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OTA No. 7: What we’ll be watching Monday at Giants practice

One last offseason workout with media access

NFL: New York Giants-OTA
Eli Manning throws with Alex Tanney watching in the background.
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

What will happen on the field Monday during the final New York Giants OTA that will be open to the media? Here are some of the things yours truly will be looking for.

Can Eli continue strong spring?

In the two OTAs witnessed by media, 37-year-old quarterback Eli Manning has thrown the ball well, including hitting some deep throws.

That has apparently also been the case during the four sessions media has not witnessed, with writers from the team’s official website in agreement that Manning has thus far been the most impressive offensive player.

Let’s see if that continues.

Who’s there, and who isn’t?

The attendance game at these voluntary workouts is one everybody seems to love to play. We will take attendance, let you know who is there and who isn’t, and which players might be working on the side as they nurse injuries. I’m avoiding the name of a certain wide receiver, but of course there will be curiosity about No. 13.

Where’s the beef? On the Giants’ d-line

With Damon Harrison attending last Tuesday’s OTA, the Giants unveiled a three-man defensive front with Harrison (341 pounds) at the nose with Dalvin Tomlinson (317) and rookie B.J. Hill (311) at the ends. That would be nearly 1,000 pounds of beef protecting the Giants’ linebackers should the Giants should to align that way during games.

We will see Monday if that alignment continues, and how the rest of the defensive line rotation shakes out. It is interesting to see Hill, a collegiate nose tackle, being used as an end. Kevin Patrick, Hill’s defensive line coach at North Carolina State, told me a few weeks ago that the third-round pick had the athleticism to play the 5-tech.

New kickoff alignment

Safety Michael Thomas, one of the league’s premier kickoff coverage players, recently discussed those changes at length. Perhaps the Giants have practiced the kickoff during OTAs, but we haven’t seen it in the sessions open to media. I’m curious to see the alignment, how it’s taught, and whether or not the Giants are preparing Saquon Barkley as a potential kickoff returner.

Other stuff

  • Hunter Sharp, a wide receiver/kickoff returner who came to the Giants late last season, has had a nice spring. Will it continue?
  • The Giants have been shuffling Jon Halapio and Brett Jones at center, and rotating Patrick Omameh, Will Hernandez and John Greco at the first-team guard spots. We’ll see if anything changes there.
  • There has been some chatter about how the Giants are moving Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and Barkley around. I will be watching Monday to see where those guys are lining up.

Another Sunday closer!

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