The New York Giants will play their first game in front of a home crowd in almost two years on Saturday night against the New York Jets. Head Coach Joe Judge already ruled out some players, including quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. Judge stated that he will treat this game as the former-fourth preseason game, where younger players fighting for jobs will play most of the game. With that level of scrutiny for some of the fringe roster players, here are five players to keep an eye on during the Giants first preseason game.
Five Players to Watch in First Game of New York Giants Preseason
John Ross looking to make an impact early
The former first-round wide receiver John Ross, was signed by the Giants earlier in the off-season, giving him a fresh start in a new setting. Ross has had injury problems in his career, only appearing in 27 out of a possible 64 games in his four year career up to this point.
The Giants are hoping that the speedy Ross can become a big playmaker for them. Ross was named the primary kick returner on the Giants first unofficial depth chart, and while he has no return experience in the NFL, he did provide plenty on special teams during his college career.
Ross may be integrated into the offense quite a bit on Saturday, in addition to the assigned kick return duty.
Rodarius Williams has his teammates excited
Rookie cornerback Rodarius Williams will see a good amount of time on the outside against the Jets. Williams has made a name for himself so far in camp, making plays all over the field. He is picking up on this Giants defensive scheme quickly.
Teammate Adoree’ Jackson said in media availability on Thursday that he is excited to watch Williams in practice everyday. “He’s a dog out there,” Jackson said. “Everyday in practice I say, ‘You know who I came to see.’ I watch him in everything that he does and try to add it to my game.”
Williams is currently listed behind Jackson and Darnay Holmes at the right cornerback position, but will have to prove to the coaches that he can excel against other NFL offenses.
David Sills still fighting for a roster spot
David Sills is in a tough battle for the fifth wide receiver role on the roster. Sills does stand out in camp while competing with the likes of John Ross, Dante Pettis and others. He makes plays and has become a reliable target for Daniel Jones.
Now Sills has to put it all together and play in a real NFL game in front of these coaches. He missed the entire 2020 season due to injury. This will be his chance to prove that he belongs on this roster. Sills should be involved heavily on offense against the Jets. He will be on the receiving end of passes specifically in red zone situations.
Azeez Ojulari looking to make his mark early
Rookie edge rusher Azeez Ojulari has many fans excited with his potential. The Giants could not believe he fell all the way to the second round and were thrilled to draft him with the 50th-overall pick.
Ojulari missed the last few practices, but is now back and ready to make an early impact. The Giants had a serious lack of talent at the outside linebacker spot last season, having to resort to other areas of the defense to help provide pressure. Azeez will definitely change that, as the former Georgia Bulldog will eventually look to become the Giants premier pass rusher.
Listed behind Oshane Ximines on the depth chart, and with Lorenzo Carter out of Saturday’s game, Ojulari will see a good amount of playing time. The Giants are hoping he can put it all together and provide consistent pressure off the edge.
The offensive line is trying to stay afloat
The current Giants offensive line looks like this:
LT: Andrew Thomas
LG: Shane Lemieux
C: Nick Gates
RG: Will Hernandez
RT: Matt Peart
The starting offensive line has some issues, but overall the staff feels comfortable with that group. The real question lies in the depth. With two retirements in Joe Looney and Zach Fulton, the offensive line depth took a hard hit. Players such as Brett Heggie, Kenny Wiggins, Chad Slade, Jonotthan Harrison, Jackson Barton and Kyle Murphy will get lots of reps on Saturday. Nate Solder may even play quite a bit, since he needs to learn to take contact again after opting out of the 2020 season.
The Giants seriously have many questions about their depth at offensive line, and they may find their answer after Saturday’s game.
Main Image: Embed from Getty Images