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How many snaps did New York Giants rookies play in 2019?

A lot — only rookies for the Miami Dolphins played more

New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles
DeAndre Baker breaks up a pass.
Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman claimed on Tuesday that the Giants “led the league in snaps by rookies.” Former coach Pat Shurmur had said during the season that the Giants were “historically young.”

Turns out those claims aren’t exactly correct. Here are the top 10 teams in snaps played by rookies during the 2019 season.

Now, some of you will jump right to the “Gettleman and Shurmur are liars!” line of attack. Not me. The point both were trying to make, that Gettleman tried to make in his much-discussed Tuesday press conference, is that the Giants were incredibly reliant on inexperienced players.

That much is absolutely true. The 6,372 snaps played by Giants rookies ended up second only to 6,551 snaps played by Miami Dolphins rookies. That’s 398.25 snaps per game played by Giants rookies. If you want you can throw in 289 snaps played by each Nick Gates and Sam Beal, second-year players who spent their rookie seasons on injured reserve.

Whether they were first or second in the league in snaps played by rookies is really irrelevant. What matters is that their future depends almost entirely on the progress and development of the young players who have been put in place the past couple of seasons, as well as the youngsters who will be added in the 2020 NFL Draft.

“It (how quickly the Giants improve) all depends upon how quickly the puppies come along,” Gettleman said on Tuesday. “We have a lot of young kids.”

That, in large part, is why Shurmur is no longer the coach. The lack of progress, regression even, of some of the 2018 draft picks, was an alarming sign that Shurmur and his staff might not be up to the task of getting the most out of the Giants’ youngsters.

The Giants have said “leadership” is the primary characteristic they are looking for in a new coach. They should also be looking for someone with a willingness to develop young players and a track record of being successful doing so.

Here are the Giants rookie snap counts.


QB Daniel Jones (816)
WR Darius Slayton (701)
TE Kaden Smith (432)
RB Jon Hilliman (102)
RB Austin Walter (1)


CB DeAndre Baker (971)
DL Dexter Lawrence (702)
LB Oshane Ximines (503)
DB Julian Love (409)
CB Corey Ballentine (298)
LB Ryan Connelly (187)
EDGE Tuzar Skipper (40)
LB Josiah Tauaefa (22)
EDGE Chris Peace (2)