Jul 222014
 
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David Wilson, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

David Wilson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

BigBlueInteractive.com (BBI) Updates: In case you missed it, original-content articles from BBI today:

July 22, 2014 New York Giants Injury Report: LB Jon Beason (foot – PUP) did not practice. “We were obviously disappointed about Jon (Beason) when he got hurt, but we are really excited about the fact that he seems to be doing really well,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin. “I watched his treatment the other day, and boy, if he has a tender foot, he’s hiding it well. I think he is making really good progress.”

LB Jameel McClain was carted off of the field with a foot issue. “He thought it was a shoe issue, an irritation in his foot, but it was over one of the metatarsals, so (the medical staff) brought him in to look at that,” said Coughlin. “I’m hoping that this is just a matter of a sore foot with Jameel, so we’ll see.”

According to subsequent press reports, x-rays on McClain’s foot were negative. The New York Daily News is reporting that the Giants “are proceeding cautiously, however, and if his foot is sore on Wednesday they will likely send him for an MRI.”

OG Brandon Mosley left practice early due to an upset stomach. LT Charles Brown, TE Xavier Grimble, and LB Spencer Adkins left the field with heat-related issues.

OG John Jerry was limited in practice. “He was hurt all spring and was sick all summer,” said Coughlin. “He’s out, he’s lost some weight and he’s trying to get back in it, so it will take a while.”

July 22, 2014 Tom Coughlin Press Conference: The video from Tuesday’s press conference with Head Coach Tom Coughlin is available at Giants.com.

July 22, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

7 takeaways from Player Interviews by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

Article on the New York Giants 2014 Team Motto: Coughlin taps battlefield legends in message to Big Blue by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Article on Team President/CEO John Mara and the 2014 New York Giants: NY Giants owner John Mara looks for bounce back year, NFC East title by Gary Myers of The New York Daily News

Article on the New York Giants Offense: The sure sign you’re looking at a new Giants offense now by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on QB Eli Manning: How the Giants plan to restore Eli Manning to elite level by Steve Serby of The New York Post

Articles on WR Victor Cruz:

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Articles on Former Giant OG Chris Snee:

Jul 202014
 
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Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Report to Training Camp on Monday: New York Giants players are required to report to summer training camp on Monday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The first practice will be held on Tuesday from 1:20-3:30PM. For a complete listing of training camp practices as well as a handy fan Q&A about training camp, see our Training Camp section of the website.

2014 TRAINING CAMP SCHEDULE
Tuesday, July 22; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Wednesday, July 23; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Thursday, July 24; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Friday, July 25; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Saturday, July 26; No Practice – Players’ Day Off
Sunday, July 27; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Monday, July 28; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Tuesday, July 29; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Wednesday, July 30; No Practice – Players’ Day Off
Thursday, July 31; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Friday, August 1; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Saturday, August 2; No Practice
Sunday, August 3; Hall of Fame Game vs. Buffalo, 8:00 p.m. Canton, Ohio
Monday, August 4; No Practice – Players’ Day Off
Tuesday, August 5; Closed Practice due to MetLife Stadium Event
Wednesday, August 6; 5:40- 7:50 p.m. – Practice
Thursday, August 7; Closed Practice due to MetLife Stadium Event
Friday, August 8; No Practice
Saturday, August 9; Steelers vs. Giants, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 10; No Practice – Players’ Day Off
Monday, August 11; 3:20-5:30 p.m. – Practice
Tuesday, August 12; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Wednesday, August 13; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice
Thursday, August 14; 1:20-3:30 p.m. – Practice (End Camp)

NY Post Q&A with New York Giants President/CEO John Mara: Serby’s Sunday Q&A with John Mara by Steve Serby of The New York Post

New York Giants Training Camp Preview Articles:

Articles on QB Eli Manning:

Article on OC Weston Richburg and Offensive Coordinator Ben McAdoo: Rookie Weston Richburg studies Giants playbook as offense prepares for Ben McAdoo’s new system by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on the New York Giants Tight Ends: Giants Training Camp Battle No. 1: 5 tight ends in the wild competition by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Jul 172014
 
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CineSport Video Update: Strahan – Inside His Journey to Canton

Giants.com Q&A with LB Jameel McClain: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with LB Jameel McClain is available at Giants.com.

