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Rookie Progress Report: Barkley sits, rest of class steps up

With the team halfway through its preseason slate after a 30-17 victory over the Lions on Friday night, Giants.com checks in on the 2018 NFL Draft class and looks at other notable rookie performances.

RB SAQUON BARKLEY: A week after he broke a 39-yard run on his first NFL snap, the second overall draft pick was sidelined this week against the Lions because of a hamstring. He tweaked it during Monday's practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center before the team left for Detroit. Barkley made the trip but did not participate in the joint practices. "I'm feeling good," Barkley said. "It's coming along. Obviously you guys heard what happened so it's frustrating just to watch the guys be out there and not being able to compete with them, but you know, you got to trust the team, the coaching staff and the trainers and the strength staff. They have a great plan in place and doing the best they can to get me back as quick as possible." Shurmur said he is "day to day."

LG WILL HERNANDEZ: In his postgame press conference, coach Pat Shurmur said even though everybody says that the wins don't matter in the preseason, "there's a much different feeling in the locker room when you win a football game." Well, Hernandez hasn't had that feeling since 2016. His UTEP Miners went 0-12 in his final season, and while that might seem like dark spot on a résumé, the Giants' front office thought the opposite and admired the way Hernandez gave it his all loss after loss. Now the second-round draft choice has two starts at left guard under his belt as he lines up next to two-time Super Bowl champion tackle Nate Solder. Behind Hernandez and the rebuilt offensive line, Davis Webb started at quarterback while Eli Manning got the night off. Webb turned in the best performance of his pro career, completing 14 of 20 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown.

The best images from the Giants' second preseason game in Detroit.

OLB LORENZO CARTER: The Giants applied constant pressure on Lions quarterbacks throughout the game. They had four sacks, six quarterback hits and swatted balls. Carter had one of his own until linebacker Mark Herzlich was called for the new "lowering the head to initiate contact" penalty on the play near the end of the first half, and it was negated. Nevertheless, Carter still showed the athleticism that has coaches and teammates excited. He recorded three solo tackles on plays that averaged just 3.3 yards (two runs and one pass).

"The sky is the limit for him right now," fellow outside linebacker and 10-year veteran Connor Barwin said. "He's still young, he's got a lot to learn. I try to remember what it was like my rookie year. A lot of times, he's playing everything cool like he's got it. But, I know what it was like being there before. He's got a lot to learn, a lot to grow. He's got all the tools. Like I've said before to you guys, he can run, he's fast, he's got natural kind of instincts when he gets to the top. So, I'm excited for him."

DT B.J. HILL: Taken three picks after Carter in the third round, Hill has spent the summer learning from and playing alongside Snacks Harrison. The 2016 All-Pro thinks "B.J. will be a really, really good player in this league." Hill did not record a tackle on Friday night, but he did have a quarterback hit on Jake Rudock to help force a three-and-out. Three of Detroit's first four possessions were three-and-outs, four total for the game.

QB KYLE LAULETTA: With Barkley out of the game, Lauletta felt the need to show his running back skills and juked past the Lions defense for a 10-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter. "That was pretty nifty the way he did that -- just like we drew it up," Shurmur said. "We drew it up for like five guys to be standing there waiting for him, and then have him try to make them miss. That's an attempt at humor by the way."

The rookie fourth-round draft choice relieved Webb after halftime and, aside from the run that would make Barkley proud, completed two of five passes for 27 yards. His best pass was a 16-yarder through traffic to tight end Jerell Adams, who had a team-high three catches.

"I think I'm coming along,'" said Lauletta, who went six of nine for 48 yards in the preseason opener. "A couple of throws that I wish that I had back, a couple of near misses. I think it was the right throw, right decision, just missed him by a yard or two and that will happen. But we moved the ball well and we put up points, so I'm just happy with the way that the whole team played and the way we came out with the win."

DT RJ MCINTOSH: The fifth-round draft choice remains on the active/non-football injury list.

OTHER NOTABLE ROOKIE PERFORMANCES: Undrafted rookie cornerback Grant Haley had his hand in a number of plays, recording four tackles and a pass defensed. He also tipped the ball that led to Ray-Ray Armstrong's interception after Lions wide receiver TJ Jones initially could not hold onto the pass. Two plays later, Lauletta ran it in for a touchdown. Undrafted linebacker Tae Davis from Chattanooga had three tackles and a pass defensed. He also had a special teams tackle on a punt return. Rutgers product Robert Martin led the team in carries (seven) and rushing yards (47) while scoring the Giants third and final rushing touchdown on a 16-yard play with four minutes left in the game. Safety Mike Basile, who played collegiate football at Monmouth (N.J.) University, had two tackles, including a sack.

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