Standout players from OTAs

Posted Jun 6, 2016 names three players that made the biggest impact during Monday'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.

“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 standouts from OTA No. 7:


The rookie third-round draft choice ran with the first team once again on Monday, making the most of his reps with an interception off Eli Manning during a simulated two-minute drill. Needing a touchdown, Manning hooked up with Odell Beckham Jr. twice before a third pass went through the wide receiver’s hands and into the grasp of Thompson, who alertly took a knee as the defense claimed its victory.

“D.T. is a guy who looks like he is comfortable in his skin,” McAdoo said. “He can communicate well and we know he has good balls skills. That showed up in his stat line and on his film study and he is making the most of his opportunities.”


With Victor Cruz sidelined until training camp, Shepard and the rest of the receivers have received a bump up in playing time at OTAs. The rookie second-round draft choice out of Oklahoma has heard his number -- No. 87 -- called more and more as he continues to learn the playbook. On Monday, he mixed his smarts with skill and made a diving catch from Manning over the middle for a big gain.

“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.”


In order for an undrafted rookie to make an NFL roster, he needs to make plays in practice and eventually in the preseason games. While he awaits his opportunity in the latter, Deayon made himself known in today’s practice with an interception off a tipped pass from backup quarterback Ryan Nassib.


Along with Thompson, it was a big day for Boise State alumni. 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 for the Broncos. In between is All-Pro safety Eric Weddle, who had 18 at Utah.