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Ten things we learned from New York Giants' mini-camp

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A look at some of what we learned about the Giants during mini-camp.

Mark Herzlich
Mark Herzlich
Jim Rogash

The New York Giants' mandatory mini-camp is over, and the team won't reconvene until training camp begins in late July. Here are 10 quick takeaways from watching the practices at the Timex Performance Center.

  1. Mark Herzlich is the starting middle linebacker. I did not think that would be the case when the offseason program started, but Herzlich is clearly ahead of Dan Connor on the depth chart heading into training camp, and looking like he deserves the job.
  2. David Wilson wants to return kickoffs. "That’s the part of the game that I like the most ever since I started playing football. That was age eight," Wilson said this week.
  3. Aaron Ross is ahead of Jayron Hosley. Ross has been working ahead of the second-year man in the slot cornerback role.
  4. Remember Charles James and Brandon Collins. Heading into training camp James, a cornerback, and Collins, a wide receiver, appear to be the two undrafted players with the best chances of sticking around.
  5. David Diehl isn't going away quietly. The veteran Diehl is not going to give up the right tackle job easily. "the man is not going to give up the job. ... I think it is going to be very difficult for someone to unseat him," said offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride.
  6. Rueben Randle has been impressive. "That was not what we saw last year; not by a longshot," Gilbride said after watching Randle in mini-camp.
  7. Run defense looks better. It's tough to tell during non-contact drills, to be honest, but during 11-on-11 drills there seemed to be better play vs. the run than their was a season ago. That has been a huge point of emphasis for the Giants.
  8. Punt return is still wide open. Pretty much the same cast of characters as last year are competing, although Wilson and James have also been in the mix.
  9. Fights can happen even without pads. There were two fights on Wednesday, which did not please coach Tom Coughlin at all. These were 'non-contact' practices, after all.
  10. Hakeem Nicks isn't sweating missing OTAs. The wide receiver said there is "Nothing too much is new for me in this offense," and didn't feel like he missed much by skipping voluntary workouts. Coughlin and Gilbride disagreed.