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Cover 3: Takeaways from Rookie Minicamp

Posted May 15, 2017

Three Giants writers give their impressions of the draft class following rookie minicamp: 

The New York Giants held their rookie minicamp this past weekend at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. That’s where the team’s six draft picks, along with undrafted free agents and tryout players, practiced for the first time in front of their coaches.

In this week’s Cover 3, our writers broke down what they saw at camp as organized team activities (OTAs) are right around the corner:

JOHN SCHMEELK

Rookie minicamp is really tough to judge much. The players have more information than they could ever hope to handle thrown at them and they are put on the field with guys they (for the most part) haven’t played with before. There is also no physical contact between players. It makes judging anything meaningful from non-perimeter players and quarterbacks impossible.

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Davis Webb has the stature and arm strength he was advertised to have. His passes had zip and he got it down the field easily whenever he was asked to. Travis Rudolph was the receiver that jumped out to me the most. He showed very good quickness going but also showed the ability to get deep by catching the only completed deep pass during Friday practice. Evan Engram was first in line to do special teams drills, which is nice to see given his first round pedigree. Dalvin Tomlinson and Adam Bisnowaty also showed leadership by being the first in line for drills. It was a good start for the rookies, but if anyone tells you they saw anything definitive during rookie minicamp they are lying to you.

DAN SALOMONE

I’m not going to let Schmeelk make a liar out of me. I saw many definitive things. I definitely saw a couple dozen 20-somethings run around looking for the next station in between periods. I definitely saw a lot of thinking going on. I definitely saw a lot of works in progress. But that’s exactly what rookie minicamp is intended to be across the league. It’s a chance for coaches to introduce rookies to the system, show them how practices are run, and also get some evaluating done on them.

>> THE FEEL-GOOD STORY OF ROOKIE CAMP

It’s also the first chance for people like me to see them in person and how they interact on the field as well in their pressers. And my main takeaway is that the rookies, especially the draft picks, carried themselves well. They didn’t seem like wide-eyed newcomers. Even tight end Evan Engram, the team’s first-round pick, said he was surprised by how comfortable he felt. “I thought I was going to be more nervous,” he said. Of course, that will all change in the coming weeks when they’re thrown into the deep end with the grizzled vets, but for now, you have to like their poise. That shouldn’t be shocking because four out of the six draft picks played at the Senior Bowl. There weren’t a lot of early entrants this year.

LANCE MEDOW

If there’s anyone in particular you want to see standout at rookie minicamp it’s your first-round pick and that was the case for the Giants.  Evan Engram didn’t disappoint in his first action in Big Blue apparel.  The tight end out of Ole Miss picked up where he left off with third round pick Davis Webb at the Senior Bowl as the minicamp roommates once again transferred their chemistry off the field to between the lines by hooking up a few times in seven-on-seven drills.  Engram’s versatility was on full display as he lined up all over the field and took part in special teams drills, the latter of which is always crucial for rookies.

Aside from Engram, undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Travis Rudolph out of Florida State made a few nice grabs in team drills.  Although there’s currently plenty of depth on the roster at that position, you can tell Rudolph has a chip on his shoulder and is motivated to make a name for himself after going undrafted. 

Since rookie minicamp is the first opportunity to see the draft class up close and personal, one of the things I always look for is how the rookies interact with the media and what type of personalities stand out as opposed to all the on the field activities.  It didn’t take long for fourth-round pick Wayne Gallman to showcase his sense of humor.  When he was asked what was his first impression of the team facility, his response: the food, specifically the meatloaf.  Gallman said, “Not everybody can make meatloaf but they made some good meatloaf.” So how does it compare to what he’s eaten at Clemson? “Clemson didn’t make meatloaf.”  As Gallman looks to become a Giants fan favorite, it’s safe to say he’s already won over the team’s kitchen staff.