The New York Giants enter the final phase of their offseason program on Tuesday as they begin a three-day mandatory minicamp. Let’s look at some of the storylines to follow during the minicamp.
Will he practice or won’t he?
Will wide receiver Victor Cruz join his teammates on the practice field for the first time in 2016? Coming back from a torn patellar tendon and calf surgery, Cruz has run some on the side but not yet taken part in any team drills.
Cruz said over the weekend that he hopes the team’s medical staff will allow him to take part in the minicamp.
"I'm feeling good. I ran some routes this past Friday, some full speed routes and everything went well," Cruz said Saturday. "We'll see what happens next week. They might throw me out there with the wolves a little bit so we'll see how it goes.”
Coach Ben McAdoo has been consistent throughout the spring in saying that the Giants hoped to have Cruz on the field for training camp.
"He’s progressing, but he’s still in a holding pattern.,” McAdoo said following a recent OTA. “We’re looking forward to getting him back to training camp.”
When the Giants hit the field Tuesday morning for their first of three practices, all eyes will be focused on finding out whether or not the team is willing to advance that timetable.
Can the little man keep coming up big?
Undrafted free agent cornerback Donte Deayon, just 5-foot-9, 158 pounds, was perhaps the most impressive of the undrafted players during OTAs. Deayon intercepted 17 passes during his career at Boise State, and came up with a couple of picks in OTA workouts.
The Giants likely have a couple of roster spots open behind Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Janoris Jenkins, Eli Apple and Trevin Wade. If Deayon can continue his impressive play, he will earn a long look from the Giants in training camp and the preseason.
In a conversation earlier this spring, Deayon told me he understands the circumstance and believes he has a chance to make the team.
"Yes definitely, I do. I really do," Deayon said when asked if he thought he had a realistic shot at making the team. "I know it's not gonna be easy, it's never gonna come easy, but I'm willing to put in the work and the time to make sure I try to secure a roster spot.
"There's nobody my size that's doing it, now I've got the chance to be a standard.”
Nothing to see on OL, unless ...
By now it’s an old saw, a tired narrative, a dead horse. Whatever you want to call it. The right side of the Giants’ offensive line continues to be the main area of concern for the fan base. Throughout the spring the Giants have given no indication that anyone on the roster is truly competing to oust right guard John Jerry or right tackle Marshall Newhouse from a starting job.
The offensive line is a minicamp non-story ... unless, of course, someone like Bobby Hart or Byron Stingily suddenly gets some reps with the starters.
Here is some of our previous coverage of the offensive line:
- So far, Bobby Hart working with backups
- Ereck Flowers feeling more comfortable
- Vikings’ Phil Loadholt a player to watch?
- Hart: “My best years are ahead of me”
Wide receiver casting call?
Even if Cruz does not practice, there will be plenty of reason to watch the wide receivers. The last couple of roster spots for receivers are, as we have said before, up for grabs. Perhaps the favorites would be Myles White and second-year man Geremy Davis, but the fight for these spots remains wide open.
Undrafted Roger Lewis has had his moments. French wide receiver Anthony Dable is a player many are curious about, but he has thus far done little to separate himself.
We have already mentioned a few rookies, but let's look at them as a group.
- Will the Giants continue to rotate first-round pick Eli Apple at both slot corner and outside?
- Second-round pick Sterling Shepard has been drawing raves. Let’s see if that continues.
- How is the competition for the second safety job shaping up between third-round pick Darian Thompson and third-year man Nat Berhe? So, far it has been like a tennis match with the duo taking turns trading winning volleys.
- Fourth-round pick B.J. Goodson has been used thus far as a reserve middle linebacker. Let’s see if that continues.
- Fifth-round pick Paul Perkins has catching up to do after a league rule regarding his graduation date forced him to miss OTAs. Let’s see where he stands.
- Sixth-round pick Jerell Adams has been inconsistent in catching the ball. Hopefully, he settles in and becomes a reliable target.
Linebacker pairings and the tight end competition will also be interesting to watch. Jobs are not being won or lost right now, but we’re looking for signs of which players might be gaining an edge heading to training camp.
Use the Twitter feed below for live updates during practice.