Article on OG Chris Snee: Chris Snee remains an unknown for Giants heading into training camp by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

New York Giants Training Camp Articles:

Article on QB Ryan Nassib: 10 Giants you should know when training camp begins: Ryan Nassib by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on WR Marcus Harris: 10 Giants you should know when training camp begins: Marcus Harris by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on OC/OG Weston Richburg: Giants training camp battle No. 5: J.D. Walton vs. Weston Richburg at center Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on Former Giants Quarterback Y.A. Tittle: Awakening the Giant by Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com

Jul 152014
 
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USA Today Sports Video: Giants Potential Breakout Players

Jim Herrmann, New York Giants (October 28, 2012)

Jim Herrmann – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Giants.com Q&A with Linebackers Coach Jim Herrmann: The video of a Giants.com Q&A with Linebackers Coach Jim Herrmann is available at Giants.com.

Inside Football Player Q&As: Transcripts of Q&A sessions with the following New York Giants players are available at InsideFootball.com:

Article on New York Giants Training Camp Battles: Giants have plenty of jobs up for grabs as training camp nears by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Article on QB Eli Manning and WR Odell Beckham, Jr.: Eli Manning works with NY Giants rookie receiver Odell Beckham at Manning Passing Academy by Kevin Armstrong of The New York Daily News

Articles on the New York Giants Offensive Line:

Article on DT Mike Patterson: 10 Giants you should know when training camp begins: Mike Patterson by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Articles on the New York Giants Linebackers:

Articles on the New York Giants Defensive Backs:

Article on PK Brandon McManus: North Penn grad Brandon McManus eyes opportunity to kick for Giants by Tom Layberger of The Reporter

Jul 092014
 
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CineSport Video Update: Strahan – His Life’s Journey to Canton

David Merritt, New York Giants (August 3, 2010)

David Merritt – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Inside Football Q&As with New York Giants Assistant Coaches:

Giants.com Q&A with DE Damontre Moore: The video of a Giants.com Q&A session with DE Damontre Moore is available at Giants.com.

Article on the New York Giants Fullbacks: Giants fullbacks anxiously wait for training camp to see how they’ll be used by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on OC/OG Weston Richburg: Is a starting guard slot realistic for Weston Richburg? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie film review: Giants CB overrated, underrated, as expected? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Group chat gives Giants better communication by Peter Cappiello of Newsday

Jul 092014
 
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Eli Manning, New York Giants (November 10, 2013)

Can the Giants’ line keep Manning upright in 2014? – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the New York Giants reporting to training camp in less than two weeks, BigBlueInteractive.com is breaking down each of the team’s positional groups from now until July 21. Today, let’s take a look at the offensive line.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Offensive Line

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: Years of failing to install a contingency plan up front caught up to Jerry Reese in 2013. As injury after injury hit the offensive line, few, if any, reserves were waiting in the wings to step up. The Giants entered the season with a starting line of: William Beatty, Kevin Boothe, David Baas, Chris Snee and David Diehl. By the end of the season…all had landed on the injury report. Quarterback Eli Manning was sacked a career-high 39 times and the deep passes that the Giants had so much success with in previous seasons were eliminated because there wasn’t time to throw. In the end, even Manning himself suffered an injury. Things were bad, very bad. It was a nightmare that ultimately forced Kevin Gilbride to ‘retire.’

Geoff Schwartz, Kansas City Chiefs (August 24, 2013)

Geoff Schwartz was the Giants big signing in 2014 – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: With how terrible things were last year, changes up front were inevitable. Kevin Boothe left for Oakland, David Baas was released and David Diehl retired. The Giants signed notable free agents: J.D. Walton (C), Geoff Schwartz (G), John Jerry (G) and Charles Brown (T) while drafting Weston Richburg (C/G) in the second round. It was a complete and much-needed overhaul.

