New York Giants: Looking at Boom-or-Bust Players for 2012

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistAugust 23, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against Patrick Chung #25 of the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

For any team to be successful in any given year, they need boom-or-bust players to boom rather than bust.

Every team enters the season with at least a few players like this on the roster, and the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants are no exception. 

Here's a look at four Giants who could explode or implode in 2012.


Prince Amukamara

Few Giants have been discussed and analyzed more than Amukamara has recently. His play this summer has been up-and-down, and he was drafted last year in an area that produces a high quantity of stars as well as nobodies. 

Based on what we've seen this preseason, I can't see Amukamara booming in what will essentially be a rookie year. But if he fails to produce as a starter early, he could begin to hear criticism. 

Boom or bust? I think Prince will be closer to bust than boom this year, but mainly because he's being asked to do too much and is still pretty green. He'll get a chance to have a breakout season in 2013.


Will Beatty

The guy is talented enough to be a good left tackle in this league, but if he can't stay healthy this season (and he currently isn't), then there's a very good chance he'll be looking for a new home, and the Giants will be looking for new blindside protection next offseason.

Boom or bust? I've seen too many players like this. Beatty is, quite simply, injury prone. This is probably his last chance to prove he can be a starting tackle in New York, and yet he has barely been on the field this summer. I'm predicting bust.


Martellus Bennett

The former second-round pick has the frame and the overall ability you want in a starting tight end, but he continually underachieved in Dallas. He's looked rejuvenated in his first year in New York 

Bennett gained a lot of weight in the offseason but has apparently lost it all now. The fluctuation is a bit of a concern for a player who has taken heat for his work ethic, but he's been delivering thus far in camp and the preseason, and is slated to be the team's top tight end this year. 

Boom or bust? I think Bennett will deliver in Jake Ballard's former spot and prove to be a stellar blocker and pass-catcher, earning an extension with the Giants. He's gonna boom.


Ahmad Bradshaw

If he can't stay healthy and productive this year, Bradshaw could be in trouble. He's only 26 but he's too fragile, and the Giants used their 2012 first-round pick on a potential replacement in Virginia Tech's David Wilson. 

Unfortunately, Bradshaw is already missing time again with a hand injury, but he's not expected to be out long, and Tom Coughlin is going to give him the opportunity to start from the get-go. Will he return to his 2010 form, or will we see the 2011 version of Bradshaw yet again?

Boom or bust? I'm struggling with this one because it's so deeply tied to injuries, which are unpredictable. But considering the shelf-life for most backs in this league, I'm leaning toward bust.