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Giants players to watch during OTA's


  1. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.** The Giants made headlines this offseason with their flurry of activity in free agency, and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was at the center of the buzz.


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Now we get to see him suiting up with his new team.  The seventh-year cornerback, who previously played for the Cardinals, Eagles, and, most recently, the defending AFC champion Broncos, is trying to fit in with the Giants and "go where they're trying to go." We'll see if he and the Giants get there in the winter, but the work starts now. With leaders like Antrel Rolle and Jon Beason at the helm, the defense is forging a new identity in 2014, and Rodgers-Cromartie will be another major part of it.

2. TE Adrien Robinson/TE Larry Donnell.After playing just three games and not recording a catch in his first two seasons, the Giants' 2012 fourth-round draft choice admitted last week that he was "pretty frustrated" when asked about his NFL career so far. But all he can do is focus on 2014 while the Giants look for their fifth starting tight end in as many seasons.  "Well, it's my third year, my weight's down, we've got a new OC (offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo), a new tight ends coach (Kevin M. Gilbride)," Robinson said. "Everything is fresh; it's like a clean slate. I'm just ready to go." Meanwhile, general manager Jerry Reese has expressed faith in another young tight end, Larry Donnell, who made his way onto the active roster last season and played in all 16 games.

3. C J.D. Walton. Signed by the Giants in the first wave of free agency along with fellow lineman Geoff Schwartz and running back Rashad Jennings, Walton brings five years of experience and 36 starts at center to the Giants, who needed to bolster the position. However, Walton missed all of last season and the final 12 games of 2012 because of an ankle injury. While he works back into a new team with a new system, he'll be competing with Dallas Reynolds and rookie Weston Richburg, whom the Giants drafted in the second round earlier this month.

  1. QB Ryan Nassib.** For a role the team hopes to never use, the backup quarterback competition will be intriguing in the coming weeks and months. From Eli Manning and Curtis Painter both undergoing procedures this offseason to the signing of former 4,000-yard passer Josh Freeman, there has been plenty of activity behind No. 10. And Nassib, a fourth-round draft choice of the Giants last year, is embracing it. In fact, he believes McAdoo's new system suits him well. "That's the goal right now, to secure that backup spot," Nassib said last week. "We have a great competition going on in our room. We have great guys in there. We're all learning, we're all grinding right now, helping each other. It is what it is."

5. Rookies. Without a traditional rookie minicamp because of the draft being pushed back, the Giants threw their newbies right into the middle of the offseason workout program along with the veterans. That could help their 2014 draft class, which is expected to produce right away. Keep an eye on how first-rounder Odell Beckham Jr. is being used at wide receiver, if second-rounder Weston Richburg is lining up at center or guard or both, where Jay Bromley is in the defensive tackle rotation, and so on. Meanwhile, the Giants' group of undrafted rookie free agents is full of proven college players who won't make competitions any easier.

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