The Giants have been much maligned in the press lately for their 2019 draft picks and have been slotted in power rankings among the bottom 20%. However the Giants have a record to be proud of. They have the longest streak of having a rookie on the PFWA All-Rookie Team. Their streak goes back to the 2012 season and have had at least one rookie on each team since then. In that seven year period they are tie for the most players on the PFWA All-Rookie Team with ten. The only other teams that had ten players over those seven years were the Buccaneers and Rams.
The bad news is that going into 2019 the Giants have had a 50% turnover among their All-Rookie Team players. That was recently reached with the housecleaning this year and the loss of Landon Collins and Odell Beckham. They have five players remaining, all recent draft picks in 2016-2018. However on a positive note they are one of only eight teams that have five or more players remaining from the All-Rookie Teams of 2012 thru 2018. Those eight teams are shown in the following table.
These are impressive remaining All-Rookie Selections for the last seven years. Based on the Approximate Value rating given by Pro-Football-Reference.com these would rank Saints, Cowboys, Colts, Buccaneers, Bears and Giants. Lets take a look at the remaining Giant All Rookie players and see how they have performed over the years.
Sterling Shepard has performed good enough in each of his three years to be in a select group of receivers over the last ten years that have been productive and efficient in their first three years. He is joined by fellow recent All rookie selections Stefon Diggs and Michael Thomas.
Evan Engram joins a select few tight ends over the last ten years that have had a productive first two years.
Saquon Barkley joins a select group of running backs that over the last ten years have been productive in both rushing and receiving in any of their career years.
Dalvin Tomlinson joins a select group of defensive linemen that over the last ten years have performed well each of their first two years.
Not only have these selections made the All Rookie Team they have continued that success in their short careers.
The Giants would hope to keep alive their seven year stretch of a PFWA All-Rookie Team member. They have some good prospects based on market share production from college.
Oshane Ximines had a 27.7% tackle for loss market share. He averaged 1.54 TFL per game which was 11th in the FBS and sixth among defensive linemen. He also had a 52.3% sacks market share. He average 1 sack per game which was fifth in the FBS. He is second among active FBS players in career sacks with 33. He should get a chance on a Giants team that have parted ways with their best pass rushers of Jason Pierre Paul and Olivier Vernon.
Julian Love has a 38.5% passes broken up market share from his 2017 season. His 20 passes broken up was second in the nation that year.
Deandre Baker was the winner of the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award and an AP First Team All-SEC selection. A two and a half year starter, Baker has accumulated 82 solo tackles, 7 interceptions and 23 passes defended over three seasons. ESPN’s Todd McShay had this to say “This dude is one of the more instinctive corners I’ve evaluated in years, and he is so tough for his size”. Other evaluators have questioned his top-end speed. However he has played in most schemes, is a physical player that tackles hard, and shows good ball skills. He is considered a ballhawk in off-man and zone coverage. In 2017 Baker allowed a completion rate of just 30.5 percent. Baker should compete for a starting role at cornerback.
I like the direction the Giants are going and the approach they have taken. They are building a “team” and a culture. They have based on the All-Rookie record been doing some things right in drafting. I welcome all our newly drafted players including our new quarterback, Daniel Jones.
Jones is his own man with his unique gifts and talents. Given that I must say that he does share a lot of the traits that made Eli an all-time great Giant quarterback and an easy guy to root for. They are both tough, hard-working, team-oriented, lead-by-example “football” players. Talent wise they both have a great pocket presence, are great pocket passers and have a quick release.
From a leadership and culture view, guys like Eli, Jones, Barkley, Shepard, Solder, Ogletree and Goodson, just to name a few, make this an easy team to root for. I agree with Gettleman that there is a culture needed to truly build a winning team. The Giants are building both a talented team and the right culture. I look forward to the season.