Drue Tranquill named a ‘best fit’ for Giants
The official start to the new league year and the beginning of free agency are less than a month away, so rumors are beginning to swirl across the NFL. Who will land where and which pairings make the most sense?
Matt Bowen of ESPN recently set out to answer those very questions and determined that three impending free agents are among the “best fits” for the New York Giants.
Two of those are in-house, including quarterback Daniel Jones.
It makes sense for Jones to stick with the Giants, given his fit in Daboll’s offense. Last season, Jones’ 60.8 QBR ranked seventh in the NFL, and we saw his throwing volume in both play-action and dropback schemes increase over the second half of the season. He can play tall in the pocket and create conflict for defenses with dual-threat ability as a runner (708 yards rushing). This could end up being the franchise tag or a multiyear deal.
And, of course, running back Saquon Barkley.
The franchise tag could be in play for Barkley if he returns to the Giants in his dual-threat role for coach Brian Daboll. In 2022, Barkley produced 1,650 total yards, with 32 rushes of 10 yards or more. And the tape tells us that Barkley’s explosive traits are back. He’s a difference-maker with big-play juice, and he’s a key part of what Daboll wants to do offensively. He has regained his explosiveness and suddenness after injuries limited him to 15 total games over the previous two seasons.
The third, linebacker Drue Tranquill, would address one of the Giants’ biggest areas of need this offseason. He had a break-out campaign in 2022 and demonstrated value in a multitude of areas, particularly in coverage.
The Giants need to find an answer at linebacker. Tranquill’s 144 tackles for the Chargers in 2022 were a career high, and he can be deployed as a blitzer from multiple second-level alignments. He logged 5.5 sacks and four pass breakups last season, too. Tranquill would play inside linebacker for Wink Martindale’s defense, but he has the movement ability of a weakside linebacker in both base and sub-packages.
The one issue with Tranquill is that despite his high tackle totals, he struggles against the run. He’d have to improve in that area as it was an Achilles heel for the defense in 2022.
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