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5 things we learned at OTA practice (6/6)

Posted Jun 6, 2016

Giants.com highlights five takeaways from Monday's OTA practice:   

The New York Giants hit the home stretch of organized team activities on Monday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

After returning from the weekend, the team held its seventh OTA practice, leaving three more before mandatory minicamp runs June 14-16. Once that closes, it’ll be quiet around the facility until players report back for training camp on July 28.

But we’re not there yet.

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Today’s practice featured plenty of action, including two draft picks making some big plays. Let’s get to it.

Here are five things we learned from OTA No. 7:

1. ROOKIE NOTCHED ONE FOR THE D

Rookie safety Darian Thompson was the talk of Monday at the QDTC. During a simulated two-minute drill where the offense needed to get into the end zone, the third-round draft choice out of Boise State intercepted a pass from Eli Manning that went through the hands of Odell Beckham Jr. Coach Ben McAdoo was even more impressed with Thompson’s awareness to take a knee after the turnover knowing the defense had sealed the victory. And after a season in which the Giants lost many of their games in the closing minutes -- and sometimes seconds -- it was a good sign for the defense.

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“He had enough awareness to know that the game was over at that point in time with the offense only having one timeout and under 50 seconds; I believe that was what was on the clock at that point on the tipped ball,” McAdoo said. “So he showed good awareness there. You can obviously feel the pass rush a little bit with the front and the secondary has good coverage, so that is encouraging.”


2. SHEPARD CONTINUED TO EMERGE

Not to be outdone by his fellow classmate, wide receiver Sterling Shepard, the second-round choice, showed the hands that caught 233 passes for 3,482 yards and 26 touchdowns at Oklahoma. The former Sooner stretched out for diving catch over the middle on a pass thrown by Manning during a no-huddle period.

“The thing about Sterling is he will make a mistake, as a lot of young guys do and a lot of veterans do, but he doesn’t seem like the guy that is going to repeat that mistake,” McAdoo said. “So once he makes a mistake, he will fix it, he will move on, he will learn from it and he is continuing to pick things up and he is doing a nice job right now for us.”

3. NASSIB, WHITE HOOKED UP FOR LONG PLAY

Wide receiver Myles White turned in the longest play of the day on a deep ball thrown by backup quarterback Ryan Nassib. White, who played in 12 games for the Giants last year and caught his first career touchdown, gained enough separation down the right sideline with two defenders in pursuit and tracked the ball in for a big gain.

4. NEW YORK BRONCOS?

Thompson wasn’t the only Boise State product to grab an interception in practice today. Former Bronco Donte Deayon caught a tipped pass from Nassib and the undrafted rookie returned it for what would have been a touchdown.

The Giants currently boast two of the top three interceptors in Mountain West history. First is Thompson, the all-time leader with 19, and third is Deayon with 17. In between is All-Pro safety Eric Weddle, who had 18 at Utah. The 2005 Mountain West Defensive Player of Year now plays for the Baltimore Ravens, whom the Giants will see at home in Week 6.

5. TOO EARLY FOR DEPTH CHART

From safety to wide receiver to tight end, there are a handful of competitions for starting roles that are underway at OTAs. That will heat up during next week’s minicamp, but McAdoo said it’s premature to start thinking about the depth chart. “Those things tend to sort themselves out,” he said less than 100 days until Week 1. The biggest difference between OTAs and minicamp is that the latter is mandatory.

“The structure of practice will be similar for this time of the year,” McAdoo said. “We will have them for a little bit longer in the day, so we will be able to get them on the field, and extra time to get some simulated training in in the afternoon but otherwise it will be pretty similar.”