Reviews about where the New York Giants stand are mixed. Some believe the team is merely in the midst of a minor transition and is every bit as dangerous as they were when they won the Super Bowl in 2011. On the other hand more than a few experts wonder if their talent base has slipped a little or if Tom Coughlin has lost the ears of his players. Either way, the 2013 NFL season and getting lesser players to step up is crucial to their continued success.
Offense – Reuben Randle
The stigma of falling down draft boards and playing in a crowded New York Giants receiving corps caused a lot of problems for Reuben Randle as a rookie. With a year under belt though and his confidence building, 2013 could become a year he stakes his claim to a job on offense. Randle was inconsistent or not a factor for most of last season but came on late in the year, making some big plays and capping the season with an impressive four catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles. His confidence is on the rise, especially with the opportunities he’s sure to see what with Hakeem Nicks facing health and contract concerns. The need for an outside threat for Eli Manning is greater than ever. Randle has what it takes to fill that void.
Defense – Damontre Moore
Tradition reigns supreme for the Giants as they continue stockpiling pass rushers for the future. With Osi Umenyiora gone and Justin Tuck under the gun after two sub-par seasons, New York needed some insurance for him and some added help for Jason Pierre-Paul. Damontre Moore didn’t get as much hype during the draft process but it was hard to argue with his results at Texas A&M. In his junior season he collected 85 tackles and 12.5 sacks, this after switching from rush linebacker in a 3-4 defense to a defensive end in a 4-3. That kind of versatility is hard to come by, which explains the Giants’ interest in him. While his ability to become a full-time starter is questionable due to his limited athletic upside, but as a pass rusher he can become a force for the very start.
Special Teams – Charles James
The beauty of the return man position is almost anybody can come out of nowhere to earn it. David Wilson wasn’t a nobody when he led the league in kick returning, but with his role expected to expand on offense the need for the Giants to find a replacement is apparent. One name a lot of people haven’t talked about is Charles James. A rookie free agent out of Charleston Southern, James was an All-American and All-Conference corner. However his slight stature of 5’9″ makes him a questionable defender against NFL receiver. His greatest attribute lay in returning kicks and punts. Last season he averaged 9.7 yards per punt return and scored a touchdown. He is slight but also shifty and has just enough speed to pull away in the open field. Fans and the New York Giants coaches should keep a close eye on him.