New York Giants: Players Who Will Disappoint the Defending Super Bowl Champs
The New York Giants head into this season as the defending Super Bowl Champions. While that is obviously the title that every team hopes to carry entering the season, the Giants now are faced with the daunting task of trying to repeat their win.
While they certainly have a very talented roster, including a lot of young players who seem to be ready to step up and contribute, they also have some players who may not live up to the lofty expectations that the organization and the fans have set for them.
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I do think that Wilson has the potential to be a very productive NFL back. He has good size and speed, and while he should be used most outside the tackles, he has the ability to effectively run inside as well.
I have a couple problems with the Giants picking Wilson, though. The first is that the description I just gave you is more or less the exact same way one would describe as Giants number one running back Ahmad Bradshaw. It won't necessarily hinder his performance, but in general you'd like for your second back to be a change of pace. That's why the Giants held on to Brandon Jacobs for as long as they did.
Second, while the Giants were clearly trying to improve their running game (which ranked dead last in the league last season in rush yards per game), I don't think the actual issue was the running backs.
Yes, Ahmad Bradshaw was hurt for a portion of the season, and yes, Brandon Jacobs is just not good at football, but in my eyes the issue was an aging offensive line. For a long time, the O-Line had been a strength of the Giants, as it enabled them to run the ball on just about anyone. However, once the Giants let go of Shaun O'Hara, kept Kareem McKenzie and switched David Diehl's position for the third time, the line was not nearly as effective as it had been in the past.
Which brings me to problem number three. When the Giants picked at 32, Coby Fleener, Courtney Upshaw and Jonathan Martin were a still on the board. The Giants lost two tight ends to torn ACLs in the Super Bowl, and replaced them with a gamble they signed away from the Cowboys and a gamble of a draft pick. Trading for Keith Rivers was nice, drafting Courtney Upshaw would have been nicer, and again, the Giants need help on the offensive line.
As I said, I don't think David Wilson will necessarily be the problem, but unless he has a better season than those three guys and can prove that he has somewhat of a different skill set than Ahmad Bradshaw, I think he'll be a disappointment.
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Ramses Barden is entering his fourth season with the Giants, after they picked him in the third round of the 2009 draft out of Cal Poly. With Mario Manningham gone and Hakeem Nicks missing time this offseason because of a broken foot, Barden is now going to get an opportunity to show why the Giants thought an FCS receiver was worth a third round pick.
I'm not holding my breath on this one, though. So far in his career he has 15 receptions for 174 yards and no touchdowns. It took him three seasons to collect the stats that Brandon Marshall collected in one game. He hasn't given me any reason to believe that he'll pick it up this year.
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Perpetuating the futility of the 2009 draftees not named Hakeem Nicks is Clint Sintim.
As far as anyone can tell, Sintim has the ability to be a solid NFL linebacker, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy long enough to prove it. He tore his ACL before his sophomore season and ruptured his patellar tendon last season.
With the addition of Keith Rivers to the linebacking corps, Sintim is probably not going to see his playing time increase. Unless the Giants get hit by injuries like they did last year, Sintim probably won't see much time this season, and even if they do get hit by injuries, history tells us he'll probably be one of the guys getting hurt.
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Hixon has been lingering on the outskirts of solid playing time for a couple of years now. I don't see that changing.
The Giants are looking for him to at least make some contribution to the third receiver role. The only other time in his career when the Giants relied on him to make a significant impact outside the kick return game, he tore his ACL.
Hixon has great speed and great hands, but his route running is subject and he struggles against mid-level defensive backs, let alone elite players.
For his career, he has 63 receptions and 838 yards and only four touchdowns.
The Giants are going to need him to produce some numbers this season.
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Bennett was drafted by the Cowboys in 2008, and was billed as a freak athlete who would create an unbelievable tight end duo with Jason Witten. He failed miserably.
In four seasons he tallied 85 receptions and 846 yards with four touchdowns, but hasn't scored one since his rookie season.
As I mentioned before, the Giants lost both of their starting tight ends in the Super Bowl to torn ACLs, and they're looking at Bennett and rookie Adrien Robinson to make up the difference.
I can't see Bennett making much of an impact, because he never has before.