Giants minicamp wrap up: Whose stock is up? And who struggled?

Johnathan Hankins
Johnathan Hankins will be the likely replacement for Linval Joseph.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants wrapped up an intriguing minicamp last week with a lot of crucial absences.

The foot injury to linebacker and defensive leader Jon Beason in earlier organized team activities meant new faces were tasked with trying to fill that role in what could be an audition for the start of the season.

Beason is out for training camp — which begins for the Giants on July 27 — but hopes to be ready for Week 1.  That is still something to be seen.

The team was also without a few key contributors on the offensive line. Left tackle Will Beatty continues to recover from a broken leg suffered in the regular season finale last year and guard Chris Snee is still working through elbow and hip surgeries this offseason.

The good news for the offense is that it got to work out with a fully healthy Eli Manning, who underwent ankle surgery and was expected to miss most of the offseason workouts. Instead he was a full go.

Metro breaks down who looked good last week and who might contribute as the team looks to rebound from a 7-9 season.

Stock up: Devon Kennard

The rookie linebacker out of USC was unquestionably the biggest benefactor from the Beason injury. The fifth-round pick went from likely special-teamer to possibly second on the depth chart in no time flat. If Beason is healthy Week 1, Kennard is not a contender to start, but it looks like he’ll contribute sooner rather than later. If veteran Jameel McClain, another winner from minicamp, slides over to middle linebacker to replace Beason, Kennard could fill his role on the outside.

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell on Kennard: “Very smart. … When you have a young man that’s like that, and we have several young rookies like that, then you try to get them as many reps as you can.”

Stock up: Johnathan Hankins

Hankins was a big (literally) riser during the offseason. The 6-foot-2, 320-pound defensive tackle may step in immediately as starter to replace Linval Joseph, who signed with Minnesota this offseason. There was some confusion last year when Hankins was selected in the second round by the Giants. He didn’t do much to allay those concerns with a quiet rookie season. But Hankins received raves during minicamp and could lineup next to Cullen Jenkins on the inside to form a nice run-stuffing tandem.

Head coach Tom Coughlin on Hankins: “There’s knowledge of what we’re asking him to do, his ability to be in the right spot at the right time [and] his intelligence. All of those things are positive.”

Stock up: Adrien Robinson

Adrien Robinson
Adrien Robinson may go from zero career catches to Week 1 starter.
Credit: Getty Images

Despite being on the roster for two seasons, you can be forgiven for not knowing Robinson. But he is the next in line to step up at tight end. Brandon Myers led Giants tight ends last season with 47 catches for 522 yards and four touchdowns. Bear Pascoe, a hybrid fullback/tight end, was second with 12 catches. Myers left after one season to join the Buccaneers and Pascoe went to the Falcons. Robinson has a grand total of zero catches in three games since being drafted in the fourth round in 2012. Coaches are counting on him to step up and he looked good in minicamp running with the starters.

Tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride on Robinson: “He’s working incredibly hard to learn. … He’s in there, he’s taking copious notes, he’s answering questions very well. … He’s made strides, there’s no doubt that he’s made strides.”

Stock up: Rashad Jennings

The free-agent signee looked every bit a starter in his first week as a Giant. He played the role of a humble, team player — especially in deference to David Wilson — but it would be a shock if he didn’t start in Week 1. Jennings was always a backup in Oakland, but he’s ready to be starter. New York rushed for a miserable 83.3 yards per game last season with the now-departed Andre Brown the feature back. Things were so bad they had to bring Brandon Jacobs out of mothballs nine games into the season and he might’ve been their best back.

Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo on Jennings: “He’s someone I have a tremendous amount of respect for. He came in, he shows up and he’s ready to work every day.”

Stock down: David Wilson

Speaking of running backs, the news on Wilson has been disappointing all offseason. He claimed during OTAs he should be ready for minicamp after offseason neck surgery and a final check up. He went to the doctor for that final checkup and was told he would not be able to take part in contact drills until training camp. It’s certainly not Wilson’s fault that he got injured, but the Giants were clearly  planning for his unavailability by signing Jennings and drafting Andre Williams. Not only has Jennings clearly jumped over him on the depth chart, but Wilson is falling behind in getting up to speed with McAdoo’s new offense.

Stock down: Ryan Nassib

The odd selection of Nassib in the fourth round last year continues to baffle. The Giants selected him for just the possibility of what happened this offseason — an Eli Manning injury. But Nassib wasn’t much needed with Manning back on the field relatively quickly. But what if Manning had missed all of the offseason? Well, the Giants clearly don’t think Nassib is ready to step in as a backup. Quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf had some positive words for him during minicamp, calling him “really smart.” But he also said Nassib has to “keep working on executing.” Execution is almost always a coaching buzzword for “he just needs to be better at everything.” Maybe he won’t matter — Manning has never missed a start after all — but Giants fans better hope so.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

Movies

Frank Miller on writing 'Sin City'

Frank Miller's comics career is a long and storied one, with "Sin City" being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words,…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…