New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has been turning his roster over at such a rapid rate, it’s difficult for fans to keep up with all the changes. 2019 should bring more new faces to the mix, but most are still trying to figure out what the players he brought in last year can do.
The New York Giants 2018 draft class is said to be a bumper crop. Led by first round selection running back Saquon Barkley, general manager Dave Gettleman appears to have hit on many of his picks from last year.
Barkley is already a star and it would take a monster season from him to better his performance last year as a rookie. Even if he has an All-Pro season in 2019, he may not be the Giants’ most improved player.
We don’t suspect quarterback Kyle Lauletta to do a whole lot this season. Currently, he’s recovering from a knee scope and did not participate in team drills in minicamp. With the drafting of Daniel Jones to succeed Eli Manning, Lauletta’s future with the Giants is uncertain.
So who will step forward and become the Giants’ most improved player this year?
The field is set and it’s going to be a tight race. Left guard Will Hernandez, defensive end B.J. Hill, outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter, defensive tackle R.J. McIntosh, linebacker Tae Davis and cornerback Grant Haley are the early entrants.
You might want to throw some of the unproven linemen in there such as center Jon Halapio and tackle Chad Wheeler. Don’t forget some other draftees from years past like defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson, tight end Evan Engram and even wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
My money is on Lorenzo Carter. Why? Because Hernandez and Hill had decent rookie seasons as did Haley. McIntosh didn’t play enough for us to get a read on. Tomlinson may be at his peak right now. Engram has to prove he can stay healthy. Wheeler may not get a chance to play and Shepard is in a committee-like situation at wide receiver.
Carter didn’t get a full shot last year to show his wares. He played in 15 games, starting two with 43 tackles (30 solo), four sacks, 10 QB hits and four passes defensed. Carter played 40% of the defensive snaps in his first year as a pro and is going to get a chance to start in his second season in James Bettcher’s defense.
Carter believes he will be a “deadly pass rusher” in 2019 and he will have no room to relent because free agent Markus Golden and rookei Oshane Ximines will looking to snatch some playing time off him if he does.