1. DT Johnathan Hankins
Free agency was as much about hellos as it was goodbyes for the Giants, who were very active this offseason. With Linval Joseph’s departure to the Minnesota Vikings, Jonathan Hankins, the Giants’ 2013 second-round draft choice, has a chance to step up and carve out a prominent role for himself.
2. DE Damontre Moore
Like Hankins, Damontre Moore saw a fixture at his position part ways with the team in free agency. After Justin Tuck signed with the Oakland Raiders, Moore saw his opportunity grow but must first show it on the field.
3. RB Rashad Jennings
When Rashad Jennings hit free agency this year and was looking for potential teams, he said, “It’s my job to show one team that they’re right.” The Giants hope to be that one as Jennings has been the primary back through organized team activities and mandatory minicamp. Meanwhile, Big Blue moved on from its 2013 leading rusher, Andre Brown, who signed with the Houston Texans.
4. Safety Stevie Brown
While Stevie Brown recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him for all of 2013, Will Hill asserted himself as a starter playing alongside Antrel Rolle. However, the Giants released Hill this spring following his latest suspension by the NFL, opening the door for Brown to possibly start again and return to his 2012 form.
5. LB Devon Kennard
Unfortunately, opportunities sometimes come at the expense of injuries in the NFL. While Jon Beason hopes to return for the season opener, rookie Devon Kennard, the Giants’ fifth-round draft choice, has been bumped up at middle linebacker behind Jameel McClain for the time being. Kennard has made a good first impression as he also took reps on the outside with the first team during minicamp.
6. QB Ryan Nassib
After releasing Josh Freeman last month, the Giants carry three quarterbacks into training camp. That leaves Ryan Nassib and incumbent Curtis Painter to vie for the backup role behind Eli Manning. In addition to having a year under his belt, Nassib has said Ben McAdoo’s new offense suits his skills while also being similar to his system at Syracuse.
7. TE Adrien Robinson
The decision to not re-sign Brandon Myers (who went to Tampa Bay) and not draft a tight end showed the Giants’ commitment to the ones they had on the roster, which included two offseason acquisitions and two homegrown players. Adrien Robinson, who has played in just three games since being drafted in the fourth round by the Giants in 2012, is part of the latter along with Larry Donnell. They will compete for an open position along with veterans Kellen Davis and Daniel Fells in addition to undrafted rookie Xavier Grimble.