New York Giants: 5 important things to watch during OTAs

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants receiver, Sterling Shepard.
Nov 27, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (87) during the third quarter between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Giants won 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants will open OTAs on Monday as they look to shake out the roster and provide their rookies with essential experience ahead of the 2019 season.

This will be an opportunity for the younger players to leave their mark, proving they’re worthy of a starting position or a reserve one. There will be plenty of position battles during this period, which will provide answers and excitement.

5 things to watch for during New York Giants OTAs:

1.) Where will Daniel Jones land on the depth chart?

As expected, Daniel Jones is the anticipated QB3 heading into training camp behind Eli Manning and Alex Tanney. While the 6th overall pick starting as a third-string option doesn’t promote the immediate impact narrative some people prefer from top draft picks, it’s better off he starts in a reserve role where he can learn and develop.

The upcoming season will be Jones’ growth season, and he will benefit significantly from it. Learning Manning’s tendencies and preparation procedure will aid him when he eventually takes over. In addition, refining his already solid technique and arm strength will be a part of his progression.

2.) How will the New York Giants use Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate?

Diving into the Giants’ receiver corps presents a ton of questions. It was always rather simple at this time of the year — Odell Beckham Jr. was the main pass-catcher and everybody else was an afterthought.

This year, things are different, and it will be interesting to see how the Giants utilize Shepard and Tate. Both have the ability to line up in the interior and exterior, which should create mismatches and unpredictable routes. Tate is the best receiver in the league in terms of yards-after-catch.

Look for head coach Pat Shurmur to find ways to get him open in the middle of the field so he can use his elevated play-making ability to pick up extra yards.

3.) Chad Wheeler vs Mike Remmers

It’s expected that former Vikings right tackle Mike Remmers will emerge as the starting player for the Giants after signing a contract recently. However, he’s coming off back surgery and there are plenty of questions that need to be answered, physically. There’s a chance Wheeler rightfully earns the starting job after flashing decency at times last year.

He’s by no means a great option, but the Giants did go out and secure a top 6 right guard in Kevin Zeitler this past offseason in the Olivier Vernon trade. If Remmers shows he has healed fully from the surgery he will be the starter hands down, but that’s not the case until we see him in training camp.

This is one of the better position battles of the offseason.

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4.) The cornerbacks unit

The cornerbacks will present a great position war this training camp period. Featuring several new players in DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, and Corey Ballentine, there are plenty of positions open for the taking.

Most have Love penciled in as a slot-corner option alongside Grant Haley, but I imagine he will fight for a starting role on the outside. Baker, the top corner in the draft, theoretically has the second starting job opposite Janoris Jenkins locked up, but I wouldn’t rule out the feisty Love from earning reps. Nonetheless, it’s an uphill battle for him.

Ballentine has lengthy arms and NFL speed/agility — he’s an underrated talent that will compete hard but will likely be a reserve option. I anticipate 2019 being a developmental year for him. Don’t forget about Supplemental draft pick Sam Beal either – he missed all of 2018 with a shoulder injury. His talents have yet to be evaluated on the field, meaning he has as good a chance as anybody at securing starting reps.

5.) Eric Dungey could be a surprising sleeper

Syracuse quarterback, Eric Dungey, was signed as an undrafted free agent this offseason period. He’s an extremely athletic player that doesn’t have the most sound throwing abilities but could replicate Taysom Hill of New Orleans. He has a solid frame at 6’3″, 220-pounds.

Dungey threw for 2868 yards in 2018 with another 754 in rushing. He earned a total of 33 touchdowns over the course of the season, proving to be a capable playmaker. The Giants were intrigued by his athleticism and ability to get into the endzone. Look out for him to move around the field and play a bit of tight end and quarterback in a reserve role.