It has been a strange couple of weeks of training camp thus far for the New York Giants.
- Kelvin Benjamin getting cut on Day 1 after an on-field argument with coach Joe Judge over Benjamin’s weight led to Benjamin leaving the practice field.
- First-round pick Kadarius Toney landing on the Reserve/COVID-19 list to start camp, adding to an odd beginning to Toney’s NFL career.
- Julian Love hatching a bizarre plan to prank Judge by coming up with weird quotes he would attribute to the coach, only to have the coach catch on.
- Three veteran players retiring within days of each other.
- A massive brawl that landed quarterback Daniel Jones on the bottom of a pile on the first day of padded practice, and led to an epic and unforgettable reaction from Judge.
- The overblown Jason Garrett “call me Coach” thing, which shouldn’t have been a thing at all.
- The odd setting itself, with no fans in attendance.
Through all of that, players are fighting for jobs and competing for roles on the 53-man roster. Some have gained ground. Some have lost ground. Let’s do a ‘Stock Up/Stock Down’ as we begin to think about next weekend’s preseason opener vs. the New York Jets.
Rodarius Williams — The sixth-round pick had a productive practice on Friday while working with the first team, coming up with an interception and a pass defensed that led to another interception. Williams is making a strong push for a roster spot.
“Ro is a guy that’s come in, he’s got a lot of instincts, he’s got good size and length, shows good speed. He’s got good instincts for the ball and shows good hands, so he’s a guy that’s shown up positively in a lot of practices as far as getting his hands on the ball,” said head coach Joe Judge.
C.J. Board — Good punt gunners are hard to find, and Board is showing signs of becoming one. He can help as a backup wide receiver and as a returner.
John Ross — To be honest, he hasn’t done a whole lot in the practices I have attended. The Giants, though, seem really intrigued by the possibility of having Ross return kickoffs. Ross did have a splash play Saturday, catching a slant from Daniel Jones and taking it to the house.
Azeez Ojulari — The second-round pick hasn’t made a pile of noticeable splash plays. He has, though, gotten a ton of reps due to injuries to several other players.
Kadarius Toney — Well, he is practicing. It’s not much, but it is something after what has been a slow start for the first-round pick.
David Sills — Sills nearly made the roster last year before fracturing his foot near the end of training camp. He is making another solid bid this time around.
Here is Judge on Sills:
“He’s making a lot of plays for us. He’s doing a good job, he comes out, works hard every day. Sills is a guy who does everything you ask and he does it 100 percent,” Judge said. “Basically this guy followed (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) around the country. Wherever Daniel was, he was going to be there to catch passes. That’s someone who you can tell has really invested in himself to give every shot he has.”
Brett Heggie/Jake Burton/Kyle Murphy — They are young backup offensive linemen. They haven’t retired. They are getting extra reps with the retirements of Joe Looney and Zach Fulton, and the injury to Shane Lemieux.
A whole passel of injured players — That includes rookies Elerson Smith (Edge) Aaron Robinson (CB), Edge defenders Oshane Ximines and Ryan Anderson, wide receiver Austin Mack and tight end Rysen John (Reserve/COVID-19). It isn’t early in camp any longer, and as I write this none of those players has practiced yet. They say the best ability is availability, and unfortunately their lack of ability is going to cost some of these guys jobs. For others, like Smith and Robinson, their absences could limit how much they can contribute early in the season.
Dante Pettis — He hasn’t really done anything wrong. I just think that the play of David Sills and the Giants’ intent to try Ross on kickoff returns are bad signs for Pettis.
Sam Beal — Forget the gun charges against Beal for now. The number of pass completions he has been surrendering won’t help him make the roster.