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Rookies take first steps to roster spot


How do the 2017 rookies fit into the Giants' roster? breaks down the position depth:

Being drafted guarantees you only two things in the NFL: a locker and a golden opportunity.

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The six members of the Giants' 2017 draft class on Thursday reported to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center for rookie minicamp, an introduction to the way coach Ben McAdoo runs his team.

After this weekend, the draft picks will be thrown into the deep end with the veterans, who are in the middle of their offseason workout program. Together, they will hold a series of 10 practices, known as organized team activities (OTAs), and a three-day minicamp with the entire team. The next few weeks will set the tone for training camp competitions as the Giants embark on their 93rd season.

With that in mind, let's take a look at how this year's crop fits into the roster:


On the roster: Rhett Ellison, Will Tye, Jerell Adams, Matt LaCosse, Colin Thompson

The Giants found their blocking tight end in Rhett Ellison via free agency, and they used the draft to add a fast, receiving tight end in Engram. McAdoo, who coached tight ends for six years in Green Bay and won a Super Bowl, will have plenty of options when it comes to personnel on offense.


"We can't hold against him what he has been asked to do in a previous offense," coach Ben McAdoo said before Friday's rookie minicamp practice. "We have to develop him as we go along and see what he can handle, see what he is comfortable with and see how we can push him to grow being comfortable and being uncomfortable and where we start and where we finish may be two different things."


On the roster: Damon Harrison, Jay Bromley, Robert Thomas, Josh Banks, Jarron Jones

In 2010, the Giants drafted Linval Joseph in the second round. In 2013, they took Johnathan Hankins in the second round after Joseph left in free agency. So what did they do in 2017 after Hankins also left in free agency? They drafted Tomlinson – in the second round. Along with Jay Bromley and Robert Thomas, Tomlinson will compete to play next to first-team All-Pro Damon Harrison.

"Well, there are a bunch of guys that are going to work together," defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said. "Jay, Robert Thomas and Tomlinson will fill in there and then some other young guys coming in. It is probably no different than the MIKE linebacker position, and we will just let it unwind. Then somebody is going to line up there next to Snacks between now and the time that we play Dallas. We will figure it out, but we are excited about Dalvin. … He was a very impressive young man at the combine, he has a great story, and I think that he is a pretty good football player."


On the roster: Eli Manning, Geno Smith, Josh Johnson

A coach's son, Webb will spend plenty of time with a clipboard while learning behind two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning. He'll also be a full-time student in McAdoo's QB School, along with Josh Johnson and Geno Smith, the former Jet who signed with the Giants in free agency. The team carried three quarterbacks on the active roster for most of last season with Manning, Johnson and Ryan Nassib, who was not re-signed as a free agent.

"Really you have a chance to just teach him install, one, and introduce him to the system, so to speak, so that he is familiar with how we adjust things," McAdoo said of what Webb can take away from rookie minicamp. "Maneuvering through the playbook, fundamentals are big, talking to him in today's day and age about how we get away from center, how we receive the ball and just different things fundamentally, but a lot of stuff under center for him."


On the roster: Paul Perkins, Shane Vereen, Shaun Draughn, Jacob Heusman, Daryl Virgies, Shane Smith

Following the release of veteran Rashad Jennings, McAdoo named Paul Perkins the starting running back. Perkins came on strong down the stretch of his rookie season in 2016, posting a 100-yard game in his first career start in the regular-season finale. The Giants will also get back Shane Vereen, one of the premier pass-catching backs in the league on third down and in the two-minute drill. Now Gallman, fresh off a national championship, will try to carve out his own role after leaving Clemson ranked third in program history in rushing touchdowns (34) and fifth in rushing yards (3,429).

Gallman was asked today about what the team expects from him.

"To bring that championship quality," he responded. "I believe that I can help them win championships, the Super Bowl, of course. When they tell me that, that makes me want to put that much more work in whether it's learning the playbook or just getting back on the field."


On the roster: Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon, Romeo Okwara, Kerry Wynn, Owa Odighizuwa, Stansly Maponga, Ishaq Williams, Jordan Williams, Evan Schwan

Moss, who began his college career at Nebraska, is a "true" defensive end. That's how general manager Jerry Reese described him when talking about his ability to play the run as well as rush the passer. He will now enter the competition to become the third defensive end behind two of the best in the league. Olivier Vernon played more snaps than any defensive lineman in the NFL last year. Jason Pierre-Paul was on a similar trajectory until an injury caused him to miss the final four games of the regular season (he still finished 21st among defensive linemen in total snaps). Someone will look to step up in 2017.

"[Moss] has played that 4-3 defensive end position, which we do a lot of," Spagnuolo said. "We still play some under where they have to move down and he looks comfortable doing it, so hopefully put him in the mix with the other guys that we have [with] Kerry, Owa and Romeo, and hopefully he will come up with some good ones."


On the roster (guards and tackles): Justin Pugh, John Jerry, Ereck Flowers, Bobby Hart, D.J. Fluker, Brett Jones, Adam Gettis, Jon Halapio, Michael Bowie, Martin Wallace, Jessamen Dunker

Bisnowaty was an All-ACC left tackle at Pitt, but his future might be on the inside at guard. It's too early to tell, but the Giants will move him around and see how he plays inside and outside, left and right. Following the draft, McAdoo said, "We will start him at tackle and see how he does." Meanwhile, the Giants return the same five players who started the majority of games last year. From left to right, that group is Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, John Jerry, and Bobby Hart.

"It's so early to [evaluate the rookie offensive linemen], just from that transition from that college game," offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan said. "You could look at some of that Senior Bowl tape to try to see something that resembles NFL offenses. It's premature at this point, but we're certainly glad all of them are here with us."

View the best images as Giants Rookie Minicamp gets underway

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