Which rookies will make an impact?
The Giants drafted ten players in this year’s draft and barring something unforeseen, all ten will be on the roster. Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, the team’s first of three first-round picks this year, like we said earlier, will not be the team’s opening day starter but that doesn’t mean he can’t make an impact. Again, he has attributes that Shurmur likes in his QBs and it all depends on how often he’s used and in what situations.
Big Blue is more likely to get beefier contributions from their other two first rounders – Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence and Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker. Lawrence is probably going to see a ton of action in the middle of the Giants’ defensive line, and by all accounts, will not be coming off the field on passing downs. They like him as a pass rusher up the middle. Baker will be battling second-year player Sam Beal for a starting corner position and – if he’s as good in coverage as he was in college – will surely make a difference on the outside.
The rest of the entire class is also highly regarded. Third round pick Oshane Ximines is a talented pass rusher. Fourth round pick Julian Love was a star cornerback at Notre Dame and is being considered a draft steal. Their fifth round picks – Wisconsin linebacker Ryan Connelly and Auburn wide receiver Darius Slayton are poised to win major roles in camp. Cornerback Corey Ballentine of Washburn is an excellent special teamer and the Giants really like their two seventh rounders – Kentucky OT George Asafo-Adjei and DT Chris Slayton of Syracuse – as players they can build with.
Let’s not forget the UDFAs that Gettleman signed: Kentucky TE C.J. Conrad, Syracuse QB Eric Dungey, DB/LB Mark McLaurin of Mississippi State and Buffalo center James O’Hagan.
There are a lot of moving parts here and good ones at that. It will be difficult for many of these players to make a name for themselves in a normal year but this is not a normal year. The Giants are going young and they are unafraid of letting their rookies play.