The New York Giants are, somewhat oddly, holding their mandatory mini-camp this week. Why is that odd? Well, because mandatory mini-camp usually concludes a team’s offseason program. After this week’s mini-camp, however, the Giants will still have a week of OTAs before their offseason work concludes.
The mini-camp will be held Tuesday thru Thursday, June 4-6. Yours truly will be in attendance the first two days to bring you first-hand observations.
Here are some of the things I will be watching this week.
Daniel Jones ... of course
Saquon Barkley is looking forward to the Giants’ rookie quarterback doing big things one day. John Schmeelk of the Giants’ official website has issuing practice reports detailing how impressed he has been with the rookie quarterback thus far. Coach Pat Shurmur says the No. 6 overall pick is “competing and getting better every day.”
During the pair of rookie mini-camp practices and the one OTA yours truly has witnessed, Jones hasn’t been perfect. He has, though, looked professional. There have been no “deer in the headlights” days to this point. I have also seen Jones make enough quality sideline throws that I don’t question whether or not he has enough arm strength to play the position in the NFL. Jones Eli Manning-esque demeanor has also been noticeable, and it is something the Giants were obviously attracted to.
Certainly, Jones’ every move in this mini-camp is going to be documented and scrutinized. Big Blue View will be right in the middle of the scrum telling you what we see and hear from the heir apparent over the next few days.
We have seen and heard some interesting things thus far regarding what the Giants have been doing defensively.
Most interestingly, 17th overall pick Dexter Lawrence has been lining up as a defensive end. That’s 342 pounds of 5-tech aligned in front of an offensive tackle. To this point, Lawrence has done most of his work with the second unit.
At cornerback, Sam Beal and 30th overall pick DeAndre Baker have each been getting time with the first team opposite Janoris Jenkins.
In the slot, Grant Haley has been working ahead of fourth-round pick Julian Love.
It is going to be interesting to see if those trends continue. A cautionary note — let’s not get all bent out of shape if Lawrence or Baker continues to work mostly with the second team. It’s early June and, in my view, it should be looked at as a good thing that they are being forced to earn any eventual move up the ladder rather tha havig jobs handed to them.
This is the time of year when undrafted players can impress a coaching staff and put themselves in position to make a real bid for a roster spot once training camp and the preseason roll around.
The Giants have a number of undrafted players worth paying attention to.
Tackle Paul Adams (Missouri), center James O’Hagan (Buffalo) and guard Austin Droogsma are interesting. Droogsma, of course, was a collegiate shot putter who hasn’t played football since high school.
Wide receivers Reggie White Jr. (Monmouth) and Alex Wesley (Northern Colorado) could be depth options.
At tight end, Eric Dungey intrigues as a hybrid and the Kentucky coaching staff thinks so highly of C.J,. Conrad that they have compared him to Jason Witten.
Having invested so heavily on defense in the draft, the Giants don’t have as many undrafted defenders who are interesting. Linebacker Josiah Tauaefa (Texas-San Antonio), cornerback Henre’ Toliver (Arkansas/AAF), linebacker Mark McLaurin (Mississippi State), linebacker/long snapper Jake Carlock (LIU Post) as safety Tenny Adewusi (Delaware) are names to know.
Carlock’s long-snapping ability is interesting. Punt Ryan Anderson (Rutgers) is another name to know.