There is a lot of buzz surrounding the New York Giants right now. With additions such as Kenny Golladay, Adoree’ Jackson, Azeez Ojulari, and others, many believe this team is ready to take the next step and make the playoffs. If they do so, they are going to need everybody to be on the same page to make the 2021 season a success. This roster is full of young players who are eager to compete and take Big Blue back to the top. Here are three players who are primed for a breakout season in 2021. Here are three potential New York Giants breakout candidates for the coming season.
New York Giants Breakout Candidates Heading Into the 2021 Season
Fan-favorite safety Xavier McKinney missed most of last season due to a broken foot. However, in the six games in which he did appear, McKinney gave coaches and fans something to be excited about. In his six appearances last season, McKinney started four and had 25 tackles, one tackle for loss, and one interception (against the Dallas Cowboys). One of the best plays from his short rookie season also came from that Week 17 matchup. McKinney, who was lined up in the slot, read the play perfectly. He instantly knew it was a bubble screen to CeeDee Lamb, and perfectly shed Dalton Schultz to tackle Lamb for a loss.
Fans are very excited to see how McKinney can perform when he is fully healthy, hopefully for a full 17 games. With one year already under his belt in Patrick Graham’s defense, Xavier McKinney has only scratched the surface of what he could become and he has the chance to really show his entire skillset this upcoming season.
Lorenzo Carter, the Giants third-round pick from 2018 has had an up and down start to his young career. In 2020, he was primed to finally breakout and provide pressure off the edge that the Giants desperately needed. Unfortunately, Carter’s 2020 season was cut short after just five games due to a torn Achilles. However, it seems that Carter is healthy and ready to prove his worth as he was a full participant at Giants OTAs in May.
Carter has appeared in 35 games in three years, totaling 103 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and 49 pressures. With increased playing time in 2019, Carter had his best season with 4.5 sacks and 45 tackles while playing in 65% of the team’s defensive snaps. With his 2020 cut short, the Giants and Carter are hoping he can build off of his 2019 campaign and finally provide consistent pressure off the edge.
The biggest name on this list, Daniel Jones has been the talk of the town when the New York Giants are mentioned. Jones had a disappointing year in 2020. He improved in some areas but struggled in others. He did cut down on the turnovers, which was a huge positive and something he needs to continue to improve upon. However, just like the rest of the offense, he struggled. He had his fair share of nice throws but also failed to know when to give up on plays and throw the ball away. Some of his throws were simply too risky.
The good news is the Giants have surrounded Jones with the most talent he has ever had. Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Kyle Rudolph and of course, the return of Saquon Barkley will be huge in helping Jones finally become the franchise quarterback the Giants want him to be.
Another aspect of the Giants offense that will definitely be implemented with the return of Barkley is the run-pass option. In the little time that Jones and Barkley shared the field in 2020, the RPO was not called once. But it needs to be. RPOs with this duo will be exciting to watch and potentially deadly for opposing defenses. One thing Jones showed in 2020 more than ever was the ability to use his legs. His 80-yard run against the Philadelphia Eagles would have absolutely been a touchdown if he did not trip, but he redeemed himself in their next matchup with a 34-yard touchdown run.
Daniel Jones finally has a number one wide receiver and a tight end who does not drop passes in Kyle Rudolph. He is also getting Saquon Barkley back. Kadarius Toney should also be a fun one to watch with Jones, as he is a do-it-all type of player who can help open up this offense even more.
Year three of Daniel Jones should be very exciting to watch if he can finally put everything together.
The New York Giants as a team are looking pretty good on paper. The biggest player that needs to show out this year without a doubt is Daniel Jones. The offense as a whole, from the play-calling to the offensive line, has to be better. If they want to win, Jones has to take the next step. Lorenzo Carter will finally get his chance to provide consistent pressure off the edge for Patrick Graham and hopefully take this defense to even bigger heights. The Giants secondary is already one of the best in the league and Xavier McKinney starting this season fully healthy can potentially make this secondary one of the best in the NFL.