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Five Giants make NFL.com top 100 rookies of 2016 list

Let's break down the list

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William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

There is really no way to know how much impact NFL rookies will have on their teams until the games begin and we actually see them perform. Still, we try to grade and judge how teams did long before the games begin. Reviews of the New York Giants 2016 NFL Draft have been mostly encouraging, and now, with five Giants making it, you can add NFL.com's list of the projected top 100 rookies of 2016 to that list

Here is how NFL.com's Chase Goodbread projects the five Giants who made his list.

CB Eli Apple (No. 24)

It remains to be seen where Apple will fit in the Giants' secondary, but with the nickel package being the predominant look in the NFL now, his cover skills will get him on the field early.

Since Apple was drafted 10th overall by the Giants, perhaps seeing him at No. 24 on the list isn't comforting. Perhaps you still believe, like I do, that the preferred course of action the way the first round unfolded would have been to trade down into the middle of the first round and acquire an additional third- or fourth-round pick. Maybe you believe that if the Giants were going to select a cornerback that Vernon Hargreaves or William Jackson would have been a more palatable choice. Maybe you believe the Giants mishandled the first round. No matter, really.

Apple is a Giant, and he is a player most analysts believe has a bright NFL future. In a league where having three starting-caliber cornerbacks is a must, there is a huge role awaiting Apple in the Giants defense.

Dave-Te' Thomas of NFL Draft Report, a long-time NFL scout, called Apple "the best cornerback in the draft not named Jalen Ramsey."

By the way, did you get your Eli Apple Giants t-shirt yet?

WR Sterling Shepard (No. 31)

Whether Victor Cruz returns to form or not, Shepard puts a new weapon around Eli Manning, most likely from the slot.

ESPN's Mel Kiper fawned over the Giants selection of Shepard:

Sterling Shepard is a great get for any team, and Eli Manning is going to love him. Take that guy anywhere and I'll like the pick.

Thomas called Shepard a Hines Ward clone and "One of our staff's favorite in this draft class."

S Darian Thompson (No. 51)

There will be plenty of competition for the Giants' free safety position, but as the only safety the club selected, Thompson should be squarely in the middle of it.

It has been a while since the Giants had a ball-hawking safety who could patrol the back end of the defense and make plays. If Thompson's collegiate production translates to the NFL that will change.

RB Paul Perkins (No. 84)

GM Jerry Reese added a productive rusher with dazzling open-field ability here, albeit a relatively small one (5-foot-10, 208 pounds).

The Giants think Perkins has the potential to be a three-down back. With established backs already on the roster, the question for 2016 is how much of an opportunity is going going to get?

TE Jerell Adams (No. 86)

The G-Men got the steal of the sixth round here in a lengthy, athletic pass-catcher whose blocking skills opened eyes at the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Adams is all potential as both a pass catcher and a blocker. The question will be how quickly all that potential turns into NFL production.