FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 1: James Brewer #73 of the New York Giants battles Markell Carter #49 of the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium on September 1, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
James Brewer, the New York Giants' reserve offensive tackle entering his second NFL season, has been ranked as the No. 8 under-the-radar player who could make an impact in 2012 and beyond by Football Outsiders. Da'Rel Scott of the Giants was listed as an honorable mention after the list of 25.
Football Outsiders' list is, by their own admission, not created with any traditional method. Here is the unique criteria FO used to come up with its rankings:we use a combination of statistics, measurables, context and expected role to compile a list of under-the-radar players whom we expect to make an impact in the NFL, both in 2012 and beyond.
We limit the pool to players who fit the following criteria:
- Drafted in the third round or later, or signed as an undrafted free agent
- Entered the NFL between 2009 and 2011
- Fewer than five career games started
- Still on their initial contract
- Age 26 or younger in 2012
"The Super Bowl champs were perfectly happy to let Kareem McKenzie leave in free agency this offseason because they're fairly confident that Brewer can take over the right tackle spot in his sophomore year. (If he fails in training camp, there is a backup plan: Kevin Boothe at left guard with David Diehl at right tackle.) Brewer has long arms and good balance with a strong lower base. Unfortunately, he also has a history of knee and ankle injuries, which helped knock him down to the fourth round of last year's draft."
When it comes to Brewer I will believe it when I see it. Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride would not be as worried about the health of left tackle Will Beatty if he truly believed Brewer was ready to play. On top of which, if anything does happen best guess is that veteran tackle Sean Locklear, signed as a free agent, gets on the field before Brewer this season.
As for Scott, he is going to have a difficult time making the 53-man roster in a crowded Giants' backfield.