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Rookie Report: How the Giants' 2020 class has fared

Shane Lemieux (66), Andrew Thomas (78)
Shane Lemieux (66), Andrew Thomas (78)

Here's a look at the how the Giants rookie class has performed through the first ten games of 2020. All advanced statistics, unless noted, are courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

OT Andrew Thomas

  • 616 snaps
  • 212 run blocking snaps
  • 366 pass blocking snaps

Andrew Thomas has played his best football over the last three games – having allowed one sack, two quarterback hits and five hurries. In the first seven games of the season, Thomas allowed five sacks, four quarterback hits and 27 quarterback hurries.

The improvement can be traced back to adjustments in his technique. Earlier in the season, he was getting beat inside far too often due to over-setting to the outside to prevent getting beat around the edge. Of those eight pressures in the last three games, only three have come from being beat inside. The others came as the result of being bull rushed or getting beat around the edge.

Thomas's recent success puts him closer in line with the rest of the rookie class. In the last three weeks, his pass block efficiency of 96.3 moves him in the neighborhood with other rookies such as Austin Jackson (93.9), Tristan Wirfs (97.7), and Mekhi Becton (96.5).

S Xavier McKinney

Xavier McKinney has not played a game yet this season after fracturing his foot during training camp.

OT Matt Peart

  • 118 snaps
  • 49 run blocking snaps
  • 53 pass blocking snaps
  • 0 sacks allowed

Matt Peart has received between 15 of 28 snaps in four of his last five games. He is being substituted in for anywhere from one to three series a game. He has taken 58 snaps at right tackle, 36 snaps at left tackle, and eight as an in-line tight end.

When you look at Peart's film through his early season opportunities, his strengths are immediately apparent. He has excellent feet and keeps his balance riding defenders around the quarterback. He needs to work on having a more consistent punch, but his long arms are often successful in keeping opposing rushers out of his chest, preventing bull-rushes. He has shown the ability to anchor, as well.

There are very few situations on film where Peart whiffs on a block and gives defenders a clear path to the quarterback. Peart has shown enough in his brief appearances that could give the coaching staff the confidence to allow him to start taking on a larger role over the final six games of the season.

View some of the best photos of the Giants' rookies through the first 10 weeks of the 2020 season.

CB Darnay Holmes

  • 322 snaps
  • 87 run defense snaps
  • 21 pass rush snaps
  • 206 coverage snaps
  • 33 receptions allowed on 41 targets
  • 321 receiving yards allowed
  • 3 passes defended
  • 0.5 sacks
  • 1 quarterback hit

Darnay Holmes has been thrown into the deep end of the pool in his rookie season. He has been the team's starting nickel cornerback from Week 1. He has played 275 snaps in the slot, while spending 14 snaps at outside cornerback and 24 times around the line of scrimmage.

The Giants zone-heavy coverage scheme has only put Holmes into "Cover 1" or "Cover 0" defense 41 times this year. On those plays, he has only allowed six catches on seven targets for 77 yards. Holmes has been a willing run defender and able pass rusher. He has blitzed the quarterback 21 times this season and has generated four total pressures. He has been willing to be physical against running backs he is trying to tackle or attack in pass rush situations.

OL Shane Lemieux

  • 220 snaps
  • 34 run blocking snaps
  • 116 pass blocking snaps

Lemieux stepped in as the team's starting left guard when Will Hernandez was put on the COVID-19 reserve list before the game against Tampa Bay in Week 8. Lemieux also took 13 snaps at right guard after Kevin Zeitler suffered a concussion in Week 10 against the Eagles. Lemieux is extremely physical in the run game and an effective puller.

Since Lemieux has entered the starting lineup, the team has allowed fewer inside blitzes to get home. His communication and chemistry with Andrew Thomas and Nick Gates has been strong in passing off twists, stunts and delayed blitzers. Some issues have come up in pass protection against upper-echelon defensive tackles in space, but there has been improvement since his first game against Tampa Bay.

LB Cam Brown

  • 177 special teams snaps
  • 24 defense snaps
  • 1 forced fumble
  • 1 quarterback hit
  • 1 quarterback hurry

Brown has emerged as one of the Giants' core special teams players as a staple on all of their units. He has played 47 snaps on kick return, 45 on kick coverage, 23 on punt return, 28 on punt coverage, and 32 on field goal block. He has been slowly worked into the defense with all 24 of his snaps coming in the past five weeks. He was used primarily as a situational pass rusher.

LB Carter Coughlin

  • 104 special teams snaps
  • 13 defensive snaps
  • 1 tackle
  • 1 sack
  • 1 quarterback hit
  • 1 pass defended

Like Brown, Coughlin is one of the core special teams players. He has taken 44 snaps on kick return, 20 in kick overage, 13 on punt return, and seven on field goal block. Ten of his defensive snaps have come in the last three weeks where he, like Brown, has been used as a situational pass rusher.

LB TJ Brunson

  • 32 special teams snaps
  • 1 defensive snap

Brunson has seen playing time from Weeks 7-9 this year. Of his 32 special teams snaps, he has logged 14 in kick coverage, 12 on kick return and six on punt return teams.

DB Chris Williamson

Williamson has been a member of the practice squad all season.

LB Tae Crowder

  • 141 defensive snaps
  • 12 pass rushing snaps
  • 51 run defense snaps
  • 78 coverage snaps
  • 36 special teams snaps
  • 17 tackles
  • 1 pass defended
  • 1 quarterback hit
  • 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown

Crowder's 36 special teams snaps were split between kick return (16), kick coverage (11), punt return (5), and punt coverage. He got all of his defensive snaps as an inside linebacker next to Blake Martinez in Weeks 4-6. He began getting snaps primarily in coverage situations and then his role started to expand. Crowder has been out with a hamstring injury since Week 7 and was activated for a potential return before the Eagles game in Week 10.

WR Austin Mack

  • 5 special teams snaps
  • 116 offensive snaps
  • 8 targets
  • 6 receptions
  • 82 yards
  • 30 yards after the catch
  • 1 contested catch
  • 4 first downs
  • 13.7 yards per catch
  • Longest catch: 50 yards

Mack got his first action of the season in Week 6 and has been active in every game since. He has lined up at outside receiver 80 times and has been in the slot 21 times. Mack has shown the ability to be a strong possession receiver in the short and intermediate areas and to be a strong blocker in the run game.

Madre Harper

  • 92 special teams snaps
  • 33 defensive snaps
  • 2 tackles

An undrafted free agent who signed with the Raiders after the 2020 Draft, Harper was signed by the Giants off of the Raiders' practice squad at the end of September. He has been active for seven straight games, logging most of his time as a special teams player (with some cameos on defense).

He has become a core special teams player, with 20 snaps on the kick return team, 37 in kick coverage, 19 on punt return, and 17 in punt coverage. He has lined up in different areas of the defense, with eight snaps in the box, 11 at slot cornerback, and 12 at outside cornerback.

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