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2021 Rookie Camp

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Cover 3: What we learned at Giants Rookie Minicamp


The crew recaps all you need to know from the 2021 rookie minicamp:

John Schmeelk: This wasn't a typical rookie minicamp, with barely more than 20 players in attendance, including some undrafted free agents and a few tryouts. There were no team sessions or full-speed 1-on-1 drills. In other words, there wasn't much to see. Even with the limited work, first-round pick Kadarius Toney barely participated in the team drills or many routes after having issues finding the right shoes on the first day.

One thing, however, was clear. The Giants second- and fourth-round picks look the part of NFL edge rushers. Elerson Smith is tall, long, and very well put together. His frame is perfect for an NFL edge defender. He might have to thicken up his frame a little bit, but otherwise he looked exactly what you want a NFL edge player to look like.

Ojulari (6-3) isn't nearly as tall as Smith (6-7), but he is much stouter. He is thick and muscular, which should not be a surprise given how well he stood up against the run against bigger players in college. He even flashed some of his explosiveness in the pass rush drills.

The Giants needed to come out of this draft with some talented pass rushers off the edge, and they walked away with two players in Smith and Ojulari who have the potential to be just that.

View the best images of the draft class on the field for the first time at the 2021 New York Giants Rookie Minicamp.

Dan Salomone: The biggest news from rookie minicamp didn't involve the rookies at all. The team signed two veterans participating on a trial basis: 5-foot-10, 220-pound running back Corey Clement, whose most memorable performance occurred in Super Bowl LII with the Eagles, and 6-foot-5, 245-pound wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, a former first-round draft choice by then-Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman.

"All of the guys were brought in on a trial basis," coach Joe Judge said Friday. "They were the guys available for us to work check within our system a little bit and see if there's a potential to add them for a role for our team. In terms of Benjamin working different position … we're going to work different guys at a variety of things right now. He's a big guy. He's always been a big receiver. He'll work receiver. He's working a little bit flex tight end as well. I wouldn't really pin him down to any one position at this point. We're going to use the weekend to move him around to different spots and see how it works out."

As for the rookies, Judge made it clear the weekend was about orientation rather than competition as the coaches tried to get them up to speed. That way, they can be prepared when they are thrown in the deep end with the veterans.

"That's the biggest goal right now, give them a further understanding of not just the Xs and Os but everything associated with the league," Judge said. "We have a player development team that will meet with these guys multiple times every day. We will spend a lot of time meeting with the strength and conditioning staff, not as far as just lifting weights but understanding how to best manage their bodies, recover, sleep, nutrition, everything that's going to help them be a better pro."

Lance Medow: Ironically, the biggest development at rookie minicamp was the Giants adding a pair of veterans to the roster for depth and competition.

Wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin hasn't played in the league since 2018, when he was with the Bills and Chiefs and now he's xperimenting a bit at tight end. At 6-5, he certainly has the frame to be a red zone threat, which he showcased in his first two seasons in the NFL (when he had 16 combined TDs). The Giants have several options at tight end on the roster but, at this point in the off-season, it never hurts to bring in additional talent to compete for a spot. Plus, someone who can play two positions has even more value.

Corey Clement has been on a NFL roster the last two seasons, providing depth behind Mike Sanders and Boston Scott in the Eagles' backfield. That's a big reason why his workload has only been 21 carries and five receptions over the past two seasons. Clement also has the ability to contribute on special teams as a return man. Finally, there's room for another veteran running back to be in the mix and compete with sixth-round pick Gray Brightwell.

View photos of the Giants' 2021 class getting fitted for equipment after arriving at rookie minicamp.

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