Our New York Giants are expecting big things from each of 2009's second-round draft choices -- offensive tackle Will Beatty and outside linebacker Clint Sintim.
Which player do you think will take the biggest step forward for the Giants this season?
Both players will be given ample opportunity to become full-time starters this season. Truth is, the 2010 Giants need both players to begin justifying the high draft picks the Giants spent on them a year ago.
Whether it is the left side in place of David Diehl or the right side in place of Kareem McKenzie, the Giants would love to see Beatty earn a starting spot this season. Just listen to offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.
"He (Beatty) is a unique athletic guy. There are not many guys that have the foot speed that he has. Can he compete with those other guys? Yeah, we are hopeful. We are really hopeful," Gilbride said. "But those guys, again, they are very proud. And they are going to do everything they can to keep him seated just where he has been which is on the bench. So there is nothing bad that comes from competition. So I think the better he is the better off those other guys will play. And if they don't, then we will work him into the lineup. But it will be the best five guys.
Proud, yes. Young, athletic and with their best years in front of them? No. That is why the Giants need Beatty to step forward.
Here is General Manager Jerry Reese talking about that issue.
"We drafted Will high. We expect Will to challenge for his spot, create some competition at offensive line. You love continuity. If you have the five guys, that is a good thing. But at some point age comes into play and injuries come into play and you have to have some new blood to infuse into any position."
Sintim does not, on paper, have to win a job in training camp. Danny Clark is gone (thankfully), making Sintim the starting strong-side linebacker entering the season. Following a year in which he flashed tremendous pass-rushing potential during the pre-season, then had virtually no regular-season impact, the Giants need Sintim to be ready for full-time duty.
Here is Reese discussing his expectations for Sintim.
"He's a second-round pick. You expect those guys to come in and play," Reese said. "Your first three picks you always expect those guys to contribute right away.
He didn't play a lot last year. He flashed a little bit in a couple of games, but we expect him to really come on."
Sintim knows what is in front of him. Here is some of what he said earlier this off-season during an appearance on 'New York Giants Talk.'
"I had flashes, but by no means was I the player that I wanted to be," Sintim said. "There's a lot of factors that contributed to that, but almost all of those factors are me. So I really just want to recycle myself and re-evaluate what got me here and why I was the player I was in college and try to be that player on this next level."
"I want to be a dominant player in this league."