“Let’s not be an instant evaluator.”
It was New York Giants coach Brian Daboll on Saturday, recalling that four training camp practices without pads isn’t enough to make firm decisions about players.
Yet what fun is there in the outdoors if we don’t make silly, quick judgments? Or, at least speculate a bit? So, let’s look at the rises and falls from the first week of training camp 2022. Yours truly witnessed three of the first four practices, so this is largely based on what I saw with my own eyes.
Darnay Holmes – Three interceptions from Daniel Jones in the first three drives. It’s clear that Holmes understands what he sees from the attack and anticipates where Jones is going with the ball. Holmes also forced a fumble from Saquon Barkley on Saturday.
Kadarius Toney — Every practice the 2021 first-round pick goes through is one more than last year’s training camp. He was productive the first few days, although it’s clear that he and Jones aren’t always on the same page when learning about the team’s new offense. Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, Toney seems to be enjoying himself.
Elerson Smith – The sophomore advantage was a factor in the pass rush. I’m interested to see if this continues when the pads arrive this week. [One-on-one interview]
Richie James and CJ Board – I group these two together because they are similar as wide receivers/kick returners/special teams. Both have earned important first-team snaps with the attack, perhaps a sign they are favorites to make the 53-man roster.
Xavier McKinney — It’s pretty obvious that McKinney is become the leader in the field of the Giants defense.
Gary Brightwell – The 2021 sixth-round pick has had few opportunities so far.
Devery Hamilton – Maybe that’s not fair because Hamilton’s chances of making the team have always been virtually non-existent. A steady stream of pass rushers, however, was headed by Hamilton from his left tackle.
Backup centers – The Giants have three options on the roster – Ben Bredeson, Max Garcia and Jamil Douglas. None have shown that they can consistently handle the task of performing a shotgun snap. Daboll was so frustrated with center play on Saturday that he moved Shane Lemieux to center with rookie Joshua Ezeudu sliding to left guard.