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: While there are many, the health of guard Chris Snee tops the list. Since being drafted out of Boston College, Snee has been a staple on the Giants’ line and considered one of the best guards in the NFL. But the years in the trenches have taken their toll on the 32-year-old. His 6-3, 310-pound frame is bruised and battered and Snee’s hardly the player he was when entering the league over a decade ago. When the Giants reported for their offseason conditioning program, Snee was a full participant, but that quickly changed. His elbow flared, sidelining Snee for the majority of the workouts.

Even when Snee is healthy, he isn’t the same player he used to be. The fact he’s already being held out of non-contact practices doesn’t bode well. Will Snee make it out of training camp? Will he hang up the cleats? If he realizes he can no longer play, who steps up at right guard? There are many questions on the Giants’ offensive line (William Beatty), but many center around the health of Chris Snee.

Chris Snee and Pat Flaherty, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Snee was on the sideline for much of the Giants’ offseason workouts – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ON THE BUBBLE: Two names truly stick out: John Jerry and James Brewer. Since being considered an up-and-coming lineman for the Giants, James Brewer has yet to capitalize on the opportunities the team has given him. Now, he finds himself working with the third unit and his days in blue may be numbered. Jerry, meanwhile, is waiting to hear on his punishment for his involvement in the Miami Dolphins bully scandal. There’s a lot of hype around Jerry and talk he could be perfect in the Giants’ scheme, but his baggage may be enough to have the Giants pull the plug before even flipping the switch.

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Pat Flaherty on the new faces in the offensive line meeting room: “Change is going to happen, we all know that. I like it, I really do. I mean, do I miss? You always miss people that you’ve been around for a lot of years, sure. But we all understand in most businesses that there is going to be change on sometimes a daily basis, most of the time on a yearly basis and that’s the profession that we’re in right now. So it’s a challenge because we have a mixture of youth and some veterans that come in from other teams that have to learn a whole new offense, as myself. Any time you have that type of… when you’re a competitor as you are as a player and a coach you kind of grab a hold of that and it’s fun. It is.”

PREDICTIONS:

John Jerry, Miami Dolphins (November 17, 2013)

Is John Jerry the answer if Chris Snee can’t go?– © USA TODAY Sports Images

Connor Hughes - I’m just not sold on the Giants’ offensive line yet. I like the addition of Geoff Schwartz, but that solidifies one of the five question marks from left to right. Of every player that could step foot on the field to protect Eli Manning, I have faith in two: Justin Pugh and Schwartz. J.D. Walton has battled injuries, William Beatty is a huge question mark, who goes for Snee if/when he can’t? John Jerry wasn’t exactly a stud in Miami, Brandon Mosley and others on the line haven’t shown much. The Giants made their splashes in free agency and the draft on the offensive side of the ball, adding weapon, after weapon, after weapon…but none will matter if Eli Manning isn’t protected. Last year, Manning ended up injured in the final game of the season. There’s a big part of me that believes he could end up with the same fate far sooner in 2014.

Eric Kennedy – I have to disagree with Connor a bit here and say the #1 question mark on the offensive line – and one of the top three question marks for the entire team – is Will Beatty. Coming off of a fractured leg and possibly an undisclosed knee injury, it remains to be seen when Beatty will be able to practice with the revamped first-team offensive line. He needs the practice. Not only to rebound from a very poor 2013 campaign, but also to develop chemistry and cohesion with LG Geoff Schwartz. The Giants can survive without Chris Snee, I’m not sure they can perform well without Beatty returning to his 2012 form. The “wild card” here is Charles Brown. He has talent, but was very inconsistent at left tackle in New Orleans.

