With training camp set to open next week, the Giants.com crew discusses what to look for when the team takes the field for the first time.
John Schmeelk: Early in training camp, the pads aren't on yet. You won't get 9-on-7 running drills or full contact 1-on-1 pass blocking drills until late in the first week or early in the second week of camp. You might, on the other hand, get some fun 1-on-1 reps between the wide receivers and cornerbacks.
My eyes will land on James Bradberry lining up against Kenny Gollday. Both players are very physical, and it will be fun to see how Bradberry does against a much taller Golladay. Also, how does Adoree' Jackson do against the other talented receivers (Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Kadarius Toney) on the other side of the field? It's always fun to see how the new additions perform when they first set foot on the field in for competitive reps.
There will also be good battle in the slot, where Toney and Shepard will get to battle young cornerbacks Aaron Robinson and Darnay Holmes. Holmes is an amazing athlete - how he has progressed in his technique in his second season? It will also be fun to see how rookie Aaron Robinson's physicality matches up against quick players inside.
Keeping an eye on these matchups will also give me a chance to see how Daniel Jones is throwing the ball and getting comfortable with his new receivers Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney. Whether he will be able to consistently connect with them for explosive plays will be key to how much the Giants offense will improve in 2021. With so many additions to the Giants roster this season, there will be no shortage of things to watch at training camp.
Check out the best photos from the Giants' 2021 Media Day as the team gets ready to open training camp.
Dan Salomone: The Giants were admittedly aggressive in the draft and free agency, so obviously a lot of eyes will be on the newcomers. But don't forget about the 2020 class, which will play a major part in how the Giants fare this season. It starts with Andrew Thomas, the former fourth overall pick who has a year under his belt at the important position of left tackle, and third-rounder Matt Peart, who is competing for a spot on the right side. In between them is Shane Lemieux, who found a home at left guard as a rookie.
On the other side of the ball, Xavier McKinney and Darnay Holmes will look to carve out roles in a stocked secondary, while the Giants also boast an intriguing quartet of sophomore linebackers in Cam Brown, Carter Coughlin, T.J. Brunson, and Tae Crowder.
These players were all part of the inaugural class in the Joe Judge era. The second-year coach will look to take the next step with this core group.
Lance Medow: In the early stages of training camp, my attention always goes toward the competition for starting jobs - and that clearly is on the offensive line. As it stands now, there are likely three spots up for grabs: both guards and right tackle. It's fair to say Andrew Thomas is the left tackle and Nick Gates has a good grasp at center after starting all 16 games at that position in 2020 for the first time in his career. Last season, Will Hernandez started seven games at left guard before having to battle COVID-19. He was replaced by Shane Lemieux, who started nine games, but his sample size is relatively small. The Giants also brought in veteran Zach Fulton after parting ways with Kevin Zeitler. Fulton has experience at right guard and left guard and has started at least 12 games in six of his seven NFL seasons. Where will they line up and what combinations will be deployed? The answers could provide some hints as to where the coaches envision using their linemen.
With Cam Fleming joining the Broncos this off-season, Matt Peart has a shot to win the starting right tackle job, but he only played 15% of the offensive snaps last season and Nate Solder returns after opting out. Solder hasn't played right tackle since his rookie year in 2011, but he's a polished veteran who has been in the league for a decade. Regardless, the Giants should be in good shape at swing tackle.