The 2014 NFL Draft is officially a wrap, which means offseason additions are just about complete. There will be some small free agent additions here and there, but training camp rosters are just about set. With that in mind, we are back to review each of the 49ers 2014 opponents. Each team has gained and lost numerous players, so this series will help get you more familiar with the rosters of each opponent.
Last season must have been a disappointing season for the Giants on many fronts. Not only did they have a six game losing streak early in the season (though they did win seven of their last ten games, finishing the season at 7-9), but they also saw their franchise QB struggle more than I'm sure Giants fans expected to see him struggle. Eli Manning had a rough season, finishing with the 38th best DVOA in the league according to Football Outsiders - which is disappointing considering the fact that there are only 32 teams in the league.
Should we expect Manning to continue to play this poorly? Of course not. He might not be the world-beater that certain Giants fans and pundits have argued after he won his most recent Super Bowl, but he is absolutely not worse than 37 other QBs in this league.
From what I understand, and what I observed briefly in watching a few Giants games last season, a lot of Manning's problems arise from external issues-issues that, as we will see below, the Giants have taken steps to address in free agency and through the draft.
One external issue the Giants can't address? The ascendancy of the Philadelphia Eagles. And what is problematic for the Giants is that the Eagles look like they will be able to sustain their level of success into this upcoming season. Naturally, the Giants' front office has to try to build the best team they can, regardless of other teams in their division. And, I think they have done a solid job, particularly in free agency-the Giants are going to have a serious amount of competition this offseason to undergo. But, I don't know if they did enough to surpass the Eagles.
Additions: RB Rashad Jennings, LB O'Brien Schofield, OG Geoff Schwartz, C J.D. Walton, LB Jameel McClain, OT Charles Brown, CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Walter Thurmond, DE Robert Ayers, OG John Jerry, S Quintin Demps, WR Trindon Holliday, C J.D. Walton, CB Zack Bowman, WR Mario Manningham.
Wow. That is a lot of additions to the team. According to Over the Cap, the Giants still have $6,894,422 in cap space, so it's not like they are totally breaking the bank this year by bringing players in.
Moreover, the Giants did a good job of bringing in players at positions of need, really amping up the competition in both the secondary and along the offensive line. We've all seen multiple times how well Thurmond plays, and I - for one - am happy to have him out of the division. He, along with all the other new players in the secondary, could be a huge help. The same can be said of the new offensive linemen.
12. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
43. Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
73. Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse
113. Andre Wiliams, RB, Boston College
152. Nat Berhe, S, San Diego State
174. Devon Kennard, OLB, Southern California
187. Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame
The Giants bolstered their competition at center with the pick up of Richburg in the second round. From what I've read, most pundits like the pick up, since he was one of the best centers in the draft. The Giants are clearly hoping that shoring up their offensive line will help Manning get back on track. Moreover, the Giants added a WR that I would have liked the 49ers to get in Beckham Jr. With Hakeem Nicks having left in free agency, the Giants will need to provide another target for Manning. They have to hope Beckham Jr. is part of the answer.