My prediction is that J.D. Walton turns out to be a much more valuable addition to the team than many initially thought. He is a no-nonsense guy who will get the job done and bring some leadership to the unit. Walton and Geoff Schwartz will settle down the middle of the offensive line. I also look for Brandon Mosley to develop and possibly challenge for a starting spot.

STARTING LINE WEEK 1?
Connor Hughes - William Beatty (LT), Geoff Schwartz (LG), J.D. Walton (C), John Jerry (RG), Justin Pugh (RT).

Eric Kennedy – Will Beatty (LT), Geoff Schwartz (LG), J.D. Walton (C), Chris Snee (RG), Justin Pugh (RT). (I also think John Jerry, Charles Brown, Weston Richburg, and Brandon Mosley make the team).

May 202014
 
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Ryan Nassib, New York Giants (May 20, 2014)

Ryan Nassib – Photo by Connor Hughes

May 20, 2014 New York Giants Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video of Tuesday’s media Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

Articles on Wide Receiver Odell Beckham:

Article on Tight Ends Adrien Robinson and Xavier Grimble: Robinson, Grimble could fill void at TE by Kieran Darcy of ESPN.com

Article on Offensive Linemen Geoff Schwartz and Weston Richburg: New Giants linemen getting outside help by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

BigBlueInteractive.com on Giants.com Big Blue Kickoff Live: The audio of Eric Kennedy from BigBlueInteractive.com being interviewed on Giants.com’s Big Blue Kickoff Live podcast on Tuesday is available at Giants.com. Eric joins the show at the 30-minute mark of the broadcast.

May 192014
 
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Devon Kennard, USC Trojans (September 21, 2013)

Devon Kennard – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign Odell Beckham, Weston Richburg, Devon Kennard, Bennett Jackson: The New York Giants officially announced on Monday that they have signed 2014 NFL Draft selections:

  • WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (1st round)
  • OC Weston Richburg (2nd round)
  • LB Devon Kennard (5th round)
  • CB Bennett Jackson (6th round)

The Giants signed RB Andre Williams (4th round) and S Nat Berhe (5th round) last Friday. The only unsigned draft pick is DT Jay Bromley (3rd round).

Article on the New York Giants and the 2014 Salary Cap: Salary Cap Update: Giants have enough money to sign draft picks, plus $5M coming June 1 by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on RB Rashad Jennings: The Dork Diet and Geek Streak of Giants RB Rashad Jennings by Sarah Toland of SI.com

Article on RB Andre Williams: Giants think they have a steal in Williams by George O’Gorman of The Trentonian

Article on DE Kerry Wynn: Giants draft 2014: Get to know your priority free agents with Richmond DE Kerry Wynn by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on DT Jay Bromley: Giants rookie Jay Bromley worth rooting for by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on LB Devon Kennard: Giants Draft Picks: Who has best chance to surprise this season? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Articles on S Nat Berhe:

May 172014
 
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Odell Beckham, New York Giants (May 8, 2014)

Odell Beckham – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants 2014 NFL Draft Review: Eric’s Take

The New York Giants are not reloading; they are rebuilding. And while this rebuilding project does not reach down to the foundational level (head coach and quarterback), the offensive coaching staff was almost completely revamped (three new coaches, two re-assigned); core players have retired or been allowed to leave via free agency; an unprecedented 16 players were added in veteran free agency; and an additional 18 players have been added since the draft started.

Despite all of these roster additions, the New York Giants were not able to address every need in the 2014 NFL Draft. Team leadership was surprisingly candid about this immediately after the draft.

“In personnel, sometimes you can’t get everything,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “You can’t just waive a magic wand.”

“You get seven picks, and you can’t take everything you need,” said Marc Ross. “You can’t have first round picks at every pick that you want and things that you think you need.”

How does a team that has added 34 players in the past three months still have significant holes? Because for a variety of reasons, too many picks in the last six NFL Drafts have not worked out and are no longer with the team. Hence the need for a major rebuilding project.

So before we look at what the Giants accomplished, let’s look at what they did not accomplish.

