New York Giants getting everything and more out of 2020 rookie class

New York Giants, Tae Crowder

The New York Giants are on a four-game winning streak. This is the longest winning streak the Giants have been on since 2016. New York is also in first place in the NFC East after beating a tough 8-3 Seahawks team on the road this Sunday. The Giants look poised to make a playoff run this season, proving their legitimacy while beating one of the best offenses in the NFL in Seattle.

One of the biggest difference-makers on the Giants this season has been their 2020 rookie class. New York has seen early returns on nearly every single rookie they drafted or signed this offseason. These rookies have been crucial to the Giants’ success in recent weeks.

Rookies on offense

On the offensive line, the Giants have been seeing their young, inexperienced players improve every single week. Andrew Thomas had the best performance of his young career so far this week against Seattle. For the second week in a row, Thomas did not allow a single pressure in pass protection. He also recorded the highest single-game Pro Football Focus grade of his career at 87.1 overall. Not only was this his highest-graded single game this year, but it was also the highest single-game grade among all first-round offensive tackle picks this season (PFF).

Right beside Andrew Thomas is Shane Lemieux, the Giants’ fifth-round pick from Oregon who has been starting at left guard for the past few weeks. The entire offensive line has played significantly better since Lemieux entered the lineup. Lemieux has had his fair share of ups and downs, but he has been very impressive when considering where he was drafted. Lemieux has also been improving week-by-week and looks like he will be with Big Blue for a long time.

In addition to the two rookies on the offensive line, Nick Gates has gotten better every week playing a brand new position. Initially, a guard, then a tackle, Nick Gates has transitioned to the center position and played at a high level in recent weeks after some great struggles early in the season. Gates is basically a rookie as he is learning and playing a brand new position this year. He has shown tremendous progress, though, and is already locked into a contract extension that should keep him as the Giants’ starting center for years to come.

Undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Austin Mack also has a game this season as the Giants’ leading receiver. The Giants’ other rookie offensive tackle, Matt Peart (selected 99th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft), has not elevated to starting status yet. However, he has seen playing time while rotating in at both left and right tackle this season. He has been super impressive whenever he is on the field and could play his way into a starting role sooner than later.

Rookies on defense

The defensive side of the ball is where the Giants have really seen their rookies contribute this year. New York has been starting rookies at multiple defensive positions this year. Darnay Holmes, New York’s fourth-round selection out of UCLA, has started at slot cornerback all season long. Holmes has, like the rest, improved every single week. He certainly has not been a liability like the slot cornerback position has been for the Giants in the past. Holmes had his first career interception against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks this week. A promising future seems to be laid out for Darnay Holmes and the Giants’ defense.

The second half of the Giants’ 2020 NFL Draft class was filled with defensive selections. New York drafted the likes of Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, and Tae Crowder in the sixth and seventh rounds. Whether earned through merit or obtained through injuries, these rookies have all seen significant playing time in the Giants’ defense.

Tae Crowder, Mr. Irrelevant from the 2020 NFL Draft, has been starting on the Giants’ defense this year when healthy. Crowder has been so impressive for a player who nearly went undrafted. Crowder recorded a clutch sack against the Seahawks this week and recorded a game-winning scoop-and-score fumble recovery against Washington earlier this season. He has exceeded all expectations as a starting inside linebacker for the Giants this year.

Crowder was one pick away from going undrafted. When speaking of undrafted rookies, it is hard not to talk about Niko Lalos, the Giants’ undrafted gem out of Dartmouth. Lalos was elevated to the Giants’ active roster last week before their matchup with the Bengals. In his first NFL game, Lalos recorded an interception and earned more playing time this week. Of course, the Ivy League animal went ahead and recovered a fumble this week against Seattle. This undrafted rookie has been forcing turnovers left and right.

Cam Brown and Carter Coughlin were two under-the-radar linebackers that the Giants found late in the 2020 NFL Draft. Coughlin has seen increased playing time with EDGE Kyler Fackrell recently placed on injured reserve. Coughlin has played 79 defensive snaps this season, already totaling 6 combined tackles, 1 sack, 8 total pressures, and 6 hurries. Cam Brown has played 48 snaps, recording 5 pressures 3 hurries, and 8 combined tackles already.

Second-round pick Xavier McKinney has yet to see expanded playing time after returning from a fractured foot, but he is sure to be part of New York’s long-term defensive plans as well.

The Giants have seen early returns on nearly every rookie they drafted or signed this offseason. It was a job fantastically done by Dave Gettleman, Joe Judge, and company, acquiring young, talented players this offseason. The future is bright in the Big Apple.

