers’ transition to right tackle, and thinks if, given the chance, Brett Jones will win the starting center position.

Jon Halapio is currently listed as the team’s first-string center.