First day of pads at training camp. I like reading the reports of Dan Schneier at 247sports.com He’s well informed and isn’t corrupted by the process. Here’s a summary and our takeaways.
1) It shouldn’t surprise anyone here that Connor Barwin and Lorenzo Carter are dominating the 2nd stringers on the OL. Why? Wonder told us. He said Connor Barwin was “a football player” when he was signed. That’s parlance for… “don’t worry about this guy holding up his end, he’s a gamer and a guy you want on your team all day long.”
As for Carter, the press and fans have been fawning over BJ Hill incessantly.. the other R3 pick. Wonder as a draft analyst isn’t perfect by any means, so we as Giants fans quietly rooted (and root) for Hill to do great things even if we were tepid on the pick. The other R3 pick, Lorenzo Carter, was the one that Wonder was raving about. Carter was an honorable mention in his Top 50 Draft Board, which implied a low 50’s ranking. He went 66th overall and we loved how he played the edge at Georgia. Wonder looked at the Giants depth chart and said on Day 2 of the draft that Carter would start on Week 1. Then a couple of days before camp, the Giants bring in Barwin, a football player. So if Barwin stops Carter from starting, we can live with that. You can’t have enough good LBers in a 3-4.
Now as for the other side of this, jeez Louise. The 2nd string OL. Good God. Cover your eyes. All we can say is, Giants fans pray that no one gets hurt. We liked Jones last year, as he and Fluker did a good job together getting a ground game going as the season wore on. Halapio has taken 1st string snaps. That makes Jones 2nd string. He’s the only guy that gives us any confidence in being a backup at Center or Guard. The rest? We’re praying. The good news is it’s early so maybe someone can improve and rise above the borscht.
2) Mara had one brief sentence about being worried about the hype over Barkley. Stop worrying. He’s the real freaking deal. Wonder had this guy as the #1 player on his Board for the Draft. Gettleman implied this was the best pure prospect he’s seen in the last 20+ years. He. Is. Not. Blair. Thomas.
Our only reservation is the position he plays. While he’s healthy, he’ll deliver. The reports from Spring OTAs were crazy effusive. That continues in Training Camp. Hasn’t dropped a ball. All defenders (including Ogletree) have trouble with him in open space. My only concern is injuries. Call me a worrier. Oh right, I’m a risk manager in my day job. So understand statistically the risks of this guy #2 overall. He can be great for 5 yrs in a row and all of a sudden in Year 6 he gets hurt. That’s my only reservation. So I’m not worried about hype. I’m worried about hurt. Right now let’s stop worrying about anything and enjoy the fact that he’s a stud.
3) Historically it’s not that easy for the Special Teams WR to break into the Offensive rotation. Generally speaking, either they can’t learn the playbook, they can’t run a good crisp route, or they literally can’t catch. So for any of the above reasons, we are cautious about getting too optimistic on Cody Latimer. If he does break through, it would be an incredible bonus. Huge for depth. Show me.
4) Olivier Vernon has the skill. He has the ability. He makes impact plays. Stay healthy please.