Moeller: Slaton and Lawrence and Others Provide a Giant Future Outlook

Wide receiver Darius Slaton  and defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence could be on their way to being staples in the Giants’ lineup.

Both have performed well in their rookie year, and they truly are among the few bright spots besides rising rookie quarterback Daniel Jones this season.

After believing they could compete for a playoff spot or a shot at their division last season and this one, the Giants changed course. The Giants began the season as the 18th youngest team in the league.

With Jones guiding the ship, it is now all about a youth movement. It became official after their current seven-game losing streak began after an encouraging 2-2 start.

Their youth movement may save head coach Pat Shurmur’s job for another season.

The Giants will make this pitch the remainder of the season, negating any importance to the remainder of their five games, beginning with Green Bay at Met Life Sunday afternoon.

They will find out whether Jones was worth the sixth pick in the draft despite him playing behind an embattled offensive line that has been an overall failure.

Slaton has shown enough to merit a spot in the regular rotation with a team-high 31 receptions – 10 for 121 yards and two touchdowns in an impressive show against the Jets two weeks ago — and he can help form a reputable unit that would include four-year veteran Sterling Shepard and second-year player Evan Engram, both of whom have had trouble staying on the field last season and this year.

Saquon Barkley hasn’t looked the same this year with his ankle injury. If he can’t muster a decent day against Green Bay Sunday, the Giants may want to think about shutting him down the rest of the year.

The lone reason for playing him is the final home games of the season.

Up front, second-year guard Wil Hernandez isn’t a game changer yet, but he is a keeper.

Despite having 15 tackles and 2.5 sacks, 17th overall pick Lawrence steadily has developed in a mainstay, while fifth-year 28-year-old linebacker Markus Golden has been the team’s defensive MVP with 7.5 sacks.

Rookie linebacker Ryan Connolly was a meteoric star beofer an injury ended his season. Second-year linebacker Lorenzo Carter has to be more consistent.

Rookie cornerback and other first-rounder Dexter Lawrence is being battle tested, and fellow rookie Corey Ballantine quickly has realized the speed and strength of NFL receivers.

Rookie Julian Love and second-year player Sam Beal have garnered time to show they can play.

So, rest easy Giants fans ad be patient. Currently, the Giants would have the second overall pick. If they don’t beat Miami and/or Washington down the stretch, they likely will have that

pick. That may also cost Shurmur his job.

The much overdue rebuild finally has begun. They do have some young players in place, but the major overhaul will take time with the likelihood a new head coach (Do you believe or want Jason Garrett?).

Remember Eli Manning?

The lone highlight left on this debacle of a season will be his goodbye ceremony against Philadelphia Dec. 29.


About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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