5 Training Camp competitions to watch

Posted Jul 20, 2014 takes a look at five key competitions to watch heading into Training Camp

1) Tight End
> Training Camp Schedule Announced
> NFL Coaching Power Rankings
> position preview: CB's

Last season:
In his first and only season with the Giants, Brandon Myers -- now with Tampa Bay -- accounted for most of the production from the position, catching 47 passes for 522 yards and four touchdowns. Bear Pascoe, who signed with Atlanta as a free agent this offseason, had 12 catches for 81 yards, and Larry Donnell added three receptions for 31 yards. Meanwhile, Adrien Robinson’s season never took off and the 2012 fourth-round draft pick played in just one game with no catches.

This season:
The Giants added veteran Daniel Fells in January and later signed former Seattle Seahawk Kellen Davis in free agency. After not selecting a tight end in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Giants acquired Xavier Grimble, a promising undrafted rookie out of USC.

Fells enters training camp with more production at the NFL level than the other four tight ends combined. However, it will still be a wide open competition as we wait to see what new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo really has in store for the system. Meanwhile, general manager Jerry Reese has reiterated his hope for the two young tight ends, Robinson and Donnell, to come along.
2) Center

Last season: Injuries plagued the offensive line as the center position rotated throughout the season. Three difference players started at center, none of which are on the team anymore (David Baas, Kevin Boothe, and Jim Cordle).

This season:
The offensive line was a top priority this offseason, and in the first wave of free agency, the Giants signed former Denver Bronco J.D. Walton to play center. They later used their second-round draft pick on Weston Richburg, a 50-game starter at Colorado State.

Walton spent the majority of organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp playing center with the first team. Richburg, who also played some guard in the spring, will be right behind him in training camp while the team also takes a look at what Dallas Reynolds brings to the table.
3) Backup Quarterback

Last season: Tom Coughlin somewhat uncharacteristically carried three quarterbacks after the Giants drafted Ryan Nassib in the fourth round. Nassib spent his rookie season as third on the depth chart behind veteran Curtis Painter and starter Eli Manning.

This season:
After a brief period of also having Josh Freeman and Rusty Smith on the roster, the same three quarterbacks as last year remain on the depth chart.

With the possibility of the Giants not keeping three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, Nassib and Painter will make their cases in training camp. Nassib spent the spring with the second team and looked like he improved from last season as McAdoo’s system seems to fit his skillset.
4) Defensive End

Last season: While Jason Pierre-Paul struggled with injuries and managed just two sacks, Justin Tuck led the team with 11 quarterback takedowns while Mathias Kiwanuka contributed six on a defensive line that excelled at stopping the run.

This season:
The Giants lost one of their longtime captains in Tuck to free agency and brought in Robert Ayers from the Denver Broncos to shore up the position.

Pierre-Paul has said and done all he can do to get back to his 2011 form both physically and mentally. As he tries to do so, Kiwanuka and Ayers will vie for snaps playing opposite him. Damontre Moore also has another year under his belt and will try to prove to his coaches that he is ready for more in the scheme. 
5) Fullback

Last season: After Henry Hynoski was placed on injured reserve early in the season, the Giants signed John Conner, who took on the role of bruiser for the remainder of the year.

This season:
Both Hynoski and Conner return to training camp as the only two true fullbacks on the roster.

A lot of this competition will come down to what exactly McAdoo envisions for the position, which we have yet to see. Does he need a traditional fullback or a hybrid player that can be moved around in an offense that has some West Coast characteristics? Can a tight end also double as one? These are questions that will be answered in the coming weeks.