There are four young players the New York Giants will rely on heavily in 2019, which could result in their first trip to the Pro Bowl.
One of the reasons fans feel optimistic about the New York Giants this upcoming season is due to the array of young talent on the roster.
Many of the Giants key players such as Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez, Evan Engram, B.J. Hill and Lorenzo Carter all own three years or less playing experience. This means these players will continue to take their talent to the next level not only in 2019, but for years to come.
Barkley has already taken the league by storm, winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award and earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
Barring injury, Barkley will be selected to the Pro Bowl once more, and this time he might be joined by some of his teammates who will earn their first trip to the Pro Bowl.
Here are the Giants that are poised to earn their first Pro Bowl selection.
With the departure of Odell Beckham Jr., Engram becomes the Giants most dynamic pass catcher. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound tight end is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Linebackers aren’t quick enough to cover him one on one and he’s too big for defensive backs.
Over the final four games of last season, the very same stretch Beckham missed due to injury, Engram had 22 receptions for 320 yards and a touchdown. If you project that output over a 16-game schedule, that’s 88 receptions for 1,280 yards and four touchdowns, which is certainly Pro Bowl worthy for a tight end.
Eli Manning won’t force feed the ball to Engram. He will no doubt spread the ball out to his other receivers as well as Barkley coming out of the backfield, but Engram should be the focal point of the Giants passing offense.
The Giants got a steal in the 2018 draft when they were able to select Hernandez in the second round (34th overall). His fierce and nasty attitude was a much-needed addition to the offensive line that was missing this type of presence for years.
The 6-foot-2, 327-pound hog molly started at left guard from day one of training camp, and throughout the course of the season, he was the Giants best lineman. Players generally take the biggest strides from year one to year two in their careers, and in his second season in the league, Hernandez might develop into one of the best guards in the league.
Another player from the Giants 2018 draft class (69th overall), B.J. Hill is quickly emerging as one of the team’s best players. Last season, he broke the Giants rookie record for most sacks in a season with five and a half. (Lawrence Taylor unofficially had 9.5 sacks in 1981.)
Players and coaches marvel at Hill’s strength, athleticism and versatility, as he showed he can line up anywhere on the defensive line. Now that he has a full season under his belt, look for the 6-foot-3, 311-pound Hill to be an even more disruptive force in 2019.
Peppers has huge shoes to fill in replacing three-time Pro Bowl strong safety Landon Collins, who led the Giants in tackles in each of his four seasons with Big Blue.
Last season with the Browns, Peppers tallied 79 tackles, but now that he’s in defensive coordinator James Bettcher’s scheme, where he’ll be lined up in different positions, he’ll have the opportunity to make more plays.
Peppers was asked earlier this month what he likes most about his role on the defense.
“I love it so far, playing various spots, populating the ball, dropping back in coverage. Me and AB are two interchangeable guys. We can definitely mix up the looks, hold disguises, things like that. It should definitely be fun.”
Peppers may not be as good of a tackler as Collins is, but he’s better in coverage and stands a good chance of earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl.
FOR FULL STORY ON STANDARD WEBSITE: New York Giants: 4 players poised to earn first trip to the Pro Bowl | Elite Sports NY