The New York Giants‘ defense had a few players stand out during their first preseason game of 2019. The Giants won the game 31-22 behind a defense that forced two turnovers and even scored a defensive touchdown.
Many of the standout players were rookies. The Giants’ fifth-round rookie, Ryan Connelly a linebacker out of Wisconsin, was one of those standouts. The rookie has been receiving first-team reps in training camp and demonstrated why on Thursday.
Ryan Connelly Stats And Highlights Against The Jets
Ryan Connelly played himself a heck of a ball game on Thursday versus the New York Jets. Connelly recorded 5 total tackles in the game in limited playing time.
Despite that limited playing time, Connelly was all over the field. He made plays every which way. Ryan displayed one of his biggest strengths: his ability to shoot the gaps. Connelly is an excellent run defender and has NFL-level pursuit. Take this play as an example:
This won't show up in the box score, but you can see what the Giants like about Ryan Connelly. He read this play in an instant, no "false steps" and closed violently to draw the hold pic.twitter.com/iXGXufGSqZ
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) August 9, 2019
This play might not show up in the box score, but it was a fully impactful play. Ryan Connelly also showed some classic New York Giants toughness in his first preseason game.
After making a play on the ball and sliding along the turf, Connelly got up with turf beads all over his face and around his eyes. Some players might have taken themselves out for a play to ensure that they do not get any beads in their eyes, but Ryan Connelly hung in there like a true warrior.
Oof you hate to see it. Makes a nice play and then turf beads right in the face. Doesn't have time to get them off the face by the time he's gotta make the calls for the next play. I feel for my main man Ryan Connelly here. A true warrior. #Giants #GiantsPride pic.twitter.com/KJLKMEMtHt
— Justin Penik (@JPenik74) August 9, 2019
Ryan Connelly was impressive during his limited playing time on Thursday. He was impressive, just as he has been all summer. Connelly has been making plays in training camp and even receiving first-team playing time.
If Ryan Connelly can keep up this high level of play throughout the rest of training camp and preseason, he could see a promotion to full-time first-team and become a starter. The Giants have had a weak linebacker corps for a while now, but it looks like that might finally change this year with the addition of Ryan Connelly.