Ideally, the Giants would have liked to have added premium draft picks at the offensive tackle, tight end, defensive end, and linebacker positions. But as Reese and Ross said, you can’t do everything you want in one draft when you have so many needs.

Tight end has gotten more attention from fans, but the Giants have a glaring question mark at tackle. Will Beatty is coming off of a bad season and a significant injury that will hamper his preparation for the 2014 season. If he isn’t ready or struggles again, the passing and running games will suffer. Charles Brown, a former 2nd round pick of the Saints who was brought in for depth and insurance, struggled in New Orleans with inconsistent pass protection and penalties. The Giants could shift Justin Pugh to left tackle, but then who plays right tackle? Geoff Schwartz? Even he admits he is a better guard. James Brewer? He hasn’t taken the bull by the horns since drafted in 2011. Brandon Mosley or Stephen Goodin? Still relative unknowns.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin was surprisingly honest about his desire to add a tight end in the draft. “It has to work out for you and all of a sudden, bang, a couple guys were gone in that 2nd round and you say, ‘Wait a minute, how deep is that position and then who?’ Two of them (who we liked) are (drafted by other teams),” said Coughlin. “Yeah it’s a concern.”

So the Giants will have to hope that one of the following step up: journeymen Daniel Fells or Kellen Davis, or the talented but so far disappointing Adrien Robinson or Larry Donnell. I still would not write off the possibility of signing free agent Jermichael Finley if he can pass a physical.

On paper, the strength of the Giants defense seems to have shifted from the defensive line to the secondary. If true, I can’t recall at time when that was ever the case. Now the Giants must pray that Jason Pierre-Paul regains his 2011 form after two bad seasons. They must also pray that Damontre Moore develops into a quality pass rusher. Mathias Kiwanuka and Robert Ayers are not bad players, but they don’t scare anyone. Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, and Justin Tuck are just memories now. In 2014, the Giants may struggle to rush the passer.

Jerry Reese learned a valuable lesson in 2013: a good linebacker can dramatically improve the entire defense. Jon Beason proved to be an impact addition, not just because of his play, but perhaps more importantly due to his leadership. But Beason has had some significant injuries and the Giants still lack big-time playmakers at the outside positions. In a perfect world, the Giants would have added a top linebacking prospect. Jameel McClain may help, but he was just a guy in Baltimore. The Giants can get by with what they have (Spencer Paysinger, Jacquian Williams), but there is little depth and no special players.

OK, so let’s look at what the Giants did accomplish in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Adding an impact wide receiver was critical and the Giants appear to have done just that with the selection of Odell Beckham, Jr. in the 1st round. Last season, teams simply took Victor Cruz out of the game and dared the other receivers and tight ends to hurt them. They couldn’t. If Beckham develops into the player as hoped, the Giants will have the outside threat they have lacked since Week 2 of the 2012 NFL season when Hakeem Nicks became a shadow of himself. Beckham has it all except height. Since Eli Manning tends to throw the ball high, additional height would help but Beckham is very quick and fast, runs great routes, can make circus catches, and perhaps most significantly in the new Giants offense, is a tremendous run-after-the-catch receiver. Eli Manning has worked with Beckham in passing camps and fully endorses the selection. Unusually, there already seems to be chemistry there. Most encouraging is that there are reports that at least a half-dozen teams were trying to trade up to snag Beckham. He was picked right where the rest of the NFL seems to have expected him to go. Now if Rueben Randle could just develop, the Giants will be in very good shape at wide receiver.

In round two, most fans thought the Giants would draft an offensive tackle or tight end. But many were also thinking guard or center and the Giants arguably picked the best center in the draft with the selection of Weston Richburg. Richburg lacks ideal size, but most NFL centers are in the same size range (6’3”, 300lbs). He has everything else – strength, agility, quickness, smarts, work ethic, leadership qualities. Temperament wise, he has been compared favorably to Richie Seubert. J.D. Walton may start, but Richburg has the look of a 10-year starter. The Giants may even consider moving Richburg or Walton temporarily to guard if necessary. Richburg was expected to be drafted in this area of the draft and the only criticism that can be leveled here is that he was a “luxury” pick given the needs at tight end and tackle.

