Three Giants writers debate the most intriguing one-on-one matchup at Training Camp:
Which one-on-one matchup are you looking forward to seeing in training camp?
This one is easy for me: Olivier Vernon vs. Ereck Flowers. We saw the receivers and cornerbacks go at it at minicamp, but I'm desperate to see these two work against one another in pads. Last year, Vernon had a lot of success against Flowers in camp, which was a foreshadowing of some of Flowers' problems during the regular season.
If Flowers can stand up to Vernon in pads at practice, I will feel very good about his prospects in the regular season. He won't go against many people tougher to block than Vernon.
Eli Apple vs. anyone. He was limited late in OTAs and minicamp and has flown a little under the radar this offseason, but the cornerback is the key to taking this defense from a one-year wonder to a perennial powerhouse. Like Landon Collins at safety, he gained invaluable experience as a full-time starter in his rookie year. And also like Collins, he'll look to break out as a sophomore. If Apple even comes close to the All-Pro, the Giants can start to knock on the door of elite defenses like Seattle and Denver. At camp, we'll see one of the best secondaries in the NFL go against one of the best receiving corps. It will be a good test for both sides with Week 1 less than two months away.
All offseason we've been waiting for the players to put the pads on so we could judge the competition in the trenches -- and that time will finally arrive in training camp. From an optics standpoint, Ereck Flowers has had an impressive offseason. He took up boxing and also stayed at the team facility, with fellow offensive lineman Bobby Hart, to work out. Those two pushed one another to improve and now it's a matter of how that hard work will translate to the field. Flowers (like Hart) is entering his third season in the league, which is a critical year for all players, and it goes without saying that his play at left tackle will dictate how effective the offensive line is in 2017. That's why I'm looking forward to seeing him go up against Olivier Vernon and perhaps even Jason Pierre-Paul, depending on how the defensive linemen align during camp. Those should be fun battles to watch and an opportunity for Flowers to show that all the hard work off the field has had a positive impact on it. There's no better way to improve as an offensive lineman than to compete against some of the best defensive linemen in the league.