New York Giants: 10 Players Whose Stock Is on the Rise in OTAs
Although the New York Giants have had just two days of practice without full pads, some of their players have stood out in the beginning stages of minicamp.
These are the days new players are learning the playbook and the veterans are honing in on stuff they can improve on. There are several positions that do not have set starters for next season, so players will be fighting that much harder to lock up spots.
Who has been impressive thus far in camp? Let's take a look. Keep in mind this is merely after a couple days of practice, and in no way means these players are locks to make the 53-man roster.
Jayron Hosley, the Giants' third-round pick out of Virginia Tech, has looked solid in his few weeks of rookie and now team minicamp. He has made some plays that give insight to his potential, but of course also makes some rookie mistakes.
The cornerback competition will be intense and something to keep an eye on all offseason.
Newly acquired safety Stevie Brown has made a few good plays in camp and looks like he could compete for that backup safety spot left by Deon Grant's departure (so far).
He's been mostly a special teams contributor in his two years in the NFL, but the Giants have several opportunities in the secondary. It is an uphill battle for Brown to make the roster, but so far, so good.
In Will Beatty's absence, 2012 sixth-round pick Matt McCants is getting extra reps at left tackle. The 6'7'', 300-lb tackle was drafted based on his potential, but has already showed off why the Giants drafted him in the first place.
You cannot get a handle on what offensive lineman are truly like until the pads come on, but he has displayed some good footwork.
I do not envy whoever has to make the final decision on cuts for the secondary. The Giants have signed so many players who flash talent and look like they could be starters some day.
Nicolas started 22 games in his final two years at Miami. He has plenty of competition at the safety spot, but could find a spot on the Giants' practice squad this year.
2011 sixth-round pick Tyler Sash has been getting reps with the first team with Kenny Phillips reserving his strength for more important practices.
The former Iowa Hawkeye still has a lot of growing up to do, but he has the skill set to replace Deon Grant in the lineup. No doubt the Giants will be leaning on him to make up that production lost, but more importantly mitigate the loss of leadership left by Grant.
The Giants will have a competition for the left guard spot, but Kevin Boothe got an early leg up in the race when he lined up with the starters last week.
He and Mitch Petrus both have claims to the position. Boothe started several games at left guard last year due to injuries and played well in Super Bowl XLVI. Petrus got the nod a few times late in the season and the running game never looked better than during those couple games.
Tom Coughlin is loyal to players like Boothe, and is rewarding him as such.
Justin Tryon impressed coaches in 2011 before breaking his arm, and this offseason he is back at it. According to Mike Garafolo, he made a good play on the ball when covering Victor Cruz on a route on Wednesday and has looked good on several plays so far in camp.
The corner competition has several talented players vying for a couple of spots, but Tryon is an early favorite to grab one of those spots, especially with Antwaun Molden suffering a hamstring injury at camp.
Even with David Diehl taking a large pay cut and having one of the worst years of his career in 2011, he got the starting nod at right tackle for the first few sessions of minicamp.
Diehl must have acknowledged his poor play at left guard last season, because he told reporters he knew he would start when talking to them this offseason, he just did not know where. Seems to me if he felt he played fine at left guard, he would think that's his job to lose.
But no, he is fine with wherever he plays, and believes he still has enough left in the tank to be successful.
Despite making a heroic play in the Super Bowl and playing well for the Giants down the stretch last season, I was not sure the team would bring back Chase Blackburn. Even when he re-signed, most did not consider him the starting middle linebacker.
Well, for the first couple days of camp, Blackburn has lined up in that middle spot. Although the Giants have younger, more athletic and intriguing prospects to play the position, Perry Fewell is going with the savvy veteran. For now.
Though Ryan Perrilloux was the target of humor last season with how much he was signed and released off the practice squad, he has shown improvements in his time with the Giants. The future at the quarterback position hopefully does not have to be addressed for many years, but if Perrilloux can continue to improve and accept his role as a backup, he could be the answer at some point.
He was one of the highest-touted recruits coming out of high school in 2005, but was released from LSU before ever getting a chance to make a name for himself. He made bad decisions in college, but turned his life around since.
At rookie minicamp and now team activities, he's shown off some good arm strength and improved accuracy. He was definitely a raw prospect when the Giants signed him as a free agent last year.
It will be interesting to see if the Giants roll the dice and try to keep Perrilloux on the practice squad this year—no doubt some teams have heard of his improvement and will try to bring him on as a backup.
The Giants do not typically hold three quarterbacks on the roster, so until David Carr moves on, Perrilloux will have to be patient.