Predicting the Impact of Eli Manning’s New Weapons
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Giants have been steadily increasing over the past 3 years and certainly took a large step in continuing that trend this offseason. Over the spring months the franchise would go on to add All-Pro WR Brandon Marshall through free agency and Ole Miss All-American TE Evan Engram in the NFL Draft.
These additions will fit in just fine with the already established receiving core that lifted the Giants to a playoff berth in 2016. Their returning young stars last season include the polarizing Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard in the slot. The team also returns critical role players like Dwayne Harris, Tavarres King and pass catching RB Shane Vereen.
It is hard to imagine how an 11-5 team can improve on one side of the ball more, yet the G-Men have plenty of room to grow. Eli Manning was almost surgical to NFL defenses last season while having OBJ and Shepard at his disposal along with the departed Victor Cruz. He can certainly pad his numbers this fall by utilizing Evan Engram’s 4.42 speed down the seams and in the flats. Engram is a big play waiting to happen and a surefire upgrade over last year’s aging and heavy-footed Larry Donnell. Yet, the biggest impact will most certainly come from the 6’4 230lb former All-Pro Brandon Marshall. The Giants haven’t had a big, physical receiver on the outside since Plaxico Burress led New York to a super bowl in 2007, and Eli Manning thrives when he has that type of option. Burress racked up 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns that season and it is hard to argue that Marshall won’t put up the same kind of numbers opposite Odell Beckham Jr. It becomes even harder to focus on the two of them when Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram will be working the middle of the field.
Look for Eli Manning and the Giants offense to have a stellar season, which could end in a 14 win season if the unit can click early.