Mandatory mini-camp is over for the New York Giants. We won’t have another opportunity to see the Giants on the field until training. Let’s open a post-mini-camp edition of the Big Blue View Mailbag and see what questions we can answer.
Which undrafted FAs or relatively unknown players on the roster have a shot at cracking the final roster #bbvmailbag— Andrew (@aD_Alpha_) June 11, 2021
Ed says: Andrew, I will do the best I can to give you some thoughts on this. One thing, though. I have written a few times that the offseason workouts this year were not competitive. Nor were they full speed. It’s not really possible to give you guys who stood out or improved their chances, because there weren’t any competitive periods or drills that really made you notice a guy enough to call him a “standout.”
There are only three undrafted free agents on the 90-man roster. Of them, I am really interested in center/guard Brett Heggie and guard/tackle Jake Burton. I think at least one of them lands on the practice squad.
Could one of the relatively unknown veteran cornerbacks like Joshua Kalu or Chris Milton win a roster spot? Could Cullen Gillaspia steal the fullback job from Elijhaa Penny? Could a wide receiver like Alex Bachman or David Sills surprise and win a spot? I just don’t know.
Is there any argument to be made for picking up a FA pass rusher like Melvin Ingram, if the price is right? #bbvmailbag— Ed McM (@fizzure79) June 11, 2021
Ed says: In my view, no. Not now, and not unless you suffer a rash of injuries that leave you needing help. By that time, though, someone like Ingram will almost certainly have found a new team.
The Giants just drafted Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith. They are invested in those guys and need to have playing time for them. That is especially true of Ojulari, drafted in Round 2. They still have Lorenzo Carter, and there is still a belief that he hasn’t played his best football yet. They still have Oshane Ximines. They have Cam Brown. They signed Ryan Anderson, who is capable.
I think the Giants need to go with what they have, and develop those players.
Outside of Daniel Jones, who do you think has the most to prove on the roster? #bbvmailbag— AllThingsGiants (@GiantsThings) June 11, 2021
Ed says: All, the name that leaps to mind is left tackle Andrew Thomas. He was drafted No. 4 overall a season ago, the first offensive tackle selected. Many would argue that he was not only worse than any of the other tackles taken in Round 1, but that he was the worst left tackle in football in 2020.
I believe there were a lot of factors that played into Thomas’s performance a year ago. I’m not going to belabor them here. He needs to be better — much better. To be honest, I think he will be.
The Giants have gambled on improvement from a young offensive line that struggled a year ago. They have to get it, or all of the skill position improvements they made aren’t going to matter much. Thomas has to be a big part of that.
Jeff Newman asks: Ed, in your recent observations from mini camp article you mentioned that “Daniel Jones displayed some hesitation in getting rid of the ball on Tuesday and Wednesday.” That has been a bugaboo for him throughout his young career. This and the fumbles are the two main things I see preventing him from taking that step to the next level. I was hoping that the second year in this offense, along with offseason work and film study would have sped up his decision making process. Is there still time and things he can work on to improve this before the regular season begins or is it what it is and just something he, and we as fans, just have to live with?
Ed says: Jeff, I am also hoping to see some quicker decisions from Jones as the season unfolds. At the very least, a recognition of when a play has failed and the ability to not make it worse by trying to do something he shouldn’t do.
As for what we saw in mini-camp, I’m not inclined to get all bent out of shape about it. Yes, there were a few times I would have liked to have seen the ball out of Jones’ hands quicker. Mini-camp is weird, though. You can never be 100 percent sure of what you’re seeing. Are they installing something? The personnel is all mixed up at times, and you can’t be sure guys are in the right place. Is there another reason the ball is being held? Jones isn’t the only quarterback I’ve seen do that, even in a 7-on-7 mini-camp setting.
It was noteworthy and when things are moving faster in training camp and into the season it is something to watch.