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Cover 3: Most anticipated preseason debut


Which Giants player are you most looking forward to seeing in Thursday night's game against the Browns?

JOHN SCHMEELK: How can I say anyone but Saquon Barkley? There are arguments that can be made for Odell Beckham Jr. (if he plays), Davis Webb, and even the offensive line, but Barkley takes the cake for me. I've seen all I can from Barkley at practice. We know he is a ridiculous athlete who is very fast, quick, and can catch the ball out of the backfield. We still haven't seen him play NFL football with guys trying to tackle him at full speed.

When you think about it, that's the essence of playing running back. It is impossible to simulate in practice. I want to see what his running style looks like when he has the option of running through a tackler and taking dirty yards, or bouncing his runs outside. I want to see how quickly he picks a hole at the line of scrimmage with 11 defenders flowing in his direction. I want to see him break tackles and make guys miss at the NFL level. I want to see him, you know, actually play running back in an NFL game.

I can't wait! Let's do this!

PAUL DOTTINO: This is an easy question and - if you know anything about my old-school mentality - this will not be a surprise. Sure, it will be good to see first-round pick Saquon Barkley run against an opponent for the first time as a pro. But my answer has got to be the reconstructed offensive line.

Roll call, fellas: Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio/Brett Jones, Patrick Omameh and Ereck Flowers. Jones is the only possible starter who may line up in the same spot from last season and an offensive line requires more playing time to come together than any other unit on the field. No one - not any of these players nor the coaching staff - can tell you with any certainty how far along the line is without watching them take game reps.

Given the time it takes for a line to mesh, I'd expect the starting line to take at least double the 12-to-15 snaps the first string usually takes in the preseason opener. It might not even be a stretch to see the line play the entire first half. I would go as far to predict that the starting offensive line will be on the field for more preseason reps than the any of their teammates - that's the best way to get the trenches prepared for next month's regular season opener against Jacksonville.

LANCE MEDOW: When it comes to preseason games, I think you learn a lot more about the rookie class than the veterans mainly because the former tend to get the most snaps given the coaching staff wants them to receive as much work as possible leading up to the season. That's why I'm most looking forward to seeing Lorenzo Carter in Thursday night's game against the Browns. With not many established veterans in the mix as pass rushers, Carter has the opportunity to contribute immediately as a rookie and there's no better time for him to showcase his potential than during the preseason.

Carter moved around plenty at Georgia and became well known for his versatility, but he understands his top priority now is to get after the quarterback and during practice, he has delivered. Carter's length presents a difficult challenge for opposing offensive linemen, and I'm anxious to see how he'll fare against players he hasn't had the luxury of seeing on a daily basis. While collecting sacks and quarterback hits will earn him attention, how he protects the edge when it comes to stopping the run is just as important. Thursday night against the Browns is a huge first test.

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