3 Rookies looking to make an early impact for Giants

Posted Aug 30, 2014

These three Rookies will try to make an early impact for the 2014 Giants

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OL Weston Richburg

Draft: 2nd Rd. (43rd overall)

Preseason: 5 GP, 1 GS

Outlook: Richburg started all 50 games in his four-year career at Colorado State, 45 of which were at center. But with the Giants signing veteran center J.D. Walton this offseason, Richburg worked at both guard positions this summer in training camp, in addition to some center with the second team. However, Richburg’s climb to a starting role was expedited by recent injuries to starting guards Geoff Schwartz (dislocated toe) and Brandon Mosley (back). Richburg started in place of Schwartz at left guard in the preseason finale against New England and will focus on that position for the time being.  “Well, I don’t have a choice,” Richburg said when asked if he’s ready for the regular season. “Like I said, the preseason was good to me, I think. It gave me a lot of valuable experience and I am definitely ready to get into the regular season.”

RB Andre Williams

Draft: 4th Rd. (112th overall)

Preseason: 5 GP

Outlook: The 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist out of Boston College made a formidable one-two punch with running back Rashad Jennings in the preseason, rushing 38 times for 195 yards and two touchdowns. If both backs come close to averaging more than five yards per carry like they did in the preseason, it could be a key factor in getting the new system going come Week 1. After all, one of the first things Coughlin and new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo wanted to establish this season was the power running game. Williams is the perfect back for that.

LB Devon Kennard

Draft: 5th Rd. (174th overall)

5 GP, 3 GS

When starting middle linebacker Jon Beason went down with a foot injury in spring drills, everyone in the position group received a bump up for the duration of training camp. And Kennard made the most of it. The rookie impressed from day one with his physical play in practice, which was complemented by 23 tackles in five preseason games (three starts). “I think Kennard is very smart,” veteran linebacker Jameel McClain, a former Baltimore Raven, said during camp. “I think he is very smart and physical. I am excited about him. I have seen a lot of good rookies, and he is definitely one of the most impressive young guys that I have seen maturity wise and professionalism. I gave him a lot of compliments in that one sentence. I usually don’t do that much.”