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Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs
Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Giants GM Dave Gettleman has a plethora of options to work with at No. 4 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, and that's mainly because there are holes left and right on his current roster.

One of the biggest to fill, though, is on the offensive line -- an area the Giants have been trying to shore up for years. 

Tags: Kevin Zeitler, Mike Remmers, Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Scott Thompson
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Now that the Giants have finally conceded they really are rebuilding, new head coach Joe Judge faces what John Mara called "a daunting task." And that's not just because he's a 38-year-old, first-time head coach, either.

It's because the Giants went 9-23 over the last two years and could look very different by the time they hit the field for the start of next season. They do have a few good, young pieces to build around, but the reality is they still have plenty of holes.

To fill them, both Judge and GM Dave Gettleman swear it'll be a "collaborative" effort -- that they'll work together, and that their philosophy on how to build an "old school" team is already perfectly aligned. That remains to be seen, of course. But in case they need any help in getting started, here's a blueprint for them to quickly make the Giants a contender again:

Tags: Alec Ogletree, B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, Kevin Zeitler, Leonard Williams, Markus Golden, Nate Solder, Ryan Connelly, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

While the Giants have room to improve in most places, Pro Football Focus considered their offensive line near the middle of the pack in 2019. 

PFF released their end of season rankings of every offensive line in the NFL. The Giants clocked in at No. 17 overall via the analytics outlet. 

That grade was actually a higher mark than four playoff teams from this season. Those include Seattle Seahawks (27th), Buffalo Bills (21st), Houston Texans (20th) and Minnesota Vikings (19th).

Tags: Jon Halapio, Kevin Zeitler, Mike Remmers, Nate Solder, Will Hernandez
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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

Kevin Zeitler was not listed on the Giants' injury report on Friday and is likely to suit up on Sunday against the Redskins.

This is good news for Daniel Jones, who "barring anything crazy" will start for Big Blue as it faces off against Dwayne Haskins and Adrian Peterson

Zeitler injured his ankle in the fourth quarter against the Eagles two weeks ago and was carted off the field. He missed last week's game against the Dolphins.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Kevin Zeitler, Rhett Ellison
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Dec 1, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) runs the ball after a catch during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Dec 1, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) runs the ball after a catch during the second half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Dolphins will get some added help this Sunday when they try to defeat a New York team for the second time, as WRs DeVante Parker and Albert Wilson have been cleared from the concussion protocol and were removed from the game's injury status report.

Parker, who signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension earlier this week, suffered the injury during last week's loss to the Jets when he was tackled after catching a pass and hit his head on the field.

Wilson also suffered the injury last week against the Jets.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Kevin Zeitler, Rhett Ellison
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 (Bill Streicher)
(Bill Streicher)

Eli Manning will start his second consecutive game this weekend for the Giants after Pat Shurmur announced that Daniel Jones remains out with a high ankle sprain.

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano reported earlier this week that it was "likely" Manning would start against the Dolphins as Jones continues to recover from the injury.

With the rest of the season still in limbo, Manning will at the very least get to play one final home game for the Giants on Sunday to potentially cap off his 16-year career in New York.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Kevin Zeitler, Rhett Ellison
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Giants haven't led the NFL in much recently, but they had a big lead in one category through the end of October. No team played rookies more often than they did. And they led in that category by about 500 total snaps.

That only counted rookies, like quarterback Daniel Jones, defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, linebacker Oshane Ximines and corners Corey Ballentine and DeAndre Baker. It didn't count all their second-year pros like guard Will Hernandez, running back Saquon Barkley, defensive end B.J. Hill, linebacker Lorenzo Carter, and cornerbacks Grant Haley and now Sam Beal.

The point is, the Giants are young. Very, very young. And that might be the biggest reason to be optimistic about their future, and to believe that GM Dave Gettleman could have them on the right path.

Tags: B.J. Hill, Corey Ballentine, Daniel Jones, DeAndre Baker, Evan Engram, Jabril Peppers, Jon Halapio, Julian Love, Kevin Zeitler, Leonard Williams, Mike Remmers, Nate Solder, Sam Beal, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Will Hernandez, Ralph Vacchiano
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - This was a big test for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, and he didn't exactly pass it. Against the first elite defense he's faced in his young career, this game proved he wasn't quite ready.

But it also proved something else important.

The Giants aren't quite ready yet, either.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Daniel Jones, Eli Manning, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Kevin Zeitler, Nate Solder, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Giants' Eli Manning (10) signals the line of scrimmage as Kevin Zeitler (70) and Saquon Barkley (26) look on during a NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth) (Michael Ainsworth/AP)
New York Giants' Eli Manning (10) signals the line of scrimmage as Kevin Zeitler (70) and Saquon Barkley (26) look on during a NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth) (Michael Ainsworth/AP)

A week after the Giants' first injury report of the 2019 season was highlighted by an offensive lineman, it is once again in Kevin Zeitler, along with wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

Zeitler sustained a shoulder injury in the Giants' season opener, a 35-17 loss to the Cowboys. As the Giants turn their attention to their Week 2 opponent, the Buffalo Bills, Zeitler was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday, according to the team's injury report. 

But all signs are pointing to the positive in regard to the 29-year-old lineman's health. Giants head coach Pat Shurmur told reporters he believes Zeitler "will be fine." In addition, Zeitler himself said there's "no doubt" he'll play against the Bills. 

Tags: Kevin Zeitler, Sterling Shepard
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Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports  (Dennis Schneidler)
Aug 8, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur coaching against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports (Dennis Schneidler)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

If there was one thing the Giants wanted to make clear after their first regular-season practice on Monday, it's that, "We're a better team than we were a year ago," as Pat Shurmur said. No Odell Beckham, no Landon Collins? It's no problem to them.

Yes, they were 5-11 last season so that bar isn't particularly high. And yes, there is an element of, "What else are they supposed to say?"

But the Giants really do seem to believe in addition by subtraction, that by removing a handful of big-name stars they've been able to build a better team -- no matter what the outside world thinks.

Tags: Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, Eli Manning, Kevin Zeitler, Landon Collins, Lorenzo Carter, Markus Golden, Mike Remmers, Odell Beckham Jr., Olivier Vernon, Oshane Ximines, Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers (21) during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Jul 25, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants free safety Jabrill Peppers (21) during the first day of training camp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Giants safety Jabrill Peppers is one of three Giants players that played on an NFL team that will live in infamy.

Peppers was the Browns' first-round pick at the 2017 NFL draft. His first win as a professional football player wouldn't come in his rookie year as the Browns became only the second team in league history to go 0-16 that year.

But Peppers, who was traded to the Giants this offseason in a deal that sent wideout Odell Beckham Jr. the other way, recently revealed that he has fond learning experiences from that brutal season. He's happy it happened and takes positives from it.

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Jabril Peppers, Kevin Zeitler
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Oct 15, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (70) during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports  (Kevin Jairaj)
Oct 15, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive guard Kevin Zeitler (70) during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports (Kevin Jairaj)

Before the Giants and Browns struck the trade of the offseason with WR Odell Beckham Jr. heading to Cleveland, they made another deal where DE Olivier Vernon was on his way as well. In that deal, the Giants got G Kevin Zeitler in return, a right guard that would be plugged right into their offensive line next season. 

Zeitler didn't think he would be making the move, though. There was some speculation that the Browns had him on the trade market, but after signing a five-year, $60 million deal back in 2017 with Cleveland, he thought he would be there for the long haul. 

Instead, he saw his phone blow up during a workout, and the shock set in.

Tags: Kevin Zeitler, Eli Manning, Nate Solder, Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Scott Thompson
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