The additions of cornerbacks Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond III and the return of safety Stevie Brown should give the Giants a solid secondary and give the defensive linemen more time to reach the quarterback.
Rashad Jennings gives the Giants a true all-around running back who can run, catch and pass-protect. That should take the pressure off the developing passing game.
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Rookies Andre Williams and Devon Kennard look to be the real deal, and fellow draft pick Weston Richburg could wind up being a cornerstone of the offensive line for years. Even if the Giants don't meet whatever expectations you have for them in 2014, this year's draft class will get plenty of experience that will help down the line.
Jon Beason made an immediate impact when he showed up at midseason a year ago. Now that he's been with the team for a whole offseason (if not on the field because of a toe injury, then at least in meetings and on the sideline during practices), he should be able to direct the defense at a much higher level.
Eli Manning. Twenty- seven interceptions.
The offensive line -- the much-maligned key reason for last year's 7-9 record and sputtering offense -- is different. But is it better? Will Beatty still needs to return to his 2012 form, J.D. Walton hasn't played a regular- season game in two years and big free-agent acquisition Geoff Schwartz begins the year on the sideline with a toe injury.
Odell Beckham Jr. was supposed to be a big part of the offense, not just a rookie receiver who gets a handful of packages or plays. But the first-round pick has barely been on the field this summer. It will take time to make up for all of those missed snaps no matter how much attention he paid in meetings.
All three levels of the defense feature a player the Giants are counting on to return to form after a serious injury: Jason Pierre-Paul from back surgery in June 2013, Jon Beason from a sesamoid fracture in his foot this past spring, and Stevie Brown from a torn ACL suffered last preseason.
-- TOM ROCK