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Standout players from OTA practice

lacosse-2-6217.jpg

Giants.com names three impact players from the team's sixth OTA practice:

OTA No. 6 is in the books.


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PHOTOS
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VIDEOS
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The New York Giants were outside on the practice fields again today at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford. They have the weekend off and will pick back at it on Monday for the final four practices before mandatory minicamp.

Here are three players who stood out on Friday:

TE MATT LACOSSE

Originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois in 2015, LaCosse landed on the injured reserve list the last two seasons and has only appeared in two games. He's still around for a reason, though. Coach Ben McAdoo, a former tight ends coach in Green Bay, likes his skillset as much as his 6-foot-5, 261-pound frame. The whole package was on display today as LaCosse found the end zone time and time again from short range. He showed his hands on a pair of scores in the back corner of the end zone, but of course, defenders like Damon Harrison disputed that he was in bounds and kept control the entire time. In all, LaCosse caught three touchdowns. Two were definitely good, and the third most likely would have needed further review. Either way, LaCosse was the talk of the day.

"He made some nice plays," McAdoo said. "He is a big target down there in the green zone. Matchup-wise he gives you that length that you are looking for, he can run, and he is a functional blocker, so he has a nice skillset."

View the best images from Friday's OTA practice

QB JOSH JOHNSON

The competition to be Eli Manning's backup is well underway. Johnson, who spent all of last season with the Giants but has not appeared in a regular-season game since 2013 with the Bengals, is taking a lot of the reps while Geno Smith comes back from his knee injury and rookie Davis Webb learns the system. On Friday, all of the quarterbacks fared well, but Johnson stood out a little more. He showed good touch in the red zone with a touchdown to LaCosse and two to wide receiver Roger Lewis.

"We had an excellent day out there today," McAdoo said. "It was good to get out there on the grass. A lot of situational football, guys are working hard, working well together, that is what this time of year is about – a lot of teaching, a lot of learning, going in and fixing some mistakes afterwards. It was an encouraging day."

SAFETY DARIAN THOMPSON

On Wednesday, wide receiver Sterling Shepard and linebacker B.J. Goodson were included in this list, and today it was yet another second-year player who earned notice. That sophomore is safety Darian Thompson, who excelled at this time a year ago as a rookie before injuries ultimately ended his promising start. Thompson keeps taking on more as he runs with the first team and plays opposite first-team All-Pro Landon Collins. After a year in which the defense didn't have too many holes and returned most of its starting lineup, Thompson could provide an even bigger boost to the secondary.

"He has been working the whole time back," McAdoo said. "He has been in a limited role, so we are being smart there, easing him back into it and he will get better as the offseason goes. He will have a couple weeks left there and then into training camp as well."

Remaining OTAs: June 5, 6, 8, and 9. Mandatory minicamp will be held June 13-15.

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