The New York Giants were a young team in 2016 and will likely get a bit younger in 2017. Luckily for general manager Jerry Reese & Co., a lot of that talent has a very high ceiling.
In fact, Pro Football Focus believes the Giants have two of the league’s best players under the age of 25 — two players who crack the top five of the 25-man list.
First up is potential Defensive Player of the Year, Landon Collins (who turned 23 today).
5. Landon Collins, S, New York Giants
After a rookie season in which he looked lost at free safety playing deep in coverage, Collins was moved to strong safety this season and has been a revelation. Playing closer to the line of scrimmage, Collins has been everywhere for the Giants this season and had a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year-caliber season. Collins had eight more defensive stops than any other safety this season, and picked off five passes.
The second man up is to be expected — he’s a do-it-all superstar and among the league’s most electric players. And while he does come with some baggage, there’s no denying the skill of 24-year-old Odell Beckham Jr.
1. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
Beckham is one of the game’s best wideouts, setting records in his first few seasons in the league and with the ability to make spectacular catches unrivaled in today’s NFL. Beckham was a second-team PFF All-Pro this season despite Eli Manning having the worst-graded season we have seen from him over the past decade and needing to do much of the hard work himself. Beckham gained 532 of his 1,367 yards after the catch, but forced a league-leading (among WRs) 29 missed tackles to do it.
If things go well for the Giants in 2017 and some of their current rookies make the same sort of leap Collins did, we should expect to see more names on this list a year from now.
Some potential candidates include cornerback Eli Apple and running back Paul Perkins, who both flashed at times this season.
Dan Benton | giantswire.usatoday.com | January 10, 2017