Stock Up, Stock Down for New York Giants Training Camp
There are a handful of players who are elevating their play due to the opportunity of gaining a starting job while others are losing their grip.
We don't know what the Giants' starting lineup will look like come Week 1, but we do know whose stock is rising and falling.
Stock Up: Mark Herzlich
The departure of Chase Blackburn opened an opportunity for 25-year-old Mark Herzlich to compete for the starting middle linebacker job and he's certainly taken advantage.
Herzlich has continued to impress coaches during the offseason, as evidenced by the fact that he's listed as the starting MLB on the Giants' unofficial depth chart.
The depth chart may be unofficial, but Herzlich's play this season hasn't been. Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com writes that the starting gig is Herzlich's to lose with Dan Connor being the likely candidate to win the battle if Herzlich were to slip.
I think Herzlich will be a key member of the Giants' defense in 2013, winning the starting job and leading the defense.
Stock Down: Hakeem Nicks
Training camp is the time for quarterbacks to hone in on their chemistry with their receivers, and Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks are missing that time because of a lingering injury that has kept Nicks out of training camp.
ESPN New York's Kieran Darcy reports that Nicks suffered a groin injury on Sunday, which is more bad news for a receiver who was largely affected by multiple injuries last season.
As much as Coughlin knows how important Nicks' play is to his offense, the New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano reports that Coughlin is "frustrated" by Nicks' absence from camp.
The injury woes certainly won't affect Nicks' standing as the No. 1 wide receiver for the Giants, but for now, his stock is definitely down, especially with his head coach.
Stock Up: Rueben Randle
Unless you live under a rock, you've likely heard how well Rueben Randle has progressed throughout training camp this season, which certainly has his stock up in 2013.
ESPN.com's Ohm Youngmisuk highlighted Randle's excellent showing at practice on Monday, July 29, noting that Tom Coughlin was impressed with the way Randle was competing against cornerback Prince Amukamara.
The progress of Randle's development couldn't be better news for the G-Men.
With Nicks still missing significant time with Eli Manning in training camp, New York is counting on Randle to be the No. 3 wideout and potentially line up as a starter should Nicks or Victor Cruz get injured.
Randle showed flashes of brilliance toward the end of the 2012 season. It sounds like his talent is finally coming to fruition for the Giants.
Stock Down: Will Hill
Safety Will Hill was in direct competition for a backup safety job until the NFL hit him with a four-game suspension for using a banned substance by the league.
According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com, Hill failed a couple of drug tests last year due to marijuana use and will serve his suspension to start this season following a failed appeal.
With only a season in the NFL under his belt, Hill's stock has definitely taken a hit. Not only will he miss the beginning of the 2013 season, but he now has character issues surrounding him as well.
Stock Up: Prince Amukamara
Slated to be the Giants' No. 1 corner this season, Prince Amukamara has improved by leaps and bounds during the offseason.
The New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano mentioned Amukamara as one of his five Giants players who have stood out in training camp thus far, highlighting the third-year cornerback's confidence and ability to always be in the right place at the right time.
The New York Post's Paul Schwartz also made note of Amukamara's play in camp on Twitter, tweeting that Coughlin has been impressed by the way the corner has competed so far.
The 24-year-old has come a long way from his days of being hazed as an NFL rookie and appears to be a big key for the Giants' defense in 2013.
Stock Down: Jason Pierre-Paul
Similar to Hakeem Nicks, Jason Pierre-Paul's stock is down simply because of injury.
Is he still the best pass-rusher on the Giants? Absolutely, but the fact that he's still dealing with issues from offseason back surgery and could miss Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys makes his stock fall in my eyes.
After the way New York's defense performed last season, it desperately needs a healthy JPP on the field, especially with Osi Umenyiora no longer playing for the Giants.
The health of JPP could make or break the Giants' season.