NFL: New York Giants at Carolina Panthers

Few NFL divisions are as intriguing as the NFC East entering the 2021 season. One of history's worst-performing quartets in 2020, the division could very well see each and every one of its teams take a step forward this year. The Giants are one of those teams, and they've got a lot riding on third-year quarterback Daniel Jones. But Jones is far from the only key to a New York turnaround.

As the G-Men look to help their young QB and improve on Joe Judge's first season as head coach, here's a look at three critical training camp battles to watch:

OT (Matt Peart vs. Nate Solder)

You could substitute just about any combination of offensive linemen here, and the importance would be the same. If there's one area VP/GM Dave Gettleman failed to fully address this offseason, it's probably the trenches. Jones is better off thanks to his skill-position help, but there's a world of uncertainty up front. Former first-rounder Andrew Thomas is set to start at tackle, but Solder, his predecessor, will likely get a shot to return to the lineup on the right side. Peart is the clear-cut favorite to open the year as the No. 1 right tackle, but he's just a year removed from an uneven rookie season.

WR (Darius Slayton vs. Kadarius Toney vs. John Ross)

Gettleman made a wise, if pricey, gamble to add Kenny Golladay as the new No. 1. And Sterling Shepard, partly due to his $41 million deal, is a lock to stay on the field. Slayton probably is, too, considering the promising start to his career. But there are more bodies than big roles in this group for once, so it remains to be seen just how often reserves like Toney, a big investment as a 20th overall pick, will be used. Ideally, Toney fits best in the slot, which is where Shepard has thrived. Perhaps the latter will rotate outside, in which case Toney and Ross -- a speedster reclamation project -- could warrant snaps on the inside.

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EDGE (Azeez Ojulari vs. Oshane Ximines vs. Ifeadi Odenigbo)

Throw Lorenzo Carter in here if you'd like, but considering he enters with the most starting experience, this trio is more likely to go head to head for snaps. Like the offensive tackle battle, if you're a Giants fan, you probably wish the names were a little spicier. But that's why this battle is important! Someone needs to step up. Ojulari is the most promising of all as a second-round steal with impressive physical traits. Ximines feels like a forgotten man but could be due for a surprise return. Odenigbo, meanwhile, is solid as a rotational piece but shouldn't be expected to carry the load off the edge.