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Giants Now: The Athletic chooses Roche, Robinson as emerging 2nd-year players

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Quincy Roche, Aaron Robinson chosen as emerging 2nd-year players

There is no denying the youth across the Giants' defense.

On the current roster, only defensive linemen Nick Williams (32) and Justin Ellis (31) are above 28 years old, opening the door for some of the team's younger defenders to receive more opportunities.

The Athletic's Nick Baumgardner recently chose 11 second-year breakout candidates on each side of the ball, where the Giants' ended up with two representatives on defense: outside linebacker Quincy Roche and cornerback Aaron Robinson.

"A sixth-round pick by Pittsburgh, Roche was then waived and picked up by the Giants just before the 2021 season. And he could turn into a sleeper," Baumgardner wrote. "He's a bouncy, nimble athlete on the edge, one who can change direction and retrack to the ball with a lot of speed and explosion. When he's locked in, he can be a real problem against the run, as an edge-setter who's just hard to move... There's a lot to like here. Roche's effort can be intense, and if he can find a way to keep that max energy longer, he'll be a great addition up front with fellow youngster Azeez Ojulari."

Roche played in 14 games (three starts) with the Giants last season, registering 2.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and five quarterback hits. The highlight of his rookie campaign came in Week 9 against the Las Vegas Raiders, where Roche sacked QB Derek Carr and forced a late fumble, which the Giants recovered to seal the victory. He finished with 14 total pressures on 213 pass rush snaps.

As for Robinson, Baumgarnder wrote, "Receivers have a really hard time separating from Robinson and beating him at the line of scrimmage. Robinson has good long speed, too, so he also challenges players who have second-level acceleration. He's all-around fast and showed an ability to play without fear on an island last year as a rookie."

Robinson was limited to nine games (two starts) in 2021 due to an injury, and finished with 26 total tackles (16 solo), three pass breakups and one quarterback hit.

View the best photos from Monday's training camp practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

'Nicest guy in locker room' Collin Johnson gets his chance

They don't share the same huddle, but Julian Love believes Collins Johnson is his kindred spirit.

Love, the Giants' fourth-year defensive back, and Johnson, a wide receiver who is a third-year pro and second-season Giant, are both easygoing and friendly off the field yet fiercely competitive on it. They can each help the team in a variety of roles. And each could make significant contributions to the 2022 Giants.

"His role has been like mine in recent years," Love said today. "He's a guy who has always been available, who does the job the right way, who's the nicest guy in the locker room, around the building. Off the field, he's doing the right things. All he's needed was some opportunity. You're seeing that, and you're seeing him flash. He's a good receiver."

Johnson must be included on anyone's list of Giants players who have performed impressively in training camp. At 6-6 and 220 pounds, Johnson is the Giants' tallest and heaviest receiver, a big target who seemingly every day makes several routine receptions and one or two with a striking degree of difficulty.

"It's not so much the size," coach Brian Daboll said. "It's his overall intelligence of being able to line up at multiple spots. The ability to separate and get open is important and then make plays on the football when he has an opportunity to."

Giants claim DB Olaijah Griffin off waivers from Buffalo Bills

One day before the NFL’s first mandatory cutdown of the summer, the Giants yesterday added a player in their secondary.

The team acquired cornerback Olaijah Griffin off waivers from the Buffalo Bills. Griffin is familiar to general manager Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll after spending the entire 2021 season on the Bills' practice squad.

Griffin, 5-11 and 176 pounds, joined the Bills last season as a rookie free agent from USC. He was released at the end of training camp and signed to the practice squad the following day. Buffalo signed Griffin to a reserve/futures contract in January and released him yesterday.

Griffin played 37 snaps on defense and eight on special teams in the Bills' preseason opener vs. Indianapolis. He was credited with one solo tackle.

In three seasons at USC, Griffin played in 25 games and was credited with 67 tackles (43 solo). He intercepted one pass and had 14 passes defensed.

Griffin's arrival increases the Giants' roster to 88 players. They must release three players to reach the league maximum of 85 by 4 p.m. today.

View photos of the New York Giants' 2022 roster as it currently stands.

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