It’s the bye week for the New York Giants. That means that it’s time for us to take a look back at the 2016 Giants through the first part of their season. Ed got us started with a look back at the Giants’ biggest free agency signings.
Here I’ll be taking a look at some Giants who should see more snaps in the second half of the season.
1 - Jerell Adams
The rookie tight end from South Carolina hasn’t seen much action outside of special teams. He did get on the field on offense a few times leading up to the Giants’ bye week. He responded with some nice receptions, showing off his catch radius and athleticism.
As the Giants take a breath before the second half of their season, the tight end situation sets up well for Adams to get more snaps. Larry Donnell has all the tools to be a top flight tight end ... if only he had Dwayne Harris’ brain.
Will Tye is a weapon between the 20s. He plays with much more physicality than Donnell, and is always fun to watch when he gets the chance to run with the ball. However, at 6-foot-3 he doesn’t present the same kind of target as Donnell, and while he is a willing blocker his technique hasn’t developed yet.
Adams is an athletic, 6-5, 250-pound tight end, who was considered a “blocking first” tight end. At South Carolina he was lauded by his coaches for his willingness to do the dirty work — blocking and special teams. That kind of mentality is what the Giants need to on their offense and help their struggling running game. He is unproven in the passing game, but Adams brings what the Giants need in the running game, and they should take advantage of that.
2 - Devon Kennard
After a great — albeit injury shortened — rookie season, Kennard had Giants fans ecstatic that they might just have a really good linebacker. His sophomore season was likewise injured in his sophomore season and failed to take a step forward.
This season he has played a fraction of the defense’s total snaps, often coming off the field in nickel packages. At least until the week seven game against the Los Angeles Rams. In that game he still played less than half the total snaps, but he saw the field as a defensive end in obvious passing situations.
The Giants had one of their best defensive performances of the year, notching three sacks and four interceptions. That isn’t all due to Kennard’s rushing ability, but his speed off the snap is something the defense had sorely lacked.
The Giants have been getting pressure, but they need to convert that pressure into sacks. The answer might be using more of Kennard’s skill-set than just his ability to stuff runs.
3 - Paul Perkins
Giants fans have waited a long time to see Paul Perkins on the field. The Giants’ fifth-round draft pick from UCLA was held out of the off-season program due to rules requiring him from attending until his class graduated.
But once he got on the field, he proved to be one of the Giants’ more exciting offensive players. He brings a quickness and agility to the Giants’ rushing attack that the other options simply lack. With the offensive line struggling to open holes — a problem for another time — the Giants need a back who has the patience to wait for holes to open, the vision to see them, and the quickness and agility to pick his way through the trash and hit the hole.
That’s Paul Perkins.
He saw the second most snaps of any of the Giants’ running backs against the Rams, but it was still just 15 snaps. Ben McAdoo hinted that Perkins’ share of the offense could increase going forward, and it probably should.
4 - Bobby Hart
It might be a bit counter-intuitive to say that a starter needs more snaps, but this is more to say that Bobby Hart needs to REMAIN the starting right tackle (at least, of course, barring the Giants believing that Will Beatty is a better option).
As Giants fans are well aware, Marshall Newhouse opened the season as the starter, and he even played a really nice game against the Dallas Cowboys. The good feelings were short-lived, and he reverted to form against the New Orleans Saints. Since then, he has been out with a strained calf and Hart took over as the starter. He had solid games against the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, and the Rams.
That’s not to say I believe that he is the Giants’ answer at RT — he still struggles to keep up with speed rushers and I believe his best position is right guard — but he is proving the ability to at least hang at right tackle. That’s something Newhouse hasn’t consistently shown, and unless Hart is surpassed by Beatty, he should remain a starter.
5 - Darian Thompson
I’ll admit, this one is at least in part to pad my stats, because DT is likely to regain the starting job once he returns from his foot sprain, which should be after the bye week.
I can take nothing away from Andrew Adams, who has played better than could be expected for an undrafted rookie thrown from the practice squad to the starting roster. But that being said, Darian Thompson is better. He fell to the third round thanks to a combine performance marred by a stomach flu, but he has shown bonafide first-round talent. The defense simply plays better and faster when he is on the field. His communication skills helps Spags’ voluminous defense function as it should, and his ability to reliably take away deep passes gives the defensive coordinator the confidence to call some audacious and aggressive blitzes. Also, with the Giants hopefully taking steps to improve their pass rush (more snaps for Kennard, perhaps more and more aggressive blitzes, more snaps for other back-ups like Jay Bromley, Owa Odighizuwa, Kerry Wynn, and Romeo Okwara), Thompson’s ability as a ballhawk will also come into play.