Two of today’s standout players were in elementary school when the third was in their position some 16 seasons ago. Nevertheless, here they are together on the same field.
The New York Giants held the second practice of their three-day minicamp on Wednesday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The offense had a big day, highlighted by big plays from some newcomers and a not-so-new quarterback.
Here are the players who stood out on Day 2:
WR DARIUS SLAYTON: The fifth-round draft pick out of Auburn made two of the best catches from Wednesday’s practice. The first was a touchdown from Alex Tanney, who threw a fade to the back-left corner of the end zone. Slaytononly got a piece of it at first, but after a few bobbles, he was able to secure it for the score during work in the red zone. The second was from rookie Daniel Jones down the right sideline, matching up a nice over-the-shoulder catch with a perfect ball. In between, Slayton racked up a handful of other receptions as he continues to show he is more than just his 4.39 speed.
“I think Slayton has been pretty consistent,” offensive coordinator Mike Shula said after practice. “He’s been a really good pick for us. As long as he stays on track, he’s got good speed, he uses his hands you can see. He’s got more confidence in his hands. He’s catching the ball more consistently. I think he’s a good route runner; that was one thing kind of coming out of the draft I was anxious to see how he did with maybe our routes, which were maybe a little bit different that the routes he ran at Auburn. He does a good job at the top end of those routes. I think we are going to continue finding out as much as we can and want to keep giving them more and more.”
QB ELI MANNING: Like Alex Tanney yesterday, Manning kicked off the day with a deep pass down the middle, which the Giants have been working a lot this spring. On this one, he found wide receiver Corey Coleman for the big hookup. Manning later hit tight end Rhett Ellison with a nice pass up the left side, but where the quarterback did most of his damage was in the red zone. He hooked up with wide receiver Bennie Fowler and Ellison again for touchdowns.
“Some days you just kind of get the right plays at the right time and you execute it,” Manning said. “We were able to hit that today, hit a couple nice plays, guys were getting open and winning their one-on-one battles. Defense was bringing pressure on most of the stuff, so the ball was coming out fast and guyswere able to win. That was a good day for us.”
TE C.J. CONRAD: The Kentucky product is doing what every undrafted rookie wants to do this time of year – get noticed. The 6-foot-4, 248-pound tight end made everyone take note of No. 47 today with some big gains from Tanney, including another deep pass down the middle and a one-handed grab. Then Jones found Conrad wide open for an easy score during red-zone drills.
Other plays of note: Jones and Fowler connected on a nice play down the left sideline early in practice. With no contact allowed, this is the time of year when receivers can shine, and Fowler has been making plays on a regular basis throughout spring practices. He did so with WR Sterling Shepard sidelined today with a wrist…CB Janoris Jenkins broke up a long passintended for WR Alonzo Russell…QB Kyle Lauletta avoided disaster when he couldn’t handle a shotgun snap in the red zone, but he quickly regained control and fired a pass to Russell in the front-right corner of the end zone for a score…S Michael Thomas forced a fumble…TE Scott Simonson, who re-signed with the team in February after playing all 16 games (four starts) last season, capped practice with a twirling catch on pass from Jones that he somehow threaded through a pack of defenders.Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.