Who is NY Giants’ best player not named Saquon Barkley? NFL execs, coaches, players weigh in

Dexter Lawrence #97 of the New York Giants (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Dexter Lawrence #97 of the New York Giants (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /
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Saquon Barkley is an established talent, but while the NY Giants spent big this offseason, league insiders have varied opinions on who the Giants’ second-best player is

The NY Giants’ roster is markedly more talented entering 2021 than it has been in years.

After a front office spending spree that included inking the prize of free agency, wide receiver Kenny Golladay, and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson to plug glaring needs and targeted spending to bolster depth across the board, expectations are understandably raised in East Rutherford.

Giants running back Saquon Barkley, a former No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft, remains among the most gifted players at his position in the entire league, but he suddenly faces competition as the top player on New York’s roster.

FanSided surveyed multiple NFL executives, head coaches, scouts, position coaches, and players for their thoughts on who the NY Giants’ best player on the roster is, following Barkley.

Here are the players named by NFL sources as the NY Giants’ second-best player on the roster, and their reasons why he is their choice:

DL Leonard Williams

“Leonard Williams … He’s just so disruptive and strong at the point of attack up front.” – NFC head coach

“Leonard Williams. He is already one of the most talented 3-4 defensive linemen in the entire league.” – NFC defensive coach 

Williams is fresh off the strongest season of his career, producing a career-high 11.5 sacks, and bolstering his reputation as one of the more dominant players at his position across the NFL.

According to Pro Football Focus, Williams added 62 total pressures, including 31 hurries last season, as the outlet’s No. 15 ranked interior defender.

Now, the challenge for Williams is to prove that his 2020 outburst is the product of working under the tutelage of defensive line coach Sean Spencer and coordinator Patrick Graham, rather than a contract-year fluke, after the NY Giants committed $63 million over the next three years to the former No. 6 overall pick of the Jets.