A solid draft by the New York Giants has a handful of rookies in prime position to contribute to the upcoming 2012 season.
Giants' GM Jerry Reese has found success via the draft recently, most notably selecting wide receiver Hakeem Nicks out of the University of North Carolina and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul from the University of South Florida.
Given the departures of key players like Brandon Jacobs, Mario Manningham and Aaron Ross, these NFL freshman will be given the chance this summer to compete for a job with the defending Super Bowl champs.
Let's meet the candidates and attempt to predict how they'll fare in their first year:
Pick: Round 7, Selection No. 239
With Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, Marvin Austin and Shaun Rogers already filling the defensive tackle positions for the Giants, it's not likely we'll see much of Markus Kuhn this season.
Then again, this is the NFL and multiple injuries occur each game, so Kuhn could see some limited time this season.
As a German citizen, Kuhn is currently going through the process of acquiring a work visa, as reported by NBC Sports.
Projected Statistics: 10 tackles
Pick: Round 6, Selection No. 201
At 6'7", 295 lbs. (according to ESPN), offensive lineman Matt McCants is one big dude.
Left tackle is where the Giants would most likely play McCants, but they already have Will Beatty, James Brewer and Sean Locklear filling the depth chart at LT.
And according to ESPN New York's Ohm Youngmisuk, the G-Men believe that McCants is still a season away from seeing any playing time.
Projected Statistics: N/A
Pick: Round 4, Selection No. 131
According to both Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York and Scouts Inc., 6'6", 310 lb. Brandon Mosley will eventually get some time at right tackle, but it probably won't be this season.
As for how he fits into the offense, Scouts Inc. writes (via ESPN):
This is an offensive line that could use help all across the board and especially at the tackle position. Age is really a factor in this unit. Mosley is a developmental guy who likely fits best at ROT and he needs to get a little more physical, but at the very least he should be a swing guy and provide some depth to this group.
The age of the offensive line really is an issue for New York as was the injury bug last season.
That being said, maybe Mosley gets a few snaps here and there this season, but I doubt enough to make a big contribution.
Projected Statistics: N/A
Pick: Round 4, Selection No. 127
Drafting Adrien Robinson may wind up being one of the best things the Giants did this offseason.
New York waived TE Jake Ballard (via the Boston Herald) and then saw him claimed by the New England Patriots, and NFL.com is reporting that offseason signee Martellus Bennett entered training camp 26 pounds overweight.
That leaves Robinson an opportunity to contribute to the Giants' offense in 2012, with Bear Pascoe, Travis Beckum and Bennett being the other tight ends on the roster.
I'm not saying he's going to be a first-year Kevin Boss or Jake Ballard, but we've all seen what Eli Manning can do with tight ends, and I think Robinson will see some playing time and make the most of it.
Projected Statistics: 9 Rec, 112 YDs, 1 TD
Pick: Round 3, Selection No. 94
After losing Aaron Ross via free agency, the Giants replaced him with a solid cornerback in Jayron Hosley from Virginia Tech.
Hosley had a solid junior season in 2011, accumulating 59 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.
By the end of training camp, I'd like to think Hosley would be No. 4 on the depth chart behind Corey Webster, Terrell Thomas and Prince Amukamara.
This NFC East blog post by ESPN's Dan Graziano suggests that Hosley could be a part of the Giants' nickel package.
If that's the case, Hosley should see a decent amount of time.
Projected Statistics: 22 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FF
Pick: Round 2, Selection No. 63
With teammates Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz drawing most of the coverage from opposing defenses, Randle should see significant playing time for the Giants' offense in 2012.
Head coach Tom Coughlin seems to be pleased with Randle's progress, saying (via ESPN), "Randle’s demonstrated not only does he have a pretty good understanding of what we’re trying to do, but he’s put himself in position where’s he made plays."
With that being said, I think Randle is going to be a nice surprise this season. Manningham excelled while playing alongside Nicks, Cruz and, of course, Eli Manning, and Randle has the skill set to do the same.
Projected Statistics: 45 Rec, 647 YDS, 6 TD
Pick: Round 1, Selection No. 32
The Giants' first-round pick David Wilson ran for more than 1700 yards and nine touchdowns for Virginia Tech in 2011, and I see him putting up big numbers in his rookie season with Big Blue.
Given the fact that Brandon Jacobs is now a member of the San Francisco 49ers and Ahmad Bradshaw has been plagued with a foot injury, the door is wide open for Wilson to make an immediate impact in 2012.
He has the opportunity to be the No. 2 back on the depth chart behind Bradshaw, but he will likely have to battle with Da'Rel Scott for the spot.
Regardless of where he ends up on the depth chart, there's no doubt in my mind that Wilson will produce for the G-Men in their pursuit of back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
Projected Statistics: 170 ATT, 715 YDs, 6 TD; 14 Rec, 150 YDs, 1 TD
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