– By Alexander George
The New York Giants had their mandatory mini-camp from Tuesday, June 12th thru Thursday, June 14th.
During these three days, the following five stories highlighted the Giants’ mandatory o.t.a.’s (organized team activities.)
1) Odell Beckham, Jr. is Present at Mini-Camp
After missing the tail end of the voluntary o.t.a.’s, Odell Beckham Jr. (O.B.J.)was present at the New York Giants mini-camp. Although officially not medically cleared to play, Beckham is close to resuming complete football operations. Furthermore, O.B.J. has indicated that he will be at training camp instead of holding out for a new contract. In the meantime, O.B.J. was spotted at mini-camp throwing and catching the ball with quarterback Eli Manning and running individual routes.
2) Ereck Flowers Projected to Start at Right Tackle
Ereck Flowers, having played the position of left tackle for three seasons, was being replaced at the position with former New England Patriots player Nate Solder. The 2015 first round draft pick was in danger of being released or traded when Flowers failed to show up for o.t.a. practice. Since then, Flowers hired the popular NFL agent, Drew Rosenhaus who convinced the former left tackle to report back to the Giants organization. Upon his return, Flowers was placed on first team reps at right tackle where the organization was satisfied was his performance. With last year’s sixth round draft pick, Adam Bisnowaty released and unrestricted draft pick Chad Wheeler, who had been practicing at right tackle during Flower’s absence, playing the role of back-up left tackle, Ereck Flowers will most likely be the starting right tackle week 1 of the NFL season.
3) Davis Webb Currently in the Lead for the Back-Up quarterback position
Davis Webb continues to outperform Kyle Lauletta for the back-up position due to the strength of Webb’s arm. His arm strength was just as strong in mini-camp as it was in voluntary o.t.a.’s. Furthermore, Webb’s accuracy was dead on throwing precise red zone touchdown passes to tight ends, Rhett Ellison and Kyle Carter. Kyle Lauletta, in comparison to Webb, was struggling with the majority of his throws short of their intended targets, including a particular pass play where wide receiver Marquis Bundy had to come back for the ball to make a reception against two defenders. Davis Webb’s back-up position at quarterback, at this point of the season, is clearly his to lose.
4) Cody Latimer is the Favorite in Winning the Third Wide Receiver Role
Once Brandon Marshall was released by the Giants last April, Sterling Shepard has been promoted to the number two wide receiver position resulting in an extra vacancy that needed to be filled. Cody Latimer, acquired from the Broncos, is the favorite to land the third highest ranking receiver on the team. He had a particularly good mini-camp connecting with Eli Manning I’m receiving two red zone touchdowns when the defense blitzed. When Eli Manning praises Cody Larimer as his favorite receiver to throw to in the end zone during mini-camp, the signs are good for being a contributing part of the wide receiving group of players.
5) Linebacker’s Trouble Covering Running Backs on Passing Plays
Considering the team was in a 4-3 defensive scheme for so long, adapting to a 3-4 defense would be hard to adjust to. Linebackers who struggled in coverage in particular were Oliver Vernon, Kareem Martin and B.J Goodson who let Saquon Barkley slip last him for a big receiving play. Therefore, it is defensive coordinator, James Bettcher to make certain adjustments in assigned linebacker coverages to rectify the problem.
Notes of other New York Giants players in mini-camp:
– Seven players were handling kick returning duties. They are listed as the following: Saquon Barkley, Cody Latimer, Wayne Gallman, Kalif Raymond, Travis Rudolph, Hunter Sharpe and Donte Deayon.
– Safety Andrew Adams had increased first reps since Landon Collins was sidelined due to an arm injury suffered last season.
– Defensive backs Donte Deayon and William Gay have gotten the most first team reps in the nickel package.
– Defensive special teams won all two point conversion attempts with Curtis Riley, Orion Stewart and Thurston Armbrister make the defensive stops.
– Defensive Players A.J. Francis (DT) and Ray-Ray Armstrong (LB) were featured in extensive, substitute defensive packages in running and passing plays.
Training camp for the New York Giants starts on July 25th.