New York Giants: Rookie defender Cam Brown has the diversity Joe Judge is looking for

Alexander Wilson
New York Giants, Cam Brown
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Cam Brown (6) is escorted off of the field following a targeting penalty against the Kentucky Wildcats during the second half in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are proceeding through an expedited training camp, and with the loss of preseason action, curating position battles and maximizing talent will be a bit more tumultuous than usual. However, that hasn’t stopped head coach Joe Judge from poking and prying positions with minimal proven talent.

With a multitude of late-round draft picks joining the squad, finding ways for them to make an impact will be difficult, but Judge doesn’t seem like he’s the type to leave any stone unturned.

One player that stands out from the crop is Cam Brown.

Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry detailed how Brown can be utilized on defense, via an interview with Giants Country:

“When we signed him that February (2016), we weren’t sure if he would be an end or a linebacker,” Pry said. “And when he got to our place, he was still pretty thin (197 pounds) and we said we’d give him a shot and see what he can do as a ‘backer.”

“His first two years he was a WILL (weakside), and his last two years he was a SAM (strongside), and he also started at MIKE (middle) in our nickel package,” Pry said. “With all that range he had, he could be in the [offensive] backfield from that WILL linebacker spot very quickly.

“He understood how to get on the edge of people and take advantage of what they were giving him so he had some natural pass-rush ability when he got to us and then we tried to find ways to send him.”

The Giants are keen on bringing robust and charismatic player into the locker room, and Brown was heavily considered one of the meaner defenders at Penn State:

“One time [head] coach [James] Franklin went around the room and asked, ‘Who did you think the toughest guy in the room is?'” Pry recalled. “Cam Brown got a lot of votes.”

The New York Giants are taking a more practical approach with players’ development:

Joe Judge will be looking to maximize players’ skill-sets at multiple positions with the Giants, which increases Brown’s stock. His ability to play weak side, strong side, and MIKE linebacker elevates his stock and potentially thursts him into a more competitive role. While he has a similar frame to Giants’ Lorenzo Carter, he weighs about 20-pounds less. Putting on some more muscle mass would be extremely beneficial for Cam, who could adapt to an OLB role if the Giants don’t want to plug him in at WILL.

“At this point, we’re going to give them a chance to just go ahead and get their feet wet at the outside ‘backer position,” Judge indicated regarding a bevy of young linebackers, including Brown. “We’re not limited what we can do. We want to make sure we find out what every player can do well.”

Going through the motions and moving pieces around to see how they fare is exactly what the Giants should be doing with some of their multi-purpose players. Even veterans like Jabrill Peppers are expected to play a bit of cornerback during training camp and test different spots out. That’s the best part of the new regimen. They’re looking to build around their players and not force schemes onto them.