In the final post of our three-part series discussing the New York Giants with Carl Banks, the former great Giants outside linebacker and current Giants radio analyst, we talk about the youthful members of the defensive secondary who seem primed to make contributions this season.
The trio of young players who have garnered attention are, of course, cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Jayron Hosley, and safety Will Hill.
Amukamara, the 2011 first-round draft choice, will be the team's starting right cornerback. His play in limited time a season ago, when he missed half the year with a broken foot, was uninspiring. The best way to describe his work so far this preseason would be to call it uneven.
Banks called Amukamara a "red-shirt rookie' and indicated that he simply needs experience."The cornerback position is one where the training wheels come off as soon as you get on the field. Do I think he has ability? Yes. At that position nobody notices you until you get beat," Banks said. "I think it's just a matter of him getting more repititions out there so that he can play a little bit more instinctively. That's a position where you really do have to get out there and play, you've gotta experience it.
"Corey Webster was the same way early in his career. I just think he needs to see it and he needs to make sure he keeps his confidence level up."
Banks did add that the 6-foot, 206-pound Amukamara is "a very physical run defender."
Hosley appeared to be emerging as the team's slot corner in the nickel defense before suffering a turf toe injury against the New York Jets. Banks thinks the 5-foot-10, 178-pound rookie from Virginia Tech should contribute to the defense.
"He's got skills, he comes from a program in college that their players come in semi-NFL ready. He's got great hips, great ankles, good ball skills," Banks said.
Hill has spent a great deal of time during preseason working in the hybrid linebacker/safety role Deon Grant used to play. He has also seen time as a deep safety and a slot corner. Despite the work Hill has gotten, and the attention he has drawn, Banks said he would be "shocked" if Hill has a major role on the defense as long as everyone else is healthy.
"I don't know if you're going to see a lot of Will Hill. He's been out of football for a year and he's just learning the program," Banks said. "He's still learning the game of football. There's really raw talent there, but he's not refined at this point."