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OTA preview: What we can learn, the schedule, the rules, more

The Giants hold the first of 10 on-field practices Monday as Phase Three of the offseason program begins

NFL: New York Giants-Rookie Minicamp
Eli Apple
William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants begin Phase Three of the offseason program on Monday with the first of 10 on-field workouts. Here is a look at what we hope to learn from OTAs, the rules governing this phase of the offseason program and the complete OTA and minicamp schedule.

Practices will be closed to the public until training camp begins.

Things to watch

How the rookies fit in

This is an obvious one. These OTAs will give us our first glimpse of the rookies mixed in with returning players. Who looks like they belong? Who gets schooled by veterans? Which young players look comfortable? Confused? Do any of them stand out in a way that makes you think they could be first year difference makers? Which undrafted players make you take notice?

Positions of interest

  • Offensive line -- This is the one it seems Giants fans are most interested in, Or, probably more accurately, concerned about. Will second-year man Bobby Hart line up at right guard or right tackle? will he get any first-team reps? What about under-the-radar free-agent signee Byron Stingily? Will last year's first-round pick, Ereck Flowers, show improved technique?
  • Wide receiver -- Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Victor Cruz (if healthy) and Dwayne Harris are locks to make the roster. Beyond that, the Giants have nine players competing for what will probably be two roster spots. No one is going to win one during OTAs, but strong performances now could put guys on the radar come training camp. Who will take advantage?
  • Free safety -- Darian Thompson, Nat Berhe, Bennett Jackson and Mykkele Thompson would all appear to be competing for the spot opposite Landon Collins. Like with wide receiver, no one is winning or losing that competition in OTAs. It will be interesting, though, to see what the early pecking order is and whether or we can tell who meshes with Collins.

Other things to watch

There are, of course, many questions about the 2016 Giants. Here are some of the other ones we hope to get a glimpse of during OTAs?

Can first-round pick Eli Apple play in the slot? How will the fullback competition between Nikita Whitlock and Will Johnson play out? Will the Giants perhaps move away from using a traditional fullback? Which of the three veteran middle linebackers on the roster appears to have an advantage?

Phase Three rules

Phase Three consists of the next four weeks of the program. Teams may conduct a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or “OTAs”. No live contact is permitted, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

Giants OTA schedule

Monday, May 23 (media access)

Tuesday, May 24

Thursday, May 26

Wednesday, June 1 (media accoess)

Thursday, June 2

Friday, June 3

Monday, June 6 (media access)

Tuesday, June 7

Thursday, June 9

Friday, June 10

Mandatory minicamp will be held from June 14-16 (media access)