Fans debated before the draft how big a need was the defensive tackle position, especially given the free agent departure of Linval Joseph. Some said it was a big need. Others said they were relatively comfortable with the players behind Cullen Jenkins and Joseph’s replacement, Johnathan Hankins. But with the selection of Jay Bromley in the 3rd round, the Giants made it clear they wanted to add another quality prospect to compete with Mike Patterson and Markus Kuhn, as well as groom behind the 33-year old Jenkins. Bromley is the most controversial selection by the Giants. Most “draft experts,” and even Bromley’s agent, expected him to be drafted in rounds 4-6. Fans such as myself who have watched YouTube clips of him (always a dubious exercise) have come away with mixed evaluations. Some see a prospect who struggles at the point-of-attack while others have seen a guy who can penetrate and disrupt. Regardless, how Bromley develops or doesn’t develop will be a big factor in how this draft is evaluated years from now. To be brutally frank, the Giants have really struggled with their 3rd round selections (Jayron Hosley, Jerrel Jernigan, Ramses Barden, Travis Beckum, Gerris Wilkinson) not to mention bad luck with others (Chad Jones and Jay Alford). What we do know about Bromley is he is a guy who is easy to root for (see this outstanding New York Daily News article), he’s a New Yorker who grew up a Giants fan, and he does have good quickness and tenacity for the position. In addition, Bromley was a team captain at Syracuse. The Giants feel he can get bigger and stronger without affecting quickness. Jerry Reese went so far as to compare him to a shorter version of Chris Canty. In my personal view, ultimately, for Bromley to work out, he has to play far more stout at the point-of-attack then I saw on the limited YouTube video that I watched.

There was an intriguing post from BigBlueInteractive.com contributor Ross. Through the grapevine, he heard the following from a former employee of the Philadelphia Eagles:

Each year, teams think they found a few guys that are off the radar and can get them later in the draft for various reasons: injury, small schools, overshadowed etc. This year, one of those guys was Bromley. He said there was a buzz about him in recent weeks and thought he would get drafted earlier that the so called draft experts projected. He’s a “sleeper” and thought many teams wanted him. He said that he is the type of guy that no one talks about as so many teams are interested and they hope he slips. He said no one will work harder than him and Giants got a really good player. Said he was a sure 3rd round pick in his mind and also used the Chris Canty comparison as player type. Thought the Steelers or Bears would grab him in the 3rd which means that he didn’t think it was a reach at all.

As disappointed as many fans were with the “reach” of Bromley, they were equally excited about the Giants drafting RB Andre Williams, the nation’s leading rusher and Heisman Trophy candidate, in the 4th round. Name recognition goes a long way in making the average fan happy around draft time. That said, Williams looks like a very good value selection. A little oddly, running back was not perceived as big need by most Giants fans. This probably had to do more with talent issues at other positions than the true state of affairs, especially given David Wilson’s unsure status. In addition, while I’m a fan of Rashad Jennings, it’s still unknown if he can be the “bell cow” at running back. Williams is a throwback. He’s a big, powerful, bruising running back who seems more out-of-style in today’s pass-happy game. The biggest knock on Williams is his hands. He did not have a single reception in 2013 at Boston College. He also needs to hold onto the ball better (10 fumbles in three seasons). The Jennings-Williams duo gives the Giants backfield an entirely different feel. This is a sledgehammer combination that can wear down a defense if – and this is big “if” – the Giants can block for them up front.

