The New York Giants conclude their offseason program this week with a three-day mandatory mini-camp from Tuesday thru Thursday. Here are some of the main story lines we will be following, the practice schedule and live updates via Twitter to keep you up to date on everything going on at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
The adventures of Kadarius Toney
The first-round pick has had a curious start to his NFL career. He had a shoe issue of some sort during his initial rookie mini-camp practice, ended up doing some drill work while wearing only one cleat, and then did not participate during the team’s voluntary OTAs.
Reps are critical for rookies. Just think of how first-round pick Andrew Thomas struggled a season ago without an offseason program to help him acclimate to the NFL.
Why Toney did not participate is unknown. Unsigned rookies sign a participation waiver that covers them financially in the event of injury if they are unsigned while taking part in a team’s offseason program.
Whatever has been going on, it will be reassuring to see Toney on the practice field the next few days. If he is sitting out, that becomes an issue.
As position groups go, it is really hard to learn anything about whether an offensive line is or is not blocking well from an OTA or mini-camp workout. These are “non-contact” practices. That means there will be some touching and maybe a little bit of pushing, but there isn’t going to be any real blocking. Offensive linemen aren’t going to be firing off the ball trying to knock any defenders into next week.
Still, there is a lot to unpack with the Giants’ offensive line.
How smooth does Will Hernandez look at right guard? He’s never played that side before.
Do Hernandez and second-year right tackle Matt Peart, playing side-by-side for the first time, look like they are working in tandem?
How does Thomas look on the left side? Are there any residual effects from his offseason ankle surgery?
Center Nick Gates was very complementary of new offensive line coach Rob Sale during a recent Zoom call. What is Sale like on the field? How is he navigating his first NFL job, especially with Freddie Kitchens, Pat Flaherty and to some extent offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and head coach Joe Judge looking over his shoulder?
Wide receiver Kenny Golladay and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson were the Giants’ biggest free-agent acquisitions. How are these two players, both critical to the team’s success in 2021, acclimating to their new surroundings?
Daniel Jones — of course
This is a make-or-break year for third-year quarterback Daniel Jones? Is he going to prove GM Dave Gettleman right for using the No. 6 overall pick on him in 2019, leading the Giants to the playoffs and making it clear the Giants are pointed in the right direction? Or, will he be a turnover machine who gets Gettleman sent into retirement and sends the Giants looking for a new quarterback?
This mini-camp is not going to answer that question. There has, though, been lots of discussion about whether Jason Garrett should have been retained as offensive coordinator. I’m in the camp of those who believe that was the right decision. What I will be looking for from Jones this week is simple — comfort. Does he look comfortable with what he’s being asked to do? Is the ball coming out quickly? Is there hesitation or indecision?
There are a lot of other things to pay attention to. Here are some one-line thoughts:
- Is Sam Beal really still a part of the team?
- How does Nate Solder look after a year away from football?
- What’s going on at inside linebacker next to Blake Martinez?
- How are reps split at slot cornerback between Darnay Holmes and rookie Aaron Robinson?
- How does Lorenzo Carter look after his Achilles surgery?
- Do edge rushers Azeez Ojulari and Elerson Smith look ready for prime time?
Tuesday: 11:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. -- 1:30 p.m.
Thursday: 11:30 a.m. — 1:30 p.m.