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Pro Sports Wrap - Sports Personality of the Day:Seth Smith

6/2011 Team Scope: New York Giants

June 17th 2011 13:47
The New York Giants fell apart at the end of what should have been a promising 2010 season. There's quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding this team with Osi Umenyiora not happy again, and there is a laundry list of free agents. Barry Cofield, Kevin Boss, Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith, and Keith Bulluck are the key players among the many that the Giants will have to make a decision on once the lockout is lifted.

Kevin Boss and Steve Smith are the Giants' only true possession receivers, and the Giants would be starved of talent at tight end if Boss were to leave. Smith is the best possession receiver in the NFL, and he's probably going to walk. If the Giants want to avoid a lack of depth at receiver, they will have to bring back either Derek Hagan or Dominik Hixon. I would choose the latter over the former.

Ahmad Bradshaw is one of the best all-around backs in the league, and he is a priority for the Giants to re-sign. Brandon Jacobs makes a nice tandem with Bradshaw, but he is the number two back on this roster. Kareem McKenzie is one of the best right tackles in the league, and Rich Seubert is a very good veteran guard. The Giants can live with Shaun O'Hara and Chris Snee, but left tackle David Diehl has become a horrible player. They need to find a new left tackle, but it doesn't seem like he will be replaced this season. That's a key weakness to watch out for in pass pro.

If Osi does leave and Matthias Kiwanuka walks as expected, then Jason Pierre-Paul will be able to start at right end. Justin Tuck is a force on his own, and Pierre-Paul is a physical specimen and was great as a rookie last season. Barry Cofield is a key player for the Giants, and he should be brought back even though the Giants drafted the promising Marvin Austin. Chris Canty is a solid and underrated defensive tackle. The Giants have a monstrous defensive line, and they will still be very good there if Osi leaves.

Jonathan Goff is one of the best linebackers in the NFL against the run but poor in pass coverage. Michael Boley is the exact opposite, so he's mainly used as a nickel corner. Clint Sintim is a talented linebacker who is best suited for the 3-4 and also struggles to stay healthy. The Giants don't have much depth at linebacker, and I think they need to try to bring back Keith Bulluck at a low price.

Terrell Thomas is a good corner because of how physical he is, but he isn't a good corner in coverage. The Giants have a lot of question marks at corner, and they desperately need Prince Amukamara to produce as a rookie. I think he will, but I still don't like their group of corners.

Antrel Rolle is one of the most overrated players in the NFL. He can tackle and make plays, but he is horrible in coverage. Kenny Phillips is talented, but we don't know how explosive he will be after an injury. Michael Johnson is set to become a free agent, so that hurts their depth. Deon Grant is gone, and he was key in their three-safety sets. I think they are alright at safety, and the real upgrades in the secondary need to come at corner.
Is He Serious?

Justin Tuck DE New York Giants

Tuck has the full package as far as pass rushers go. Tuck is incredibly strong and is also explosive. He is mainly a player that bullies offensive lineman all day, instead of guys like Dwight Freeney that use an arsenal of spin moves to get around their blockers. Tuck dictates the point of attack extremely well, and his teammates really do feed off of him.

Justin Tuck is such a monster, and it is very difficult for coaches to make a gameplan against him. He is a handful for offensive linemen, and a fearsome player that quarterbacks just don't want to face. Tuck's ability to draw double teams frees up room for his teammates that are also more than competent pass rushers. He is a player that is able to force the fumble. Justin Tuck is a leader on his team, and he handles the media well with his good interviews. He is one of the best players in the game, and he certainly showed it after last year's incredible showing.

LT Matt Light New England Patriots

Gone are the days when Light was a feared foe to every pass rusher in the NFL. Age has gotten to his once dominating pass protection, and he is far too slow to keep up with the edge rushers in this league that get faster each progressing season. Still, Light is a proven leader that is a solid player even though the years are taking a toll on him. The Patriots should try to help him out by swapping him with Sebastian Vollmer, thus making Vollmer the blindside guy. This would ease some pressure off of the veteran.

Although Light has lost his speed, he is still a solid player in this league that really brings a lot of intangibles to the table with this invaluable leadership and experience. He's still a guy the Pats need to re-sign, especially with Stephen Neal gone and Logan Mankins's future with the team up in the air. There were times, such as week 16's dominant run blocking performance, where Light showed you games of the old. Then, there were the ugly games like week 13 where Light got blown in pass protection. However, if Light hits the free agent market, he will be one of the premier tackles. A team will definitely give him an offer. I am confident though- granted there is a free agency- that Matt Light will be re-signed.
Still Going Strong

New York Giants DT Barry Cofield

Barry Cofield is one of the numerous defensive tackles that never get credit for doing a good job week in and week out. Tuck and Osi can't do what Cofield does on run defense. Cofield is a block in the middle. He is also one of the biggest leaders in the NFL that says the right things and was one of the main representatives for the NFL Union. QBs aren't the only players that have important leadership qualities.

Cofield had the 15th highest WPA among DTs last year. WPA measures a player's ability to help his team win games. He also had the 7th highest EPA, which is a player's ability to help his team put points on the board. Cofield was the 9th best tackling defensive tackle, which further shows his importance to the Giants. His 5 sacks are solid for a D-Tackle, and he had the 9th most QB hits. While Cofield isn't a superstar, he is a quality player that goes about his business without garnering much attention. Note: EPA and WPA are from

New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks

Hakeem Nicks has all the talent out there. Nicks is a quick receiver that is a commanding big target who is at his best in the red zone. Nicks is perfect in a vertical offense, and he has insane athleticism. The catches he makes are stunning. The faults to his game are his poor route running and his many drops. Hakeem Nicks is a beast, and his raw talent alone puts him in at 13 on my latest WR rankings on February 26th.

Hakeem Nicks had the 14th best EPA and the 11th best Success Rate. Expect much better things to come in the future once Nicks puts it all together. One day, he will be one of the elite receivers in the NFL. For now, he's one extremely difficult weapon to keep out of the end zone.
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