The Giants wrapped up two days of joint practices with the Cleveland Browns before their preseason meeting on Sunday. Here are the players who stood out:
WR Darius Slayton
In truth, a handful of Giants wide receivers could have been the selection here. Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, David Sills, Alex Bachman, and C.J. Board all had strong practices. I went with Slayton because I thought he had the biggest gain and made the most difficult catches of practice.
In the first period of team, Slayton caught a pass and then made the defender miss for what would have been a massive gain. It was the Giants' biggest pass play of the day.
During 1-on-1s in the red zone earlier in practice, Slayton caught a touchdown after beating Troy Hill and forced a defensive pass interference on another play. During 7-on-7 in the red zone, Slayton caught another touchdown on a tough contested catch. Hill was draped all over his back, but Slayton went up and held onto the football.
DL Leonard Williams
In the first play of the team portion of practice, Leonard Williams set the tone for the defense. He penetrated and held off a Browns offensive lineman using his length before meeting Nick Chubb in the hole for what would have been a tackle for loss. Two plays later, he caught Chubb in the backfield for another potential tackle for loss.
"I think it was a great way to respond," Williams said when asked about setting a tone early. "We came out here with a lot of energy, a lot of fire today. It was our first time going against this scheme, defensively. We haven't seen their scheme of offense all camp yet so having a joint practice like this is actually beneficial for both sides. We learned a lot from our first day yesterday and we came out, made corrections and played full speed."
In the next set of team drills, Williams and rookie linebacker Azeez Ojulari converged on the quarterback for a sack. In the final period of practice, a two-minute drill situation, Williams was in the backfield again, combining with Trent Harris for a sack that put the Browns into a fourth-and-long situation. James Bradberry broke up a pass over the middle to Donovan People-Jones to force the incompletion and get the Browns' offense off the field.
LB Devante Downs
Downs had a dominant run of three straight plays as he showcased different skillsets. He first got pressure on the quarterback on an inside blitz by running over Browns rookie running back Demetric Felton. Felton is only 190 pounds and was used as much as a receiver as he was a running back at North Carolina. Downs pancaked him on his way to the quarterback.
On the next play, Downs got into the backfield and forced what would have been a tackle for loss. His third play came in coverage. He followed Felton nearly 30 yards down the field on a deep route and got his head turned around right when the ball arrived. Downs deflected the ball in the air, and it went right to Quincy Wilson for the easy interception. It was an excellent show of athleticism and coordination from Downs to cover such an elusive player so far down the field.
Check out must-see photos from the joint practices between the Giants and Browns in Cleveland.