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Giants lead league in rookie snaps played — by a LOT

The Giants have played their rookies more than any other team in the NFL

NFL: New York Giants at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are a young team. You can tell that just by looking at the roster and watching them play.

But halfway through the 2019 season it’s clear that the Giants are relying on their rookies like no other team in football. They lead the league in snaps played by rookies with 2,907 so far this year, nearly 500 more snaps than second-place team.

“I think we’ve all made that point, that we’re very young,” coach Pat Shurmur said recently. “There are a lot of rookies out there. I don’t know. We have to win games.”

Each of the Giants’ three first-round picks — Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, and DeAndre Baker — are every-week starters for the Giants. Jones and Baker have played nearly all of the Giants offensive and defensive (respectively) snaps, while Lawrence is on the field for the majority of the Giant’s defensive snaps.

They’re also relying on EDGE Oshane Ximines as a key rotational piece on the defense while WR Darius Slayton has emerged as a starter in the absence of Sterling Shepard. And had LB Ryan Connelly not been hurt, the total snap count would be even higher as he had earned a regular starting job by the time of his injury.

The glaring omission from the Giants’ snap count is DB Julian Love, who was considered a steal in the fourth round. He has played all of three defensive snaps so far this year as he transitions from cornerback to free safety.

Just how many rookies are playing major roles for the Giants is telling of how complete the overhaul of their roster has been from who they fielded in 2016.