Quantity and Quality at New York Giants Mini-Camp

Pro Football NYCSenior Writer IMay 12, 2008

Lots of bodies, but not much roster room.

The Giants held their rookie mini-camp this past week, hosting over 60 first-year players hoping for a smattering of roster spots.

The Giants' offseason has been relatively quiet, except for the three losses on defense they suffered during free agency.

LBs Kawika Mitchell and Reggie Torbor left for greener financial pastures, as did S Gibril Wilson. All three were starters in the Super Bowl, but the Giants feel they have made sufficient moves this offseason to defray those losses.

They signed LB Danny Clark, a veteran of several teams, who is familiar with the coaching staff, having spent several seasons in Jacksonville under Tom Coughlin.

The Giants also signed S Sammy Knight, a seasoned veteran that is every bit as good as Wilson, perhaps even better.

On draft day, the team augmented their secondary by choosing Miami S Kenny Phillips and USC CB Terrell Thomas (pictured above). On day two, they addressed their LB depth by selecting Bryan Kehl out of BYU and Vanderbilt's Jonathan Goff.

The team expects all of these players to challenge for roster spots. Last season, all eight players selected by the club made the team, and most played significant roles in the Giants' championship run.

Phillips will challenge Knight, James Butler, and Michael Johnson for a starting role at safety. Thomas will have to beat out Sam Madison, Aaron Ross, Corey Webster, RW McQuarters, or Kevin Dockery.

The Giants' linebacking corp is a bit more unsettled. Antonio Pierce is the only definite right now. Gerris Wilkerson and Mathias Kiwanuka are tentatively slated as the other starters. Wilkerson will have to fend off Clark, Kehl, and Goff, while Kiwanuka waits to see if he will be returned to the DL rotation.

That will depend on Michael Strahan's decision to either retire or return. If Strahan retires, than Kiwanuka goes back to the line, and the LB scramble will most likely include one or more of those new faces.

On offense, the team seems to be set. Jeremy Shockey is still a Giant, the offensive line is now a respected, veteran unit, and Eli Manning has made this team his.

The backfield is stacked with Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Reuben Droughns. There is some room to maneuver at wide receiver. The team was fortunate that Plaxico Burress was able to fight through injuries and Amani Toomer had his best season in years.

The Giants also were pleased to see rookie Steve Smith emerge as a solid third receiver, and David Tyree stepped in with several legendary plays. But the Giants still felt the group could use some improvement.

In round three of the draft, the Giants chose Mario Manningham of Michigan. Manningham is the deep threat the Giants thought they had in Sinorice Moss. Manningham's presence is a direct response to Moss' inability to stay healthy and make plays. The team also signed Alabama star D.J. Hall to free agent contract.


QB Andre Woodson and Manningham suffered injuries during camp, and their participation was limited. Both players are not expected to miss much time, if any.