The New York Giants wrap up mandatory mini-camp Thursday, their last work together until training camp roughly six weeks from now. It’s a perfect time to revisit what we have seen with a “Kudos & Wet Willies” look at the spring workouts.
Kudos to ...
Odell Beckham Jr. — He has done everything the Giants have asked him to do this spring, and he appears to be having fun doing it.
Eli Manning — I have said it a number of times, but the veteran quarterback has looked exceptionally sharp all spring. Nobody knows for sure what will happen when the games start, but it’s been an excellent beginning for the Giants’ quarterback.
Saquon Barkley — As advertised. He looks like a terrific player. He also appears to be a genuine, good person.
William Gay — He seems to be playing well so far, but there is really no telling yet how much the 33-year-old has left in the tank. He has, however, been the best example of what the Giants tried to accomplish by signing several veteran leaders to the roster in free agency. He’s been the driving force toward building camaraderie in the secondary and a constant voice in the ear of Eli Apple.
Eli Apple — Can’t say enough about the change in attitude for Apple. From a dour, divisive guy last season to one who has been accountable this spring for last year. He has also played well, although he was penalized a few times during the first two days of mini-camp.
Davis Webb — I’m not ready to anoint the second-year quarterback as the future, but he has had a good spring. He had some great throws and a few bad misses during the first couple of days of mini-camp, but his improvement from last season is apparent.
Will Hernandez — The second-round pick appears to be the real deal. In talking to him the things that are most impressive are how much he cares about his teammates and how much he wants to get better at his craft.
B.J. Hill — C’mon, who expected the third-round pick, a collegiate nose tackle, to emerge as a probable starter at defensive end?
Curtis Riley — The more you watch the way the Giants are splitting up reps, the more you get the idea that when everything is said and done it could be Riley, a converted corner with just 11 games of NFL experience, who could end up starting next to Landon Coillins at safety.
Jon Halapio — From journeyman, to 2017 fill-in, to a guy who has emerged as a serious contender to be the starting center for the Giants in 2018. Perhaps, as of now, he is even the favorite.
Our ‘Summer School’ series — Yeah, yeah, this one is a little self-serving. I love this series, though, and if you aren’t reading it you are missing out on an opportunity to learn some football.
Pat Shurmur — I honestly have no idea right now whether Shurmur is going to be a spectacular success, spectacular failure or somewhere in-between as Giants’ head coach. What I do know is there is a more professional, more relaxed, more welcoming feeling around the Giants this season. That is because of the tone set by the coach.
Wet Willies to ...
Cancer — It sucks! We all know it and have been impacted by it. Good luck to general manager Dave Gettleman in his fight with lymphoma.
Roger Lewis Jr. — He seems to have lost ground in the competition at wide receiver. Cody Latimer, Hunter Sharp and recently even Amba Etta-Tawo have been getting reps ahead of the third-year player who caught 36 passes a season ago.
Avery Moss and R.J. McIntosh — Maybe it’s not fair to give guys Wet Willies for being injured, but neither player got on the field at all this spring. That will make it very difficult for either guy to make the 53-man roster this summer.
Kwillies to ...
Ereck Flowers — He gets a ‘Wet Willie’ for not showing up during the first month of voluntary workouts. He gets “Kudos” for working hard to learn his new position since deciding to join his teammates, and for showing the right attitude about his position switch and status with the team during a meeting with reporters on Wednesday.