2. Linebacker Darrian Beavers
The Giants received the unfortunate news that veteran linebacker Jarrad Davis would undergo season-ending knee surgery at the start of training camp. This has led to one of the biggest positional battles this offseason for the inside linebacker job opposite veteran Bobby Okereke. Darrian Beavers and Micah McFadden enter their second NFL season and have made strong cases to be named the starter.
McFadden has continuously stood out to the coaching staff and has already proven to succeed professionally. He should be the starter for Week 1 vs. the Cowboys. Last season, McFadden had an impressive rookie campaign, making 59 tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble in 17 games with Big Blue.
On the other hand, Beavers is still unproven and has yet to make his regular season debut. The 2022 sixth-round selection sat out the entirety of his rookie season after suffering a torn ACL injury in a preseason game with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Beavers was a star in college at Connecticut his first two years before transferring to Cincinnati for three seasons. He progressively improved each year; however, he had his best season as a senior. In 2021, Beavers made 98 tackles (46 solo), 11 tackles for a loss, four sacks, one interception, and two forced fumbles. His performance significantly raised his draft stock, which led Big Blue to pick him in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Beavers has been healthy and competitive this offseason, working towards earning a roster spot. While he did not play in the Giants' first preseason game with the Lions, he had four tackles in their most recent victory over the Panthers. If Beavers wants to stay on the right track, he must stand out in Saturday's matchup with the Jets.