As the New York Giants gear up for their training camp, they are focusing on several position battles, spurred by the addition of free agents and draft picks. This season, Big Blue is emphasizing increased athleticism in a bid to build a strong roster foundation.
The Giants’ strategy for 2023 seems to mirror their successful 2022 approach: banking on superior coaching to maximize player potential. Despite perceived talent shortages, the team made it to the postseason last year and secured a victory against the Minnesota Vikings.
In this context, let’s explore a few under-the-radar players who could seize substantial opportunities this year.
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Potential Starters for 2023: Three Giants Players to Watch
1. Aaron Robinson: The Cornerback Contender
Among the positions set for fierce competition is the slot cornerback, with Darnay Holmes, Cor’Dale Flott, and Aaron Robinson contending for the role. Despite injury setbacks last year, Robinson has demonstrated commendable coverage capabilities.
The 24-year-old Robinson has only played 340 total snaps but has recorded efficient numbers: 181 yards given up, one touchdown, and three pass breakups. Given his performance and a low missed tackle rate of 3.1%, Robinson is a strong sleeper contender for the slot, especially with the Giants contemplating cutting Holmes to save $2.7 million.
2. Collin Johnson: The Wide Receiver Prospect
Collin Johnson demonstrated significant promise in 2022 before an Achilles tear disrupted his momentum. Now fully recovered, Johnson is making a strong impression this summer. With two years of NFL experience, including 272 yards and two touchdowns with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2020, and 105 receiving yards with Big Blue in 2021, Johnson has showcased his speed and catch radius.
While the Giants have extensive depth at the receiver position, most of their pass-catchers primarily operate from the slot. As a primary boundary receiver, Johnson may face less competition, going up against Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and others. Given his fan-favorite status and successful recovery, Johnson may well earn sizeable reps this year.
3. Gervarrius Owens: The Dark Horse Safety
Drafted with the 254th overall pick, Houston defensive back Gervarrius Owens presents an intriguing option for the Giants. Boasting a 9.21 relative athletic score and a 4.57 40-yard dash, Owens could fill a gap in the Giants’ thin safety lineup behind Xavier McKinney.
Owens, Houston’s captain last year, recorded 74 tackles and eight pass breakups in 12 games, showcasing his prowess in coverage and against the run. Despite competition from Bobby McCain, Owens’ leadership qualities and college production make him a player to watch in the preseason.
With these exciting prospects and competition, the Giants’ upcoming training camp is set to be a key determinant for the 2023 roster.