When you draft 10 players, which the New York Giants were fortunate enough to do in 2020, not all of them are going to become key contributors. One player the Giants did not get much from in 2020 was inside linebacker T.J. Brunson, selected in Round 7 (238th overall).
Can Brunson work his way into a bigger role on the Giants’ defense in his sophomore season? Let’s take a look at we continue profiling each of the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.
Contract: Year 2 of four-year, $4.376 million rookie contract | Guaranteed at signing: $81,952 | 2021 cap hit: $800,488
Career to date
One of four linebackers the Giants took in the final two rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, Brunson (Round 7, 238th overall) did not find nearly as much success as Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin or Tae Crowder.
Brunson played in only five games, earning only two defensive snaps and playing 53 snaps on special teams.
In my post-draft 53-man roster projection, I do not have Brunson making the cut. As I indicated earlier, he finished last season behind the team’s other rookie linebackers. The Giants added Reggie Ragland in free agency. Coughlin worked inside some last season. Brown, who played inside at Penn State, could likely move inside if need be.
The way the Giants’ roster is currently constructed, heavy on defensive backs and edge players they are going to want to get on the field, the second inside linebacker next to Blake Martinez is unlikely to be a highly-valued spot. I believe the Giants could sacrifice some depth at this spot to keep an extra defensive back or edge player, and that Brunson could be the odd man out because of that.
Brunson still has an opportunity to impress and work his way into a more prominent role. Right now, though, I think he’s got work to do to simply make the 53-man roster.