Giants Rookie MiniCamp: What We Learned
John Fennelly , Lead Writer
Now that rookie minicamp has come and gone, what have we learned, if anything?
Well, for starters, the team showed us they are still not content with the interior of the defensive line and their linebackers.
At DT, they added another veteran this week in journeyman Frank Okum which now gives them eight DTs heading into minicamp next month. Linval Joseph is currently the only DT on the roster that has played a full season for the Giants.
Markus Kuhn has ten games under his belt and Marvin Austin has played a total of eight. Veteran Shaun Rogers missed all of last season with blot clot issues. Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson were scooped up in free agency after Philadelphia released them and Jonathan Hankins was selected in the second round of the draft in April.
Hankins is expected to play an integral part of the team’s DL rotation. Who’s playing time will he be cutting into, though? My thoughts are Joseph will be seeing less reps. He is the lone survivor from last year’s group that got pushed all over the field and the coaches now have some viable bodies to replace him with.
At LB, a position they ignored in the draft, the team is bringing in not only Dan Connor, who they signed in free agency, but veteran Aaron Curry and UDFA Etienne Sabino of Ohio State.
The Giants could possibly have a core LB group consisting of three former high draft picks of other teams that are playing for the veteran minimum. Connor and Curry could be joined by Keith Rivers in the Giants’ base defense, leapfrogging Jacquian Williams, Spencer Paysinger and Mark Herzlich the lineup most fans hoped the team would scrap. Looks like they got what they wanted.
There is also the possibility of rookie Damontre Moore lining up as the ‘joker’, the position Mathias Kiwanuka has been playing the past few seasons. Moore could be lining up at both DE and OLB this season we have learned. The Giants are also toying with making fifth-round selection Cooper Taylor as a hybrid safety/linebacker. Interesting.
*The decision to trade up for QB Ryan Nassib appears to have been a good call by GM Jerry Reese. Nassib handled himself well this past weekend, showing both poise and leadership.
*Justin Pugh began camp by lining up at RT, He could stay there for the next decade or so if things go right. The Giants aren’t saying it out loud, but they are hoping that will be the case.
*RB Michael Cox could end up being another late-round find by Reese. He looks extremely fluid for a big back and can return kicks. He could come in handy if Andre Brown cannot play a full season.
*Thought UDFAs West Virginia WR Marcus Davis and LB Charles Dieseul of Mount Union could be two diamonds in the rough. Nothing doing, however. Both were sent packing.
*Veteran TE Michael Palmer and two DBs in for a tryout – Junior Mertile and John Stephenson – did enough to get themselves invited to camp this summer. Stephenson looks like someone who could potentially compete for a roster spot.
*Jeremy Horne becomes the third UMass receiver in as many years to get invited to Giants training camp. The others? Victor Cruz and Julian Talley.
*OC Kevin Gilbride stated that Jerrel Jernigan will see an increase in reps at slot receiver, especially if Victor Cruz sits out this summer.
*ST coordinator Tom Quinn believes RB David Wilson can still be the primary KR even with the increase of reps he’ll be getting on offense.