We don't know which rookies are going to make the team. Training camp hasn't started. It's virtually ludicrous to try and predict anything about the New York Giants 2014 season. Since when has something like that stopped us? So let's get to it and make some predictions about what the Giants' rookies will do in 2014.
Round 1 - Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
Prediction: 50 receptions, 766 yards, 15.27 YPC, 6 TDs. 0 Kickoffs/Punt returns
"ODB" will be an instant starter from day 1. The Giants, as stated by Jerry Reese, likes Victor Cruz as an inside presence only. That means somebody is going to play outside opposite Rueben Randle. It certainly isn't Jerrel Jernigan, who is a slot guy, and I don't think Mario Manningham still has that kind of juice to be a starting wide receiver.
Enter the first-rounder. His route running and separation skills are so advanced at this stage that I don't foresee much competition for that outside spot. I believe the Giants' base offensive formation will be three wide receivers, so I see him taking the vast majority of the snaps this year. So how will he do? I don't think he's going to be offensive rookie of the year good, but he'll get his targets. More than the tangible numbers he'll put up, his real effect will be on the other receivers, opening things up and clearing the field.
I also think he won't be on special teams. I do think the Giants keep Trindon Holliday and Quintin Demps, both of whom were top 10 returners last year.
Round 2 - Weston Richburg, OC, Colorado State
Prediction: 12 starts, 2 sacks allowed
I don't see Richburg as a starter right at the start, however, I definitely see him getting a starting gig by Week 4. He either wins the center job outright, or someone will inevitably get injured (perhaps Snee or Walton, both of which are medical question marks), allowing Richburg to slide in to center or right guard.
I definitely think that he will have a positive impact. Most centers don't give up big sack amounts, but I do see him struggling early on, allowing a couple sacks, but I can see a rapid improvement due to his intelligence and movement ability. I think the center of the future is here to stay and he's going to be a good one.
Round 3 - Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse
Prediction: 0 starts, 18 tackles, 1 sack, 3 TFL, 1 PD.
A slow start for the 3 technique from Syracuse. Like all high defensive tackle draft picks of late from the New York Giants, I see this as more of a redshirt year for Bromley. He likely gets a similar amount of snaps as Johnathan Hankins did last year.
Cullen Jenkins is firmly entrenched as the starter next to Hankins, and I don't envision Bromley beating him out anytime soon. I do see him making an impact in the rotation as the fourth guy behind those two and Mike Patterson. As a pass rusher, I can see him getting a garbage time sack as well as a few tackles for loss. He's definitely a work in progress, so don't expect immediate gratification, but with some technique refinement, we may just have something here.
4th Round Pick - Andre Williams, RB, Boston College
Prediction: Pain. Also: 84 carries, 388 yards, 4.6 YPC, 5 TDs. 4 rec, 18 yards
Andre Williams will quickly gain favor with head coach Tom Coughlin due to his personality and toughness. I envision him as the short yardage back right away, getting about 5-10 snaps each game. Despite having some goal line carries, I definitely see him with that high of a yards per carry, due to the fact that the running game will be helped by a better offensive line and a scheme that should allow for a more horizontal passing attack that prevents eight men crowding the box.
I don't see Williams getting many receptions, most should be reserved for Rashad Jennings and David Wilson. He'll be the "Smash" as some of our community members have stated, to Jennings' "Bash" and Wilson's "Dash."
Round 5 - Nat Berhe, SS, SDSU
Prediction: 16 tackles. 3 of the "hard knocks" variety.
Berhe might be small, but he's a more violent tackler than Calvin Pryor. He launches his entire body with reckless abandon and provides a number of bone-crunching hits.
I think he makes the team but primarily as a special teamer. I think he'll be one of the core guys, though. In coverage at SDSU, he understood angles better than my 8th grade geometry teacher. That'll make him a very good player to have on kickoff and punt cover teams. Hopefully there won't be a billion touchdowns scored by the other team anymore.
Round 5 - Devon Kennard, LB, USC
Prediction: 33 tackles, 1 PD
I'm a big believer in Devon Kennard. From a "value" perspective, he was probably the biggest "steal" the Giants got in this draft. I know he's been plagued with injuries, so that is something that I feel might hold him back. However, I think if he can go injury free this year he'll be another guy that can contribute from this class.
He's got very good instincts, decent athleticism, and plays with fine technique. Do I think he beats out Mark Herzlich for the middle linebacker backup job? Many would say not a chance, due to him not being a natural fit at MLB and Coughlin's penchant to play veterans, but I think he's got as good a shot as anybody.
The fact that he can play not only middle linebacker and strongside linebacker, but can be a "DPR" (designated pass rusher) as well can only help his chances of sticking on the roster. Would likely be our best blitzing linebacker.
I see him getting some garbage time minutes as well as being a special teamer in his first year here, and that'll let him rack up a few stats.
Round 6 - Bennett Jackson, CB, Notre Dame
Prediction: 0 tackles
I don't know that Jackson will make this team. He's got a boatload of physical ability, but he's really just learning the cornerback position. He doesn't have good technique and wasn't highly productive at Notre Dame on defense.
What he can do, however, is play special teams and can be a demon on the squad. However, it seems to me that with so many players that can play on special teams now, as well as how loaded the secondary is, if Jackson does make the team, I wouldn't be surprised if he was left off the active roster. Who knows though, can't ever discount a team captain from making his way.
UDFA No. 1 - Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina
Prediction: 4 tackles, 1 TFL
Yes, I do believe that Quarles makes the roster. I even think he can beat out Markus Kuhn, who is coming off an ACL tear. On a pure talent basis, Quarles certainly seems to be on the higher end of the Giants defensive tackle spectrum, and if he can make an impact in the preseason, I don't doubt he'll see active time as the fifth defensive tackle on the roster.
Granted, that active time might be in the form of one to two games towards the end of the year in garbage time, but it's something to build off of. If he stays out of trouble and refines his first step and leveraging skills, he could be the gem of the UDFA crop of not only the Giants, but the entire league. Watch out for him.
UDFA No. 2 - Xavier Grimble, TE, USC
Prediction: 0 receptions
I think the other guy that can make the team is Xavier Grimble. He's certainly a bit more of a longshot to get on, but his competition isn't exactly the fiercest. With Bear Pascoe gone and only Kellen Davis signed as of my writing this piece, Grimble is behind only Davis, Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell.
If he does make it on the team, he'll likely be one of the guys that are a healthy scratch, but to make it on the team is an accomplishment in itself. He'd set himself up nicely if one of the top guys were to get injured.