Updating the New York Giants' Key Position Battles in Training Camp
Back at the start of training camp, we examined the positional battles that were upcoming for the New York Giants camp in Albany.
Highlighted by the fights for the third wide receiver and backup running back positions, the Giants promised us an exciting camp, and have not disappointed thus far.
Here are the updates for the various position battles going on in Albany.
Going into camp, the position of cornerback was very much squared away. Incumbent starter Corey Webster was set to start alongside newly re-signed and rehabbed Terrell Thomas.
Terrell Thomas then re-injured his ACL, a development that should keep him out for the early part of the season at least.
The battle for the job to replace him for the early season and possibly beyond comes down to second year player and former first-round pick Prince Amukamara vs. rookie third rounder Jayron Hosley.
Both have made standout plays in training camp, and though Hosley has been highly impressive thus far, Amukamara's pedigree is earning him the benefit of the doubt from coaches.
He has the inside track for now, but he has his work cut out for him to hold off Hosley. Hosley is earning himself pass-rushing snaps at the very least so far.
No. 2 Cornerback: Prince Amukamara
The Giants brought a number of tight ends to camp, including incumbent Bear Pascoe and rookie Adrien Robinson.
However, free-agent signee Martellus Bennett has quickly stolen the show, plowing his way through defenders in block schemes and making key catches for Eli Manning.
Where there was once an intriguing question mark, there is now an unquestioned alpha dog. Bennett should start the 2012 season as the Giants' No. 1 tight end, barring a horrific showing over the next three weeks.
No 1. Tight End: Martellus Bennett
Kick Returns/Punt Returns
Early in camp, it seemed as though David Wilson would split duties with Da'Rel Scott and incumbent Domenik Hixon.
Instead, training camp and the first preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars have changed the landscape of the Giants' special teams.
With Hixon attempting to creep up in the rankings among the wide receivers, Jayron Hosley and Wilson have had the opportunity to prove their value in this area.
Hosley showed some promise as a punt returner against the Jaguars, fighting his way to a 20-yard return before muffing a punt later on.
Wilson ripped off a 48-yard kick return, giving himself a sizable advantage in the competition going forward.
Hosley's muffed kick may come back to bite him, resulting in Wilson being the primary kick returner and making Hixon the punt returner thanks to his history.
Punt Returner: Domenik Hixon
Kick Returner: David Wilson
The battle to become the second-string running back hasn't changed much from our previous look at this position battle.
David Wilson has shown some explosiveness and promise in camp, but his abilities on special teams seem to have him lined up as a return man, while D.J. Ware has steadily proven himself worthy to back up Ahmad Bradshaw.
Ware rushed for 30 yards on just five carries last Friday, including a two-yard touchdown run. His size is also an advantage, as he is better set to complement the elusive Bradshaw as a surrogate Brandon Jacobs than Wilson.
There is plenty of camp left, but Ware is playing like a man fighting for his career, which he might very well be.
He should be the No. 2 by Week 1.
No. 2 Running Back: D.J Ware
No. 3 Running Back: David Wilson
The struggle to take over Mario Manningham's coveted spot as the No. 3 receiver on the New York Giants rages on. Rookie Ruben Randle has been impressive thus far at camp, making a number of improbable catches with both the first and second teams.
Domenik Hixon will try to steal snaps by virtue of his veteran savvy, while Ramses Barden is having one of his better training camps.
Still, the Giants went after Randle for a reason. He'll likely be the starting third man, while Hixon shares situational snaps with him.
No. 3 Wide Receiver: Ruben Randle