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New York Giants rookie mini-camp report, Day 1: Top three picks all impress

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Giants' rookies took the field for the first time on Friday.

Tom Coughlin
Tom Coughlin
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants held their first of two rookie mini-camp practices on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Head coach Tom Coughlin said there were a "couple of" objecitves for a mini-camp like this one.

"You would like to take the draft choices and college free agents that have been signed and accelerate their learning. Throw a lot at them and see how they handle it," Coughlin said. "For the invited players, you are evaluating. You are trying to see if they can help you and what capacity they might help you versus some of the opportunities you have here. You have a lot of things in mind for this."

It is impossible to make any substantive judgments after one workout in shorts and t-shirt where 11-on-11 play was severely limited, but let's go through a few observations.

The very first thing I noticed was that during the initial defensive drill second-round pick Landon Collins. in his first practice, was helping second-year player Bennett Jackson get lined up properly.

It was admittedly only one workout against a majority of players who will never play a down in the NFL, but Coughlin said he saw enough to believe Collins can be much more than a box safety, an impression which is part of the reason Collins fell to the Giants at No. 33.

"What I saw today went back to what I really do believe, and that is that he can play in the middle of the field, he can play in the deep half, he can do those things as well as come down and be a physical force in the tackle box," Coughlin said.

More safety stuff

Speaking of Jackson, he has officially been moved to safety. Coughlin said that "right now" Chykie Brown, thought to be a conversion candidate, will remain at cornerback.

Quotable

There are 11 Canadian Football League players taking part in the mini-camp.

"We tried to set the record (for most Canadian players in a mini-camp). I think we got it."

-- Coughlin

Family affair

A couple of the tryout players attending mini-camp have Giants' family connections. Andrew Robustelli, a wide receiver from Jacksonville, is the grandson of Hall of Fame defensive end Andy Robustelli. Quarterback Taylor Graham, from Hawaii, is the son of former Giants quarterback Kent Graham.

Practice highlights

Truthfully, there weren't any exceptional plays of note. There are, however, some things worth mentioning.

  • Third-round pick Owamagbe Odighizuwa is really quick off the snap. Either that or offensive tackle Sean Donnelly, one of the undrafted free agent signees, is really slow. On three successive plays during an abbreviated 11-on-11 stretch Odighizuwa had the corner before the seemingly slow-footed 6-foot-8 Donnelly was out of his stance.
  • CFL center Brett Jones, who signed a three-year contract, was getting an earful from offensive line coach Pat Flaherty about dropping his hands between punches in a blocking sled drill.
  • First-round pick Ereck Flowers is a monstrously large person who moves very well for a 329-pounder. Coughlin believes Flowers will do well in pass protection. "He's a big man. You're going to have to navigate a lot to get around him," Coughlin said. Read absolutely nothing into this, but Flowers spent his first practice lined up at left tackle.
  • Former Giants Brandon Jacobs and Deon Grant were spotted at the facility.
  • Wide receiver Geremy Davis, drafted in the sixth round, was being used as a gunner during punt drills.
  • Matt LaCosse, a tight end from Illinois who was one of the six UDFAs to sign contracts, is a player to remember. He looks like a guy who can catch the ball well, might be able to stretch defenses while lined up in the slot and, while you can't judge blocking in shorts and t-shirts, showed a willingness to do that.