A year ago at this time, Brandon McManus was considered little more than camp fodder for the New York Giants, someone on the roster simply to ease the preseason workload of veteran placekicker Josh Brown. McManus turned into more than that, pushing Brown hard for the job. Now, there is another young kicker taking aim at Brown's job. Let's look at Chris Boswell as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2014 Season in Review
Boswell, who played collegiately at Rice, went two-for-two in field-goal attempts for the Houston Texans during the 2014 preseason. He made kicks from 33 and 44 yards. Boswell, 24, had two touchbacks in 10 kickoffs. He can also punt, and averaged 44.3 yards on 15 punts during the preseason with the Texans. He was released at the end of the preseason, but spent part of the year on the Houston practice squad.
A year ago it was Brandon McManus who challenged veteran incumbent Josh Brown for the placekicking job. McManus lost, despite an excellent training camp and preseason, but ultimately gained the Giants a draft pick as we was traded to the Denver Broncos for a seventh-rounder. The Giants eventually used that pick as part of the package that helped them move up in the 2015 NFL Draft to select Landon Collins.
Now, the 24-year-old Boswell is the young challenger for the 36-year-old Brown. Can Boswell do what McManus could not do, unseat the 12-year veteran Brown? Probably not. Boswell has a strong leg, having made 13 field goals of more than 50 yards during his three-year career at Rice. He also has the advantage of having the versality to punt in emergencies. He punted 16 times at Rice, averaging 40.4 yards.
Boswell probably stands little chance of sticking with the Giants as long as Brown, who had the best season of his career in 2014, remains healthy.