New York Giants: 3 rookies that could surprisingly earn starting roles

New York Giants rookie, Oshane Ximines.

As we wait upon the start of training camp, the New York Giants have obtained a good sense of who will be competing for starting roles and who will be destined for a reserve spot. The Giants drafted a ton of rookies that will have immediate impacts whether it be on a starting unit or on special teams.

Players like DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Oshane Ximines, Dexter Lawrence, and more, are all fighting to earn their spot on the team…but some have a higher probability than others.

Three New York Giants rookies that can earn a starting job:

1.) CB Julian Love

The Giants snagged Love in the fourth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, a player that was projected to go in the second-round. His abilities will fit perfectly in nickel-packages for Big Blue. I don’t expect him to compete realistically for an outside corner spot as Baker and Sam Beal have the No. 2 spot in their sights, but Love can certainly steal the slot-corner position away from second-year player, Grant Haley.

Haley has 11 games of NFL experience under his belt, which ultimately gives him the upper hand in the impending position battle. However, Love is great in man coverage and can stick with quick receivers. He’s one of my darkhorse players for the 2019 season.

2.) LB Ryan Connelly

The Wisconsin product is an extremely instinctive player that is fantastic at shooting gaps and finding the ball in the trenches. He’s not a massive linebacker, but he has the potential to be a three-down player.

Connelly was a fourth-round pick and will compete with B.J. Goodson for a starting job. Tae Davis could also be tossed into the mix but he’s a better cover linebacker than run-stopper, limiting his upside. Connelly can do both, which makes me think he could overtake Goodson for the starting job if he shows a bit of development this summer.

Goodson has shown flashes of quality at times, but injuries have derailed his career, and he’s awful in coverage. He’s a pure run-stopper and clogs holes well. Connelly will have to refine his tackling technique at the NFL to harness his full potential. I love his upside, though, which makes him a great player to watch out for during training camp.

3.) OLB Oshane Ximines

The Giants are heading into the depths of the offseason with very minimal talent at the pass-rusher position. They essentially replaced Olivier Vernon with an injury-prone Markus Golden who has one good season three years ago, and third-round selection Oshane Ximines from a no-name school.

They’re banking heavy on the breakout of Lorenzo Carter and Golden to return to his former self. However, Ximines shouldn’t be slept on. He has an effective counter-punch and is extremely developed in regard to his moves for a small-school edge-rusher. He could very well beat out Golden or Carter for a more prominent, starting position. While I’m not convinced Oshane will beat out Carter, I could see him giving Golden a run for his money. Markus is coming off a serious knee injury and hasn’t played at a high level in quite some time.