New York Giants: Austin Mack impressive in expanded role vs. Washington

New York Giants, Austin Mack

The New York Giants added another W to the win column today. New York swept Washington, beating the Football Team for the second time this season. The Giants’ stout defense forced five turnovers while the offense kept the ball out of harm’s way and managed a 23-20 victory.

With the offense’s sound performance came the emergence of a new playmaker for Daniel Jones. Undrafted free agent rookie wide receiver Austin Mack was impressive in his first game with expanded playing time.

Austin Mack vs. Washington

Entering this game, Austin Mack had just one target, one reception, and one yard on the season. Mack was productive early and often during the Giants’ win over Washington. He got things started in the first quarter hauling in a deep shot down the sideline for a 51-yard gain, the longest passing play of the Giants’ season so far.

Mack finished the game with 4 receptions for 72 yards on 5 targets. He nearly scored a touchdown as well but was marked down just short of the end zone.

Austin Mack so an expanded role in the offense this week as the Giants made the decision to bench veteran wide receiver, Golden Tate. Tate has been vocally unhappy with his role in the Giants’ offense, but after Austin Mack’s impressive Week 9 performance, it does not seem like Tate’s role will expand anytime soon.

Austin Mack is a name many Giants fans became familiar with over the summer. The rookie was impressive during training camp and made his way onto the Giants’ practice squad. Mack’s impressive route running makes him standout amongst other rookies. After his solid performance today, Mack should see more time on the field this season.

New York Giants: One young UDFA to keep an eye on in week 6

New York Giants, Austin Mack

With the New York Giants gearing up to face off against the Washington Football Team in week six, all hands are on deck for what needs to be the team’s first victory of the season. Starting 0-5 is unacceptable, especially since general manager Dave Gettleman has had three seasons to change the course of the franchise.

While Gettleman has made some good moves and plenty of poor decisions, the fan base is losing patience with management and their inconsistencies. Ranging from poor draft picks to questionable free-agent signings over the years, New York needs to smell and taste a bit of success.

With the seasonal all but lost, the Giants need to begin utilizing their youth and offering high-upside players opportunities. With veteran pass-catcher Sterling Shepard missing his fourth consecutive game against Washington this week (turf toe), the Giants elected to give UDFA Austin Mack his first opportunity.

Mack has given defensive backs trouble all season long, dating back to training camp. His smooth route running and deceiving strength make him an excellent option in the receiving game.

With Ohio State in 2019, Mack hauled in 27 receptions for 361 yards and three touchdowns. His traits make him a solid prospect, and the Giants will be looking to extract some value from him on Sunday. Back during draft evaluations, scouts spoke about Mack’s natural talent as a boundary receiver. He has a physically imposing frame and fearless mentality — exactly what teams look for.

While Mack was activated two weeks ago, the Giants didn’t dress him. However, they waived former Cleveland Browns receiver Damion Ratley, this past week, elevating Austin to the active roster and all but guaranteeing him his first shot at stardom in the NFL.

Currently, the Giants’ offense ranks 31st in the NFL, averaging 16.2 points. In the passing game, they ranked 28th, averaging 203.4 yards per contest. After a solid showing against the Dallas Cowboys in week five, they will be taking on a stronger Washington unit. Washington is allowing just 226.8 yards per game through the air while Dallas is giving up 248.6.

Washington certainly has a more imposing defense, but the Giants showed a bit of creativity against Dallas that was absent through the first four weeks. Hopefully, Jason Garrett can continue to build off his promising first-half performance against the Cowboys.

New York Giants: Positions To Keep An Eye On With Cuts Around The Corner

New York Giants

The New York Giants will set their fifty-three man roster in a week from today. Over this next week, the team will be determining who will stay and who will go. The Giants do have a few positions of need, and they also have few positions of strength. Ahead of camp cuts, which positions are worth keeping a close eye on?

UDFA Wide Receivers

Behind Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Golden Tate, the Giants have a positional battle at the wide receiver position. Corey Coleman will be competing with a number of rookie wide receivers to win the fourth wide receiver position.

New York has four undrafted free agent wide receivers currently on the roster. Derrick Dillon, Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, and Cody White were all signed by the Giants this offseason. They have all had their fair share of ups and downs in camp, but Victor and Mack have had a few more standout plays.

There are also two other receivers making their names known in camp: David Stills and Alex Bachman. Both players have impressed in practice and could earn themselves a spot on the final roster. For all of these wide receivers, this next week of practice is crucial.

New York Giants: 2 wide receivers in a battle for roster spot

New York Giants, Austin Mack

The New York Giants are heading into the regular season with a bevy of questions on the roster.

How will the wide receiver corps shake out?

What will the pass rush look like?

Do they have a starting cornerback to supplement the loss of DeAndre Baker?

