Where the New York Giants upgraded at several positions, they also left spots with little depth and unproven talent. Most of the uncertainty lies with the secondary and defensive unit, which will make the pre-season a very important time for some players to prove to the Giants’ regime that they are capable of playing at a high level, one that’s expected on a rejuvenated Big Blue team.
Three players that will use the pre-season to their advantage:
QB, Davis Webb:
While some players are fighting for a roster spot, second-year quarterback, Davis Webb, is fighting to be the face of the franchise. The Giants elected to pass on a quarterback in the most recent NFL draft, putting the pressure on Webb, but also instilling their confidence in him. He knows that his mentality going forward will have to be spotless if he wants to become the future signal caller for New York.
The pre-season represents an opportunity for him to display the skills he has been refining since entering the league in 2017. Coming out of Cal, Webb was raw in talent and had a lot to learn. After spending a year under center behind Eli Manning, he grasped a new sense of professionalism and passion for the game. He worked tirelessly during the offseason and began to develop chemistry with some of the Giants’ top offensive weapons.
We can expect that Manning will play sparingly during the pre-season and Webb will receive a heavy dosage of the reps, which will only benefit him and the organization as they prepare for Manning to retire in the near future.
S, Curtis Riley:
The former Tennessee Titan is entering his fourth-year in the league, and none of which have seen him as a starter, nor a consistent backup. After being brought up from the practice squad to the 53-man roster in 2016, Riley appeared in 11 games over the next two seasons (2016 & 2017).
The Giants brought Riley on to compete at as a cornerback but noticed that his skills might be a better fit at safety. Being that Riley has spent time developing his footwork and coverage skills at corner, his abilities as a corner might fit the bill for a team looking to plug in a free safety. Currently, Darian Thompson and Andrew Adams are both competing for the free safety job along with Riley, but Thompson has taken a majority of the second-string reps while Adams and Riley split them with the first-team.
The pre-season will allow the Giants to see the former Titan in action, as he attempts to make the transition to safety, similar to what Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie experiences last season. If his coverage skills can impress, he could be in a solid spot to earn the starting job.
CB, Grant Haley:
See the trend here? A of the uncertainty is in the secondary, and Penn State product, Grant Haley, will look to showcase his abilities during the pre-season. The fact that Haley went undrafted was a big surprise to most, as he played well with the Nittany Lions and displayed solid coverage skills.
Its expected that Haley will compete for the starting slot-corner spot, as William Gay has also taken reps there. He will likely be inserted with the first-team to test his actions in a live-game situation. If he can show that his speed and agility can match up with NFL talent, there’s no reason he can’t become the starting slot-corner moving forward.