With the first practice coming up on Wednesday, the Giants.com crew shares bold predictions for training camp.
John Schmeelk: With the addition of talent in the off-season and the improving young players on the rosters, there are not a lot of true competitions for starting spots. There is no true dark horse with the offensive line, receivers, tight ends or running backs. Ditto on defense for the line and cornerbacks. The competition for the slot cornerback spot is interesting but would predicting Darnay Holmes or Aaron Robinson as the starter be considered bold? There are a lot of edge rushers competing for snaps, but all of them might be able to play some kind of role.
So let's go off the wall a little bit here - and someone else might call this a serious reach. At some point in camp, Carter Coughlin will get first-team reps at inside linebacker. He was being moved inside midway through last season before he slid back outside due to injuries suffered by Lorenzo Carter and Oshane Ximines. Coughlin is a good enough athlete to do a little bit of everything and he might thrive next to Blake Martinez, especially on running downs.
Dan Salomone: The NFL navigated uncharted waters in 2020, and so did veteran offensive tackle Nate Solder, who opted out due to COVID-19 concerns as both his infant son and he have dealt with cancer. At age 33, Solder's last appearance in a game was Dec. 29, 2019, so any prediction about his future would be considered bold. The time off could be viewed as rest or rust, and for the sake of this conversation, let's say it will be the former. Although the Giants have expressed their confidence in playing their young guys, don't forget Solder has 143 starts under his belt, including four Super Bowls (three of which were with Joe Judge on the Patriots' coaching staff). That experience could win him a key role as he proves he has more left in the tank.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity," Solder said last month. "I still feel fresh. I'm as fast and strong as I feel like I have ever been. Who knows, how could I project and predict what's going to happen? I'll do my best to stay out there and be healthy."
Lance Medow: There's a good chance a polished veteran or prospect at linebacker won't make the roster by the end of training camp. Last season, they kept 11 and they currently have 13 who could make a case for a spot. Maybe they won't even have the luxury of keeping 11 this year based on needs at other positions.
You have a mix of veterans (Ryan Anderson, Devante Downs, Trent Harris, Blake Martinez, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Reggie Ragland), players returning from injury (Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines) and the youth movement (Cam Brown, TJ Brunson, Carter Coughlin, Tae Crowder, Azeez Ojulari). Of this group, the players who showcase versatility and can contribute on special teams will make the strongest cases for a spot on the 53. Considering the Giants have invested a lot of draft picks over the last two years at linebacker and want to continue to develop that group, one or two veterans may be let go as a result of stiff competition.
View photos of the New York Giants' active 53-man roster as it currently stands.