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: 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?

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New York Giants: 2 dark horse UDFAs to keep an eye on in 2020

New York Giants, Derrick Dillon

The New York Giants have struggled at the kick returner position over the past few years. Flashing back to David Wilson and his explosiveness gives us an idea of what a good return man can do for the offense and field position.

The likes of Corey Coleman and former Giant Cody Latimer were lackluster from a kick return standpoint. Jabrill peppers entered the fold and suffered a season-ending injury after a fantastic return against the Bears in 2019.

However, Latimer is no longer a Giant, and Coleman is coming off an ACL tear. The coaches will be looking for another player to test out the position, and that is where to undrafted free agents potentially enter the picture.

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Here are two undrafted players the New York Giants could utilize in 2020:

1.) Javon Leake

Leake is an exciting young player out of Maryland. At 6 foot and 215 pounds, Leake represents an explosive straightaway runner who can burst into the open field. While he lacks lateral mobility and agility, if there is an open hole to run through, Javon can certainly exploit it.

He compares well to Tevin Coleman, who is a decent pass-catching back and can explode through running lanes.

While the Maryland product only enjoyed 155 total touches over three seasons, his big-play potential makes him someone to keep an eye on this summer. While I don’t believe he will earn one of the top three running back slots, I believe he can be a decent contributor on special teams, specifically as a kick returner.

New York Giants: UDFA Derrick Dillons could become next explosive kick returner

New York Giants, Derrick Dillon

The New York Giants landed a bevy of undrafted free agents after the 2020 NFL draft, one of them being LSU wide receiver Derrick Dillon. Dillon is an explosive runner, despite being used lightly in the LSU offense in 2019, catching 15 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Dillon is small but has elite speed, running a 4.29 40-yard dash.

His strengths are limited to short-area quickness and pure speed, but he could develop into a quality special-teams player. He has the tenacity to block well but also displays effort in all facets of the game. He lacks the necessary strength to dominate as a pass-catcher at the NFL level, but he could be a fantastic kick returner for Big Blue.

The current wide receiver unit for the Giants consists of Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Corey Coleman, and several other fringe roster players. These include Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, David Sills, Da’Mari Scott, Cody Core, and Alex Bachman.

While Dillon has a tall task ahead of him to earn a spot on the roster, I believe he has the explosive running ability to return punts potentially. The Giants have failed to find a consistent threat in the return game, and Dillon’s elite speed gives him a leg up on other players. With the number of injuries the Giants have sustained in recent years, they cannot depend on active players on both sides of the ball to also return kicks.

While new head coach Joe Judge is keen on maximizing his players at different positions, we saw how that panned out with Jabrill Peppers returning punts in 2019, as he suffered a season-ending hip injury.

Aside from returning punts, the Giants have Cody Core as a primary gunner on the defensive punt team, which could open up an opportunity for Dillon to carve out a role in that same way.

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.