- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Yes, they have been unveiling the players in our #NFLRank project, 10 at a time on defense and on offense, since Monday, and today is the first day on which we've had any New York Giants to discuss. If you like the Giants, you can feel free to take that as a positive, since the Giants who are on the lists rank fairly high on it. There are five Giants on the lists -- two on defense and three on offense -- and one of each was revealed today.
Defensive end Justin Tuck ranked No. 52 on the defense list, just ahead of fellow defensive lineman Henry Melton of Chicago and right behind Gerald McCoy of Tampa Bay. Tuck's ranking put him ahead of star pass-rushers such as Carolina's Charles Johnson (No. 55), Dallas' Anthony Spencer (58) and Washington's Ryan Kerrigan (73). I can't tell you names of people who are ahead of him if they're in the top 50, since they haven't been revealed yet, but it suffices to say that Tuck would have ranked much higher if these polls had been taken two years ago. Like, Top 10-high. Tuck believes he's better than many of the pass-rushers on this list, and enters 2013 determined to show people he's still worthy of the rank he might have had on the 2011 version.
Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, ranked 56th on the offense list, is in a similar boat. He's behind Miami's Mike Wallace (52) and Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe (55), and my personal belief is that he's a considerably better player than both -- an all-around wide receiver as good as any in the game when he's healthy. But Nicks is coming off a 2012 season in which leg and foot injuries limited his ability to practice every day and play at the level at which he played in the Giants' Super Bowl season the year before. Injuries have been a nagging problem for Nicks throughout his career, and until he rids himself of that problem and that label, it will be hard to argue to strenuously that he belongs much further up the list.