There’s plenty more where that came from, but I want to focus on the back end of the roster where a position battle is taking place.

Two receivers who are pushing for a spot on the New York Giants’ roster:

David Sills:

At 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, Sills spent 2019 on the Giants’ practice squad. However, his lanky and quick frame has given him an opportunity to compete for a spot on the team. The coaches have been impressed with his effort, also making an impact on special teams. Daniel Jones seems to find confidence in him as an option, being in the right place at the right time.

“I think he’s a guy out there you can trust, and a guy who’s in the right spot a lot of the time and can get open and make plays,” Daniel Jones said.

WR coach Tyke Tolbert also raved about Sills, stating he’s a “rep stealer.”

“David Sills has done a really good job. He’s a really smart guy, he’s working hard. He’ll go in there and play all of the positions,” said wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert. “I told you guys the other day, he’s a rep stealer. He has his reps, he’s going to go in and run his reps, then he’ll steal some other reps. If he sees guys running down the field, he’ll jump in there and say ‘I got them, I got them.’ I like that about him. He jumps in there, doesn’t matter what position it is. He goes in there and plays and executes his assignments.”

Austin Mack:

The former Ohio State wide receiver is coming off a year where he struggled with injuries. He isn’t the fastest guy on the field and isn’t going to make Odell Beckham Jr. style catches, but he is reliable and about average in every category. Being flat across the line gives the Giants something to work off of, as there is an upside to unlock.

He has been stellar so far in camp, catching about everything that has been thrown his way. He is physical off the line of scrimmage and smooth and his brakes, giving quarterback Daniel Jones a nice target over the middle.

I don’t see him as a deep threat by any means, but he can be a solid contributor in the short/intermediate passing game.

Tyke Tolbert said that Austin Mack was an incredibly intelligent player.

“The thing with Austin Mack is his knowledge,” Tolbert said. “Austin Mack’s a super smart guy. He can play any position. He’s a tough guy, he’s a physical guy, he’s very dependable. That’s the thing that stands out with him to me.”

New York Giants: 4 undrafted wide receivers gearing up to fight for roster spot

New York Giants

Training camp for the New York Giants will be used to iron out multiple positions that don’t have an established player present. Most of the position battles will occur in secondary/reserve spots, like at CB2 and WR4.

With DeAndre Baker being placed in the Commissioner’s Exempt list and Sam Beal opting out of the 2020 season, the Giants brought in Ross Cockrell to compete for a starting spot. However, that shouldn’t take away from their youth options in Julian Love, Darnay Holmes, Chris Williamson, and more.

The final wide receiver spot on the roster is expected to go to Corey Coleman, who suffered an ACL tear during last year’s training camp. Coming off another significant injury, the Giants have added plenty of UDFA players to compete alongside Coleman. Ultimately, the final wide receiver spot also has to contribute on special teams, which makes kick returning an influential part of the pending position battle.

Here are four undrafted free agents the New York Giants will look to at WR4:

1.) Binjimen Victor

Victor started for the first time during his senior year in 2019. At 6-foot-4 and 198 pounds, he’s a bit undersized to be a power receiver, but he can utilize his lanky frame and wingspan to act as a security bank blanket on intermediate routes.

Having posted 573 yards and six touchdowns of the 12 games last year, Victor brings over decent production. While I don’t expect him to become a significant player on the Giants in year one, he could act as a solid back and option to supplement injuries. Surprisingly, he has great post-catch abilities and can make defenders miss in the open field.

New York Giants: Top Players/Positions To Monitor In Training Camp 2020

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Football is back! The New York Giants officially reported to training camp on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the 2020 NFL season. Veterans reported to training camp today as the team does its first wave of COVID-19 testing. This will be a crucial season for the Giants as they enter the year with a brand new coaching staff and a revamped roster.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no preseason this year, making training camp that much more important. Many of those players who standout in the preseason to earn their roster spots will not be afforded such an opportunity this year. Instead, the Giants’ new coaching staff will have to gauge their players’ talents in training camp alone.

With that being the case, who are the top players, or what are the top positions to watch during training camp in 2020?

You can check out the video version of this article below, or continue scrolling for the written version:

New York Giants: 3 wide receivers battling for final spot on unit

New York Giants, Corey Coleman

With training camp a few weeks away, the New York Giants have several positions they need to iron out ahead of the regular season. One unit that will require some attention is the wide receivers, who have one final spot to fill.

Currently, the top three options remain Golden Tate, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton. All three missed time in 2019 due to injury or suspension, but they will head into 2020 with a full bill of health and no disciplinary issues. While the same can’t be said for some other players on the team, the receivers are in a good place and should be prepared to help Daniel Jones build off an impressive rookie campaign.

