5. Will Any Clarity Emerge at the Logjams at RB, TE, and ILB?
Of the most compelling storylines heading into training camp, the positional battles at running back, tight end, and inside linebacker are near the top.
At running back, the Giants have six players all competing for roster spots. Rashad Jennings is the proven commodity of the group, and is a lock to play a role in the offense. Shane Vereen had 59 receptions last season and is slated to repeat his third-down/ receiving back role. But behind these two, the Giants have Andre Williams, Orleans Darkwa, rookie Paul Perkins, and free agent signee Bobby Rainey all competing for roster spots.
At tight end, the Giants have several players fighting for potentially two open spots. Behind the best rookie tight end in the NFL last season in Will Tye, the Giants have four tight ends all vying for roster spots—Larry Donnell (who is coming off of a serious neck injury), sixth round pick Jerrell Adams, 2015 undrafted free agent Matt LaCosse, and undrafted free agent Ryan Malleck.
At inside linebacker, the Giants have several options with no clear frontrunner to win the starting job. At the position, the Giants have veteran Jasper Brinkley (who resigned with the team this offseason after a solid 2015 campaign), free agent signees Keenan Robinson and Kelvin Sheppard, and fourth round selection BJ Goodson all competing for playing time. As of now, it seems like Brinkley is the favorite to win the job, but a lot can change between now and the regular season.
At each of these three positions, the Giants have great competition. However, the quality of the depth has to match the quantity of players at each position—something that has handcuffed the Giants in the past few seasons.
This week will be the first real look at the compelling positional battles at these three crucial positions.