In this week's edition of Cover 3, the crew shares what they will be looking for once training camp opens on Wednesday
John Schmeelk: Let's immediately go to the Giants' two Top-10 picks – Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal. Both players apply their trade in the trenches, which made spring practices in t-shirts and shorts useless in seeing what they will bring to the field. To judge what their true impact will be, they need to be in shoulder pads. That's going to happen in training camp.
The offensive vs. defensive line 1-on-1s should be spectacular. Not only might Neal and Thibodeaux line up against each other, but they will also get reps against young talent that has already achieved a level of success in the NFL in Azeez Ojulari and Andrew Thomas. If an offensive tackle can hold up regularly against proficient pass rushers in these drills, it is a good indication they will be able to pass protect in game situations.
How about what Daniel Jones and his receivers can do within Brian Daboll's and Mike Kafka's offensive scheme? But the team desperately needs Neal and Thibodeaux to develop into Pro Bowl-level players. Obviously, anything they do in camp won't prove or disprove their potential to reach those heights, but a fast start in their rookie season would be a nice way to begin their careers. Let's see what they can do.
Lance Medow: The most interesting facet of the team to monitor throughout training camp is Wink Martindale's defensive scheme, especially the usage of the personnel in the secondary (with so many roles up for grabs). Although there's a lot of focus on Daniel Jones and the offense, and rightfully so, no matter what that group does this season, the defense's performance will indicate how much additional pressure the offense will face this year. And we know the offense has averaged below 20 points per game in each of the last two campaigns.
While Martindale has been known to be an aggressive play-caller throughout his tenure in Baltimore, will he look to duplicate that game plan right out of the gates or will he wait to see how his young nucleus develops to get a better idea of how they handle the scheme? No matter how often he wants to blitz, the importance of the secondary is critical and the value of having reliable cover corners is sky high. Who emerges opposite Adoree Jackson? The competition and level of performance during camp will tell a lot.
Aaron Robinson, Darnay Holmes, Cor'Dale Flott, Rodarius Williams are young players to watch as they look to carve out roles within the defense. With the rate in which the ball travels through the air and how quickly it's released in the NFL, you have to be able to cover in this league and consistently make plays in the defensive backfield. Martindale's level of creativity will be dictated by the state of the secondary.
Matt Citak: This one could have gone in a variety of ways, but let's go with the development of Daniel Jones in the new offense.
Entering his fourth season with the Giants, Jones had to learn his third NFL offense this year following the arrival of head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. The Giants' playbook will share some similarities to the offenses run in Buffalo and Kansas City over the last few years, both of which have been among the best in the league. Following last season's offensive struggles, the Giants are hoping Daboll and Kafka can help get the unit back on track, and Jones plays the most crucial role in doing so.
With the additions of Evan Neal, Mark Glowinski and Jon Feliciano, just to name a few, the offensive line should look a lot stronger in 2022. Add in a healthy Saquon Barkley and a motivated receivers room, and the Giants' offense will have a much different look this season. But the biggest key to the unit's success rests in the hands of their young signal-caller. Training camp will serve as the first opportunity to get a real look at Jones with the new offense.
Take a look at rare photos of New York Giants training camps through the years.
Giants Fan Fest returns to Metlife Stadium
Free and open to the public, the Giants Fan Fest will feature a Blue & White intrasquad scrimmage, autographs by Giants Legends, and a fireworks show.