New York Giants: 3 rookies that could earn playing time on starting team

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, Julian Love
June 5, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants rookie cornerbacks DeAndre Baker (27) and Julian Love (37) participate in drills during minicamp. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/ via USA TODAY NETWORK

Looking at three underrated New York Giants rookie that can make a difference during the 2019 season:

The Giants drafted ample talent in the 2019 NFL Draft, some of which will be immediate starters with impactful roles. However, there are multiple players that will fight for their right to earn even limited reps, while others will emerge as starters after training camp.

Here are 3 New York Giants rookies ready to steal starting jobs:

1.) CB – Julian Love

Julian Love, drafted in the fourth round, was an absolute steal. Ranked as a top four corner entering the draft, Love is a tenacious athlete. He’s great in off-ball coverage and has adequate speed to keep up with receivers. He will likely slide into the slot corner spot and compete with Grant Haley, formerly undrafted in 2018.

Haley played in 11 games last season and proved he’s capable of playing at the NFL level. Love is more refined in his skill-set, though, which gives him the upper hand in stealing the job away from Haley. This will be an exciting position battle to keep an eye on.

2.) TE – CJ Conrad

An undrafted free agent this year, Conrad is a big tight end that has looked fantastic so far this summer. He was one of two players to earn first-team reps at the end of OTAs. He’s an above average receiving tight end and has the size to block at the line of scrimmage.

Coming out of Kentucky, a team that didn’t have many offensive playmakers, Conrad shined despite opposing defenses focusing on him. He’s one of my darkhorse players for the season ahead and could steal starting reps away from Scott Simonson and Rhett Ellison.

3.) LB- Ryan Connelly

The fact of the matter is, BJ Goodson never really lived up to his potential coming out of Clemson. Believe it or not, he played in 15 games last season, and I barely remember seeing him on the field. That should give you an idea of his influence on the team and the lack of impact he provided on the defense.

Ryan Connelly, however, is an instinctive linebacker with the ability to get into the backfield in a hurry. Racking up 89 total tackles as a senior for Wisconsin, Connelly showed what he’s capable and why he belongs on an NFL team. He also picked up 10 tackles for a loss and three sacks in 12 games (Sports Reference).

I’m anticipating him breaking through at some point in 2019 and earning reps during the regular season. Aside from his abilities close to the line of scrimmage, he can also cover running backs and tight ends. He’s a player that I believe will blossom with a bit of development – he’s a well-rounded player that can be a three-down linebacker.