The New York Giants announced their training camp schedule for the 2023 season, kicking things off with their first practice on July 26th. Training camp is a crucial time for roster construction as NFL teams need to trim their 90-man rosters at the start of camp down to an official 53-man roster by the start of the regular season.
Every year, training camp standouts make names for themselves and ultimately earn roster spots; sometimes earning spots in the starting lineup. This year, there are plenty of storylines to pay attention to surrounding Big Blue. But three players are especially worth monitoring as the team kicks off training camp in July.
1. OT Evan Neal
The Giants need Evan Neal to take a big step forward this season. The seventh overall pick in last year’s draft struggled immensely as a rookie, surrendering 39 pressures and seven sacks (PFF). Entering year two, Neal looks to be a new-and-improved version of himself after spending the spring training with former All-Pro Willie Anderson.
Neal will face difficult matchups throughout training camp; New York’s bright young pass-rushers Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari will keep Neal’s hands full. But iron sharpens iron and a solid summer of practices against some fair competition could give Neal all the confidence he needs to hit the ground running in 2023.
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2. LB Jarrad Davis
Jarrad Davis stands out as the veteran of the linebacker group. New York signed LB Bobby Okereke as their new starter this offseason; but behind Okereke is an open competition for the No. 2 linebacker spot. Davis will compete for the position with a couple of young bucks in Micah McFadden and Darrian Beavers (both drafted in 2022).
Davis started three games for the Giants in 2022 (including the postseason). He brings a physical, experienced presence to New York’s run-defense. However, Davis’ struggles in pass coverage left him viewed as a liability in the Giants’ defense during the playoffs. He will need to improve in that regard and show more promise than the team’s younger alternatives this summer to maintain his spot in the lineup.
3. S Gervarrius Owens
Gervarrius Owens, the Giants’ final pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, was standing out and routinely making plays during OTAs and mandatory minicamp. As training camp nears, Owens is a player to keep an eye on as an underrated young talent that could push for legitimate playing time this season.
Owens was a four-year starter for Houston, manning down their free safety position as a captain of the defense. Owens is an athletic coverage-safety that could earn himself some playing time this season. New York lost veteran safety Julian Love in free agency this offseason, leaving them with a massive void on the back-end of their defense. Owens could gun for this position if he stands out in practice this summer.