Originally Published: September 2, 2010
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images JOHN CLAYTON QB RANKING (11): Eli Manning recorded his first 4,000-yard passing season in 2009. He also threw a career-high 27 touchdown passes.

Expert Picks (Consensus: 2nd)

Intelligence Report

Five things you need to know about the Giants:

1. Ahmad Bradshaw's about to become the best running back in the NFC East: There, I said it. He has always had the speed and power, but now he's finally healthy. Bradshaw's a 50-yard run waiting to happen, and I think the Giants are going to be much better along the offensive line. Tom Coughlin is going to sell out to establish the running game, and Bradshaw will be the biggest beneficiary. Brandon Jacobs will still serve an important role, but he's not the feature back anymore. You want a prediction on Bradshaw? OK, here it goes: 1,250 yards, 10 TDs.

2. Perry Fewell will take this defense back to the Steve Spagnuolo days: The new defensive coordinator's unit is still a work in progress, but we're already seeing a more effective pass rush in the preseason. Justin Tuck was banged up throughout the 2009 season. Now that he's healthy, he's becoming a vocal presence on and off the field. He has also gone back to intimidating quarterbacks from various spots along the line. I love that Fewell is moving around players such as Mathias Kiwanuka and Osi Umenyiora all the time. This defense isn't going to be nearly as predictable.

3. Keith Bulluck was an important signing: I know the Titans were ready to move on without him, but Bulluck is exactly what the Giants needed. He's a physical presence who has a tremendous amount of credibility across the league. He may knock Clint Sintim out of a starting spot at outside linebacker. I didn't know how Bulluck would function coming off the knee injury, but he's improving with each practice. He's a high-energy player who will help give the defense an identity. This is a big-time upgrade over Danny Clark, who actually did a pretty nice job at times.

4. Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks are equally dangerous: Smith will have a ton of catches again, but it's Nicks who can break open a game at any moment. The Giants rival the Eagles in terms of depth at wide receiver. In fact, they probably have a little more depth with players such as Victor Cruz making significant moves in camp. Mario Manningham needs to take the next step and become a more consistent player. If he's able to do that, the Giants will be as dangerous at receiver as any team in the league.

5. Antrel Rolle has given the defense a completely different look: The Giants were held hostage by the safety position after Kenny Phillips was injured in 2009. The combination of C.C. Brown and Michael Johnson will give fans nightmares for years. Rolle has brought a swagger to the back end of the defense. He's an excellent fit for the locker room and he's poised to have six or seven interceptions. Deon Grant was also a nice pickup. If Phillips is anything close to 100 percent by the start of the season, the Giants have the chance to be really good at a position that killed them last season.

-- Matt Mosley, ESPN.com

Scouts Inc.'s Fabulous Five


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