The New York Giants are entering a new regime under new head coach Joe Judge, but there are still expectations for the team to perform better than it did a season ago. When speaking about the upcoming season, John Mara uttered the words, “We better be a better team”.
Given that, there is added pressure on the shoulders of players across the board. Especially the younger players on the roster that are expected to have prominent roles on the roster in 2020.
New York is a tough team to gauge due to the new coaching staff that is being installed next season. Nevertheless, here are three potential breakout players for the Giants in the 2020 NFL season.
The Giants made a concerted effort to bolster the secondary this offseason, signing James Bradberry to a lucrative contract. However, for New York’s secondary to perform at a high level, they’ll need Deandre Baker to emerge as the No. 2 cornerback in 2020.
Last offseason, the Giants selected Baker with the No. 30 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Georgia. In his rookie season, Baker would record 61 tackles and eight pass breakups.
Even though he wouldn’t come on until the latter part of the season, Baker flashed some upside in the secondary. While it remains to be seen if he faces discipline for his off-the-field incident, Baker figures to have a much larger role with the team in 2020.
Among New York’s rookies from a season ago, none of them were as impressive as Darius Slayton. Slayton, a fifth-round pick out of Auburn, emerged as a big-play threat for the Giants.
Due to the suspension of Golden Tate to begin the season and the injuries that Sterling Shepard dealt with, Slayton saw a decent-sized role early in the season. Altogether, in 14 games as a rookie, Slayton corraled 48 passes for 740 yards and eight touchdowns.
His eight receiving touchdowns were tied for most among rookie wide receivers with A.J. Brown of the Tennessee Titans. Even with Tate, Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley needing the ball, Slayton should continue to carve out a spot in New York’s passing attack.
Early in the 2019 NFL Draft, many fans in New York were clamoring for the team to select Josh Allen — the edge rusher out of Kentucky — with the No. 6 pick. Instead, Dave Gettleman and the Giants turned some heads when they announced Daniel Jones as their pick.
Despite the boos he received on draft day, Jones responded by throwing for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions in his rookie campaign. At the same time, Jones lost 11 fumbles, showing an area in his game that he will need to quickly eradicate.
Throughout the 2020 NFL Draft, the Giants added Andrew Thomas, Matt Peart, and Shane Lemieux in an attempt to keep Jones upright. With a revamped offensive line and a slew of weapons, Jones should see an improved sophomore season in 2020.