We all know to keep an eye out for the stellar Saquon Barkley when New York Giants rookie minicamp kicks off, but what about these others guys?
If you’ve been within earshot of the tri-state area this NFL offseason, surely you’ve heard a thousand different takes on Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, and Kyle Lauletta, the headliners of the New York Giants‘ 2018 draft class.
That highly touted trio will unofficially take the field as Giants for the first time this weekend, as the team holds rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center Friday and Saturday. While many eyes will be on the aforementioned draftees, there are plenty of other names from this weekend’s group that could end up contributing to the revitalization of blue football.
LB Lorenzo Carter
The Giants are a team that prides itself on the exploits of the linebacker position. The exploits of Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks and Harry Carson are talked about to this day, but lately, the unit has experienced a bit of a dry spell, as the last one they sent to the Pro Bowl was Antonio Pierce in 2006. Carter, the first linebacker taken within the first two days of the draft since 2009, has the potential to change that, as his skills off the edge make him a dangerous lump of clay for defensive coordinator James Bettcher to work with.
Chosen in the third round, Carter perhaps never fulfilled the massive hype that followed him to Athens, but his journey toward being a day two steal could begin this weekend.
CB Grant Haley
While everyone will have their eyes on a certain Nittany Lion in the backfield, keep an eye on Haley, a three-year starter in Happy Valley. Though his size (5-foot-9, 190 lbs.) scared teams away, Haley made a name for himself in Penn State’s football resurrection. He is perhaps best known for his game-winning score against undefeated Ohio State in October 2016, taking back a blocked field goal to top the undefeated Buckeyes.
Along with fellow undrafted defender Aaron Davis (a Carter teammate in Georgia), Haley can help fill a gap left behind by the departed Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Ross Cockrell.
DT RJ McIntosh
For the second consecutive year, a fifth-round defensive lineman has been granted the number of a previous monster of the Meadowlands. Defensive Avery Moss now bears Justin Tuck’s 91, while McIntosh will now wear Jason Pierre-Paul’s 90. McIntosh, who has been pegged by some as a shifter to end, can immediately begin to live up to Pierre-Paul’s legacy with a strong opening weekend.
OT Adam Bisnowaty
A second-year participant in rookie minicamp, Bisnowaty was one of the rare offensive line additions Jerry Reese made in his final years, chosen in the sixth round of last year’s draft. He struggled in training camp and later spent all but one game on the practice squad.
With the Dave Gettleman era departing from the norm by adding blocking help, Bisnowaty may find his roster in jeopardy and will need to get off to a good start to impress a new staff.
S Sean Chandler
A Camden, NJ native, the undrafted Chandler had one of most inspiring stories of the draft season. After a rough childhood, spent mostly in homeless shelters, Chandler went on to become a freshman captain at Temple. His 183 tackles rank fifth in AAC history, and he also displayed prowess at punt return, a 12.2 average leading the conference in 2015.
OT Nick Gates
With the Ereck Flowers saga potentially writing its final chapters, Gates has an opportunity to contribute immediately. Exiting Nebraska a year early, Gates went undrafted, so he’ll definitely have something to prove moving forward.
DE Ian Seau
Yes, Ian is related the late Junior, as he is the nephew of the legendary defender. Emerging from Nevada in 2016, Seau spent the ensuing summer in the Rams’ system, and later made brief stops with both the Bills and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
K Marshall Koehn
Koehn will represent the special teams contingent this weekend in an attempt to put some heat on incumbent Aldrick Rosas. Signed to a reserve/future contract by the Giants on January 1, Koehn played in a single game with the Bengals last season in place of an injured Randy Bullock.
Former Nebraska kicker Drew Brown will likewise be getting an opportunity via a tryout.
RB Rob Martin
Martin brings a local flair to the minicamp proceedings, as he spent the previous four years at Rutgers. Another tryout contender, Martin tallied 2,274 yards, good for ninth in Scarlet Knights history.
C Mark Korte
Normally when we talk about big centers in blue around these parts, we’re referring to the New York Rangers. But the Giants found a gem from up north in Brett Jones, and could very well find another in Korte, who will be in East Rutherford on a tryout basis.
An invitee to the East-West Shrine game, Korte was named Most Outstanding Lineman in the Canada West Conference last season.