One of the most interesting parts of any training camp is watching the progress of the young players. The Giants' 2014 training camp is no exception. Seeing how the draft picks fit in, and seeing if second- and third-year players have made significant strides is part of what you look for.
Apparently, Football Outsiders is not impressed with the crop of young Giants. In an article for ESPN, Football Outsiders Scott Kacsmar ranks the Giants core of under-25 players 30th among the league's 32 teams.
The Giants were at their best in 2011 with a three-receiver attack. With Hakeem Nicks gone to Indianapolis, Rueben Randle and rookie Odell Beckham Jr. must be ready to make sizable contributions. Adrien Robinson projects as the starter at tight end, but he has yet to catch a pass in the NFL. On a ravaged offensive line last season, rookie right tackle Justin Pugh did a respectable job. Rookie center Weston Richburg does not appear ready to earn a starting role yet. The Giants might be higher if David Wilson had been more productive, but the young running back is trying to recover from a serious neck injury.
Tom Coughlin has had a steady supply of defensive linemen over the years, and the latest group of starters includes Damontre Moore and Johnathan Hankins. For what it's worth, SackSEER (our projection model for college pass-rushers) really liked Moore as a pro prospect.
Honestly, this is a big part of the reason that the Giants had to be so aggressive in free agency during the offseason. They simply don't have enough young players they can depend on.
That could change if third-year players Reuben Randle, David Wilson, Adrien Robinson and Brandon Mosley become key contributors. It could change if Johnathan Hankins and Damontre Moore become productive players on the defensive line. It could change if Odell Beckham Jr., Weston Richburg and Andre Williams are key parts of restoring the Giants' offense.
For now, though, the assertion that the Giants' under-25 group isn't good enough is pretty tough to argue with.