Nat Berhe, the first of the Giants two 5th rounders, is an undersized heat-seeking missile who loves the physical side of the game. He is a big hitter and aggressive tackler. He also is another smart guy and former team captain. At worst, he should excel on special teams. At best, he could become the new in-the-box safety/linebacker in Perry Fewell’s three-safety package. “Well, you can compare it to the third safety role, that Deon Grant role as we’ve called it,” said Marc Ross. “That would be the most natural fit. This is what (Berhe) did and this is what that role was (in college).” The biggest knock on Berhe, other than his size, is that does not make many plays on the football in the air (five interceptions in three seasons).

The second 5th rounder, Devon Kennard, is one of those DE/LB ‘tweeners who the Giants have liked to draft in recent years, but who may not be a good fit for a 4-3 defense. Kennard is big, physical, smart, a team leader, and flashes as a pass rusher. But what we don’t know is if he has the quickness, agility, and speed to play linebacker at the pro level against pass-happy NFL offenses. I envision him as the equivalent to Mathias Kiwanuka (when he played at weakside linebacker), but the Giants have talked about him possibly being a candidate at middle linebacker. I question if he has the overall athleticism for that move. Some had projected Kennard to be drafted much earlier than the 5th round so this at least appears to be a good value selection.

The Giants final pick – CB Bennett Jackson in the 6th round – is also a good value pick. He was projected by some to go higher than this as well. Jackson is a former wide receiver who was converted to corner for the last two years of school at Notre Dame. Another team captain, he was limited his senior season by a shoulder injury. He is size-speed project with good intangibles but he faces stiff competition and numbers at the corner position on this roster. His best immediate prospect may be the Practice Squad unless he kicks ass on special teams in the preseason.

As for the 10 rookie free agents signed after the draft, the three most intriguing are TE Xavier Grimble, DT Kelcy Quarles, and DT Eathyn Manumaleuna. Safeties C.J. Barnett and Thomas Gordon also started a ton of games in the Big 10. Even had the Giants not had a huge need at tight end, Grimble would be an interesting signing. He has a nice combination of size, overall athleticism, and hands. His productivity at USC was hampered by injures and Lane Kiffin’s offense. He could surprise. Quarles was expected by some to be drafted as high as the 2nd-3rd round, but some have questioned his maturity and character. Manumaleuna may lack ideal size and athleticism, but he’s a disruptive football player who can play the run. The Giants also loaded up on defensive ends (Kerry Wynn, Emmanuel Dieke, and Jordan Stanton) and linebackers (Dan Fox and Justin Anderson), hoping one may be a diamond in the rough. Interestingly, 9-out-of-10 of the rookie free agent signings were on the defensive side of the football. None were on the offensive line.

Overall, this appears to be a respectable group. The Giants look like they have future starters in Beckham, Richburg, and Williams. Much depends on Bromley. Did the Giants reach again in the 3rd round or find a gem? The Giants will have to wait until 2015 to address their other needs at offensive tackle (unless Beatty rebounds), tight end (unless someone surprises), defensive end (unless Damontre Moore turns into a stud), and linebacker. The rebuilding project continues.

May 142014
 
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Jamaal Johnson-Webb, Arizona Cardinals (August 9, 2013)

Jamaal Johnson-Webb – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Claim Jamaal Johnson-Webb Off of Waivers: The New York Giants claimed offensive lineman Jamaal Johnson-Webb off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills on Wednesday.

BBI Scouting Report on Jamaal Johnson-Webb:

Johnson-Webb was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. Since then, he has spent time with the Cardinals, Bears, Vikings, and Bills. Johnson-Webb has a nice combination of size, arm length, and overall athleticism. However, given his late start to the game of football and small-school background, he is raw and needs continued strength training and technique work.

Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

TE Xavier Grimble Close to Officially Signing: Undrafted rookie free agent tight end Xavier Grimble (USC) indicated on Twitter on Wednesday that he will likely officially sign with the New York Giants soon.

Article on OC Weston Richburg: Weston Richbug: Analyzing the Giants’ second-round pick on tape by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on CB Prince Amukamara: Prince Amukamara: I haven’t given the Giants a return on their investment yet by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on S Will Hill: Will Hill has told Giants players he’s been clean by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com