Training camp officially begins for the New York Giants on July 27th. A good portion of the team is already set in stone, such as the quarterback and running back positions. However, there are some position battles that are worth keeping an eye on as the summer continues. Here are three key training camp battles for the New York Giants as training camp gets into full swing.
Biggest New York Giants Training Camp Battles
Slot Cornerback Position
Darnay Holmes, the Giants fourth-round pick in 2020, manned the slot for Patrick Graham’s defense in his rookie year. Holmes played well, not allowing a single touchdown on 52 targets last year, which was the best among rookie defensive backs. Darnay also held opposing receivers to just 1.31 yards per target. In 12 games, the UCLA product totaled 30 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception in 41% of defensive snaps.
His competition is rookie cornerback Aaron Robinson, who the Giants were enamored to draft this year in the third round. They were reportedly so excited that Robinson was still on the board that late, they traded up to take him. Robinson originally was an Alabama commit, but transferred to UCF and shined. Robinson has the height advantage over Holmes, and is overall just a more physical corner. Patrick Graham will also likely implement more man-coverage this season with the addition of Robinson, which he excels at.
Both Robinson and Holmes are young, exciting players with potential. This is a win-win situation for the Giants, but this battle will be interesting to watch over the rest of the summer.
The Right Tackle Spot Is Open for the Taking in Giants Training Camp
Cameron Fleming was a big disappointment at the right tackle position last season. The offensive line as a whole was underwhelming in 2020, but they did improve as the season went on. With Fleming out of the picture heading into camp, there are two players vying to take over: Matt Peart and Nate Solder.
Solder, the veteran tackle who has not played up to par so far for New York, agreed to a pay-cut earlier in the season to stay on the roster. The 33-year-old veteran tackle is not what he once was, but brings the most experience. While he has not played right tackle yet, he may have to adjust if he wants to contribute to this offensive line in any way in 2021.
Matt Peart was New York’s third-round pick in 2020. Peart played sparingly during his rookie year, but performed relatively well in the snaps he did receive. He is still a very raw prospect, but will likely get to display his improvements over the summer. Peart will start training camp on the Active/PUP list, but will still get a chance to compete for the starting right tackle position.
The Defensive Tackle Position Is up for Grabs
Dalvin Tomlinson walked out the door and signed with the Minnesota Vikings this off-season. The chase to replace Tomlinson’s production is on, and Danny Shelton and Austin Johnson are going to battle it out for his vacant position.
Johnson re-signed with the Giants this offseason, a sign that the team is high on him. Johnson was a rotational defensive tackle last year, and did play well. In 21% of defensive snaps, Johnson totaled 18 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. Johnson has been in a rotational role his entire career, but will get the opportunity to potentially start for Patrick Graham’s defense on Sundays.
Danny Shelton, or “Feast Mode” as teammates call him, signed a one-year deal with the Giants. Shelton is a mountain of a man, standing at 6’2″, 345 pounds. The veteran defensive tackle spent time with the New England Patriots while Joe Judge was there, and most recently with the Detroit Lions. Shelton totaled 37 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack in 12 games for the Lions last year. Good luck to opposing running backs trying to get past Shelton this year, as he will join an already talented defensive line with Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence.
Whoever this coaching staff decides to start at defensive tackle, this is another win-win situation for an already talented and deep defensive line.
The New York Giants Have a Good Problem To Deal With
On paper, the Giants have tons of talent to work with. Joe Judge and this coaching staff have preached playing to each player’s strengths. These three positions are all there for the taking, but with exceptional talent competing for them. With training camp about to begin, these three key areas will be fun to watch as Week 1 approaches.
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