Giants training camp is just around the corner. Rookies report to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford on Tuesday, July 18th, before veterans report a week later.
The offense is looking to improve after the team paid quarterback Daniel Jones and added various playmakers in the offseason. But the full depth chart isn’t set in stone just yet — there are expected to be three main position battles on that side of the ball.
Let’s take a look into each battle and predict who will ultimately win these crucial jobs.
Left guard: Josh Ezeudu vs. Ben Bredeson
The argument for Ezeudu. The second-year lineman out of North Carolina is a product of the current Joe Schoen-led regime. So there’s definitely reason to believe this current coaching staff will favor Ezeudu at left guard, plus there’s also reason to believe he’ll improve after gaining a year of NFL experience.
Ezeudu panning out would help the Giants build a young and cheap line alongside soon-to-be expensive left tackle Andrew Thomas. Big Blue could have three starting linemen — Ezeudu, rookie center John Michael Schmitz, and second-year right tackle Evan Neal — playing on rookie contracts in 2023.
The argument for Bredeson. Ezeudu wasn’t stellar in limited action last year and dealt with a neck injury. And Bredeson was on the field for 74% of the offensive snaps compared to Ezeudu’s 43%.
So the Giants could trust Bredeson more given his superiority in experience and health.
Our take. The Giants will elect to go with Ezeudu, a younger, healthier, and hopefully improved product of the current regime. Bredeson should make the team, however, and provide reliable depth at both guard and center. So Ezeudu could be on a short leash early on.
Slot wide receiver: Parris Campbell vs. Wan’Dale Robinson
The argument for Campbell. The Giants reportedly used Campbell in bunches during offseason practices (he even saw work with the running backs). Although he only signed a cheap, one-year deal, Campbell could assume a significant role in the offense just judging by how the Giants deployed him in the spring.
The argument for Robinson. The 2022 second-rounder out of Kentucky is also a product of this current regime and was en route to a notable role before suffering a Week 11 ACL tear last year. But with great speed and elusiveness out of the slot, Robinson is perfect for head coach Brian Daboll’s scheme.
Our take. Given his veteran experience and superior health, Campbell should earn the starting slot job for Week 1. Robinson is still rehabbing from last year’s major knee injury and the Giants could ease him into the rotation. Regardless, the Giants are going with a quantity-over-quality approach to their receiver room, so everyone should earn targets.
Backup running back: Matt Breida vs. Eric Gray
The argument for Breida. The veteran back has a year of experience in Daboll’s system and it’s clear the Giants value his services given they re-signed him.
The argument for Gray. The fifth-round rookie is a fresher option than Breida given his age, and he could develop into Saquon Barkley‘s successor should this be the starter’s final year with the team. Gray also has the makings of a pass-catching weapon for the offense — he posted 33 catches for the Sooners last year.
Our take. Taking into consideration the experience in Daboll’s system, Breida should earn the RB2 nod heading into Week 1. No, he won’t be starting — Barkley isn’t actually sitting out the season like he might be threatening to do. But Breida is simply the more reliable reserve option given his knowledge of the playbook and Gray could initially see time as a special teamer.
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