Here are three New York Giants’ WRs who will be competing for the No. 4 spot:

1.) Corey Coleman

General manager Dave Gettleman seemingly has a soft spot for Corey Coleman. Coleman has been unable to play a full season with the Giants, suffering a torn ACL during training camp last year and playing in just eight games in 2018. His five receptions with Big Blue over two years equates to 71 yards.

There is value to be had with Coleman, who is a former first-round pick and has simply battled injuries throughout his career. In 2016 with the Cleveland Browns, he played in 10 games posting 413 yards and three touchdowns. His play fell significantly in 2017 when he broke his hand and missed the remainder of the season after nine games.

There is no question that Corey contains excellent speed, and if he can remain healthy, I believe he will lock down the number four spot on the roster. However, history indicates otherwise, and the Giants should be prepared to have supplemental options available.

New York Giants: Can Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack push for a roster spot?

New York Giants, Austin Mack

The New York Giants elected to pass on selecting a wide receiver in the 2020 NFL draft, despite there being a talented crop of players to choose from. Passing on all of the highly regarded prospects in favor of undrafted free agents Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack could prove to be a bit optimistic.

However, the Giants landed two intriguing players in Victor and Mack, both of whom are coming from Ohio state. Victor, who is a 6-foot-4 and 198-pound pass-catcher, utilizes his long and lanky frame to snag balls in the air. He is solid at making contested catches and can be a good red-zone threat at the NFL level. His issues primarily land in his strength and speed category. He’s not the fastest pass-catcher out there but uses his radius to supplement that weakness. In 2019, he posted 573 yards and six touchdowns over 12 games. He is far from being the focal point of an offense, but he has the potential to develop into a solid producer over a long term period.

I believe Victor will be more useful in the short to intermediate-range in the red zone. Allowing him to run mesh/slant routes and run endzone fades is how he can make his money at the NFL level. With a lack of elite speed, he has to be in positions to use his catch radius to beat defenders. Quick throws will likely accompany his skill set more frequently if he can make the active roster.

What are the New York Giants getting in Austin Mack?

Austin Mack, on the other hand, is a 6-foot-2, 215-pound receiver. He posted 361 yards and three touchdowns in 2019, producing even less than Victor for the Ohio State offense. There are a few pros and cons to note when it comes to Mack, precisely his impressive strength and balance. His 19 starts give him experience, and he started last season with at least three receptions in the first six games.

A foot injury derailed his campaign, but he has the national talent to develop into a solid boundary wide receiver. His physicality off the line of scrimmage gives him room to make plays and get open on his break. He is a fearless player who will travel across the middle with no hesitations. He can run well as a ball carrier and seems to excel when he has extra time to get open for his quarterback.

The primary issue with Mac is his most recent injury and lack of production regarding touchdowns. He has only three scores over three seasons with Ohio, and lack of separation in man coverage could cause them to fall down the pecking order. If he can increase his ability to get open against press coverage, he could land an active roster spot at the back end of the wide receiver unit.

Overall, Victor and Mack are two exciting prospects that have the talent to develop into solid contributors for the Giants. I suspect one of them will land on the practice squad, but both of them may end up in that position. They have to unseat Corey Coleman on the active roster to land a start spot on the team.

New York Giants Bring In Three Receivers As Undrafted Free Agents

New York Giants

The New York Giants chose to trust in the talent they currently have rather than drafting a receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean the coaching staff is ignoring the position outright. The Giants have brought in three new players at the position, but these players all share the spot of being undrafted free agents.

One of the intriguing ones is wide receiver Derrick Dillon. Dillon became one of the first undrafted free agents to sign for the Giants, and played on a deep LSU team that in addition to winning the national title, produced the number one overall draft pick this year. His snaps in that offense, however, were limited – he had 202 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns in LSU’s championship season, but the intriguing part of his skillset is his speed. Dillon ran a 4.29 time in the 40 yard dash at LSU’s pro day, meaning the Giants could potentially find a use for him based around that skill.

The other two receivers both played for another one of the top college programs in the country, Ohio State. Binjimen Victor appears to have a skill at getting to the end zone, and had 18 touchdowns across a four year career that saw him reach 1,340 receiving yards. In his final season, he had 35 receptions and 573 yards but an impressive six touchdowns.

Finally, Victor’s teammate trailed behind him with 361 yards and 3 touchdowns but may have a chance at carving out a spot on the team through athleticism and precision. It remains to be seen if any of these players will get on the final roster, but all of them have different skillsets that will help them in making a case. The coaching staff, at least, believed the undrafted free agent class is deep enough to warrant not drafting any receiver.