With every new draft class, some older players are forced to fight for their starting spots on the team. Whether it be due to them coming off an injury, or just overall regression, there is always someone younger coming for their spot and making next offseason’s decisions very interesting. Thanks to a solid 2022 class and plenty of roster question marks, this season will be no different for the NY Giants.
The New York Giants’ 2022 draft class is the first group to be brought in under the new duo of Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll. There is a chance that with there may be even less room for error from the veterans on the roster, considering the complete lack of Schoen/Daboll ownership there.
With the Giants being a team stuck in the middle, they could elect to just turn things over to the young guys to see what they can do on the field.
The Giants are a relatively young team, and many of their “veteran” players are still on the younger side. Even when considering that, there are still a few who come to mind who could end up fighting for their jobs.
Here are 3 Giants veterans who could lose their spots to rookies
3. Wide Receiver Sterling Shepard
Wide receiver Sterling Shepard is currently the longest-tenured player on the Giants. He’s been a crucial piece of this team since they drafted him in 2016.
While Shepard has been productive when on the field, he has had a problem staying healthy. He has played a full season just twice in his six-year career. Now entering Year 7, Shepard will be playing on a restructured contract that includes the chance to become a free agent in 2023.
Throughout Shepard’s career, he has been a consistent target. He has recorded 349 receptions, 3,884 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns in 72 career games. He finished the 2021 season with 36 receptions, 366 receiving yards, and one touchdown in seven games.
An array of injuries and an eventually torn Achilles led to Shepard missing 10 games last season. His long injury history could follow him into the 2022 season. If he isn’t able to stay on the field, the chance of losing playing time to younger players is a real possibility.
Potential Replacement: Wan’Dale Robinson
The Giants selected Kentucky wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson in the second round of the draft. Robinson spent the first two years of his collegiate career at Nebraska before transferring to Kentucky in 2021.
In his two seasons at Nebraska, Robinson recorded 91 receptions, 914 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns. He added another 580 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
After transferring to Kentucky for a lone season, Robinson reached career-highs in production. He recorded 104 receptions, 1,334 receiving yards and seven receiving touchdowns. He ran the ball just seven times, but still recorded 111 rushing yards. He averaged 13 yards per carry from scrimmage.
Robinson has the sort of skill set that could make him a real force on any offense. Robinson, alongside a receiving corps consisting of Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay and Darius Slayton, could allow for him to occasionally match up against secondaries that can’t stop him. He could often be lined up against a team’s CB4, which could allow for him to fall into some favorable battles.