Wednesday marks the start of one of the most exciting times of the year for New York Giants fans, and fans of the game league-wide. That is, of course, the start of training camp, when rookies and veterans alike get to practice for real and we get to see the work of the offseason come together.
Just ask NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah:
I love this time of year! A couple of NFL teams have already reported for training camp, while the rest of the clubs will report over the next few days. We will finally get a chance to see these full squads together, and it’s a great opportunity to check out this year’s rookie class.
Despite coming off of an embarrassing and disappointing 3-13 performance in 2017, there are plenty of reasons for to be excited for 2018. According to Jeremiah, a former NFL scout and current draft analyst for NFL.com, the Giants’ rookies should be a big cause for excitement.
In a new piece looking at which teams should get the most from their draft classes, Jeremiah puts the Giants at the top of the heap, saying:
1) New York Giants
The Giants scored the best player in the draft, and I expect him to have the biggest impact -- of all rookies -- in Year 1. Saquon Barkley has a rare blend of size, speed and versatility. He’s going to create space for the rest of the offense, and he’ll provide plenty of explosive plays. If needed, he could also contribute on special teams, although I wouldn’t advise it, due to workload/injury-risk concerns. Second-round OG Will Hernandez is a mauling run blocker, and he’ll fill a void on the offensive line.
On the defensive side of the ball, Lorenzo Carter is an ideal edge defender in today’s NFL. He can rush the passer, set the edge in the run game and match up in coverage with tight ends and running backs. DT B.J. Hill is a developmental player, but he has tremendous upside and should get into the mix by the middle of the season.
As glowing an evaluation as this is, Jeremiah might even be underestimating the Giants’ rookie class a bit.
Rather than be a “developmental” prospect who might contribute eventually, Hill has already stepped in with the first team, forming a massive (and sneakily athletic) defensive line with Damon Harrison and second year defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson. There are also potential rookie sleepers undrafted free agent Grant Haley who could contribute as the season wears on.
[Edit] Sam Beal had been included as a “rookie sleeper”, but there are reports that he is already done for the season with a shoulder injury. More on that news as we get it.
The team got players in almost every round that could be considered steals for where they were drafted. With the sizable roster turnover the Giants have had this off-season the sage is set for the rookies to grab the brass ring. And with camp here, we’ll finally get to watch them do it.