The New York Giants will hold their third OTA on Thursday. A couple of interesting things about this one — wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to attend, and media will have access to watch the proceedings and talk to select players for the first time.
Other than Beckham, below is a list of 10 players and things yours truly will be paying attention to Thursday. Practice begins at 11:15 a.m. ET. Be sure to follow @BigBlueView on Twitter for all of the proceedings.
We heard raves from veteran teammates about the first-round pick after Monday’s OTA, particularly regarding a pass Engram caught down the seam during that first offense vs. defense workout.
I’m anxious to get a first look at Engram — his speed, his size, his route-running and maybe even a glimpse of how the Giants might incorporate him into their offense.
The Backup Quarterbacks
Forget Eli Manning. The story of the OTAs, not to mention training camp and the preseason, will be what’s going on with the guys behind him.
How does rookie third-round pick Davis Webb look? Will there be any indication who the early leader for the No. 2 job is between veterans Josh Johnson and Geno Smith?
Offensive Line Shuffle
Let me be upfront. There won’t really be a way to tell from watching OTAs who is playing well and who isn’t. These are non-contact practices in shorts and t-shirts. There are, though, a few things we can hope to glean from the workouts.
First is whether or not Ereck Flowers is leaner, as offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan recently indicated, and whether or not he looks quicker or smoother in his movements. Second, and more obvious, is alignment. Where is D.J. Fluker being used, and how many reps is he getting? How does rookie Adam Bisnowaty look?
The Safety Split
Darian Thompson is back after missing all but two games of his rookie season with a foot injury. Reports from the team’s official web site have been that Thompson participate fully in the first couple of workouts and that he and Andrew Adams split first-team reps. It will be interesting to see how Thompson looks and get an early read on how that competition might play out.
Who Will Rise From The UDFA Ranks?
One or more undrafted free agents always seem to rise up and contribute for the Giants. Andrew Adams started 13 games a season ago, and Roger Lewis was also a contributor. Who will it be this time? Defensive tackle Jarron Jones, offensive linemen Jessamen Dunker and Chad Wheeler, wide receiver Travis Rudolph, linebacker Calvin Munson, safety Jadar Johnson and running back Khalid Abdullah are among the possibilities.
One practice is shorts won’t make or break any of these players. It will be interesting, though, to see if any of them look like they belong when mixed in with veteran NFL players.
The 2016 Practice Squadders
Chris recently looked at 2016 practice squad players getting a second chance. Cornerbacks Donte Deayon and Michael Hunter, defensive end/linebacker Ishaq Williams and wide receiver Darius Powe are among the players whose progress will be noteworthy.
Placekicker Aldrick Rosas played collegiately in the NAIA and has never kicked in a regular-season game. He has, however, drawn praise for his work thus far. There has been so much gnashing of teeth from the fan base about the need for a veteran placekicker, Rosas seems certain to draw attention from the media on Thursday.
The New Guys
The Giants were reportedly set to sign safety Duke Ihenacho and defensive end Devin Taylor as free agents on Wednesday. Let’s see if either is officially on the roster and in uniform for the OTA.
Tweaks To The Offense
We won’t see the entire playbook Thursday — the Giants are likely not close to having all of it installed. After a year in which the Giants relied almost exclusively on “11” personnel ad were often quite predictable on offense, head coach Ben McAdoo has promised more variety in 2017.
What bears watching on Thursday will be signs of how that might play out. How will receivers Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram be incorporated? How might the running game change? What personnel packages might McAdoo be toying with? Nothing, obviously, is set in stone at this point. We might, though, get a few hints.
As a rookie head coach in 2016, McAdoo made a lot of changes to the Giants’ schedule, how the practice, their weight room and more. Version 1.0 of anything, though, is subject to tweaks and — hopefully — improvements. McAdoo said during the offseason that he had a list of around 100 things he would do differently this season. It will be interesting to see if any of those are noticeable in the way practice is conducted.