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Standout players from OTAs

Posted Jun 9, 2016

Giants.com names three players that made the biggest impact during Thursday's practice:   


Everything counts this time of year.

Every day, every practice and every meeting go into the evaluation process, which ramped up over the last few weeks during organized team activities at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

>> READ: ELI ON NFL'S TOP 100

“The objectives from OTAs is really learning and improving,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “You want to develop the fundamentals as best you can without pads on, work on communication – detail our communication there. Guys are really jockeying for position as far as where it goes for reps in training camp and the preseason games, whether they’re available or accountable and understanding when we get to training camp, it’s about building the team and it’s about competing for jobs.”

With that in mind, here are the players who stood out during OTA No. 9:

DE JASON PIERRE-PAUL

The Achilles’ heel of the Giants last season proved to be late-game situations, an area they that thrived on in years past. As OTAs come to a close, coaches can be encouraged by what they’ve seen so far this spring. On Thursday, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul intercepted tipped a ball to himself at the line of scrimmage and returned it for a score, ending the two-minute drill for the first team. Pierre-Paul, who is coming off serious hand injuries that he suffered last July 4, has two career interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns.

“I will never be completely back to normal, but I am doing everything that they ask me to do,” he said earlier this week. “I find ways around it. That is why I am out there today. I am lifting weights, I’m out here with the guys. I won’t say it is normal, but it is normal for me. I can deal with it.”
WR STERLING SHEPARD

The rookie second-round pick out of Oklahoma continues to build a rapport with franchise quarterback Eli Manning. The two hooked up for a red-zone touchdown in back-to-back practices and for the third time in four outings.

>> READ: STERLING SHEPARD BLOG

“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 this week. “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.”

CB DONTE DEAYON

After Pierre-Paul and the first team walked off, the second unit came in and did the same thing. Undrafted rookie cornerback Donte Deayon intercepted backup quarterback Ryan Nassib to put another tally in the win column for the two-minute defense. Earlier in the week, rookie safety Darian Thompson, a fellow Boise State product and the Giants’ third-round draft choice, did the same thing off Manning. Thompson (19) and Deayon (17) combined for 36 interceptions at Boise State and finished their careers first and third, respectively, in the Mountain West’s record books.