It’s no secret the Giants need to get quarterback Daniel Jones a better collection of weapons. At any moment, the Giants will eliminate wide receiver Golden Tate to clear cap space, leaving only Darius Slayton and Sterling Shepard as proven wide receivers, and both have flaws of their own.
Tight end Evan Engram is coming off a tough season, and running back Saquon Barkley only played two games last season before suffering a torn ACL.
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The point: The Giants’ top priority this offseason will be getting Jones to have a better supporting cast to help one of the worst offenses in the NFL (17.5 points per game, 31 overall) get more firepower. .
ESPN analyst Mike Clay presented a scenario in free agency that is slightly different from what most have predicted the Giants will do this offseason.
In an article where Clay projects what teams will do this offseason and what that means for fantasy football, he assigned two moves to the Giants:
1. Draft Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle with 11th pick.
2. Sign Colts running back Marlon Mack as a free agent.
His explanation: “Barkley-Engram-Shepard-Slayton-Tate sounds like a respectable offensive weapons quintet, but what’s missing is an alpha at wide receiver. Waddle is arguably the number one wide receiver in the class this year and could fill that role right away for the Giants. Alabama’s fast-paced product is extremely explosive and, while complete, it will make a name for itself with plays in depth on the field. New York also needs help behind Saquon Barkley, so a one-year deal for Mack, who is recovering from a torn ACL, makes sense. “
The idea of writing Waddle is not entirely unique. Many mock editors have projected that the explosive wide receiver will land with the Giants if he falls for the 11th pick. It would be an obvious choice.
The interesting part of that equation is the idea of hiring Marlon Mack as a backup broker.
Barkley is the only running back on the 2020 roster currently under contract for 2021. Wayne Gallman, Dion Lewis and Alfred Morris will all enter free agency. The Giants may have an interest in bringing back Gallman, who had a good season replacing Barkley in 2020, but that’s no guarantee.
Mack presents an intriguing alternative.
He broke his Achilles tendon in week 1 and missed most of the 2020 season, so it would depend in part on his health, but before that, Mack had been one of the most productive running backs in the NFL.
Only eight running backs (including Barkley) had more than Mack’s 1,999 rushing yards in 2018-19. He also scored 18 total touchdowns in those two seasons. He’s not a great pass receiver (17 catches per season from 2017-19) but he would be more than capable of replacing Barkley if he gets injured again.
Impressively, Mack has only lost three balls on 539 career carries.
Pro Football Focus predicted that Mack will land a one-year, $ 2.5 million deal to re-sign with the Colts, but Indianapolis may no longer be the best place to land for him. The Colts have a star in the making as a running back in Jonathan Taylor, who had 1,169 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns as a rookie. Nyheim Hines is a top-tier pass-catching option (63 catches in 2020) behind him and probably has more playing time than Mack, too.
The Giants, on the other hand, could offer Mack the opportunity to be the No. 2 running back behind a player in Barkley who has lost time each of the past two seasons, and on an offense that prioritizes running the ball.
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