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2023 New York Giants Training Camp Preview

New York Giants Training Camp

New York Giants Training Camp
(Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK)

2023 New York Giants Training Camp Preview

The New York Giants reached new heights in 2022. Under new head coach Brian Daboll, the team made the playoffs for the first time since 2016, won a playoff game, and advanced to the Divisional round for the first time since 2011. But they faltered down the stretch. After starting 7-2, the Giants went 3-6-1 across their final ten games. Then they got demolished by divisional rival Philadelphia in the divisional round. A few big questions still loom over the Giants for the 2023 season. Is Daniel Jones the answer at quarterback? Will Saquon Barkley even see the field this year? Before we get the answers to those questions, we first have to get crucial answers on position battles and which players have the best chance the breakout for the Big Blue in 2023.

Position Battles

Wide Receiver: Open Competition

Jones could be the underlying issue of New York’s passing attack, but the Giants still added more receiving talent this offseason to help him. Darren Waller was the biggest addition to the receiving room and firmly has TE #1 locked up. But the wideout room is still very much wide open. Returners Sterling Shephard and Darius Slayton are among the candidates to lock up starting jobs. Slayton enters his fifth season in New York after a solid 2022 campaign where he recorded 46 catches and 724 yards with two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Shephard has missed 24 games over the past two seasons after tearing his achilles and ACL. Additional returners in the mix are Isaiah Hodgins and Wan’Dale Robinson. Hodgins finished the 2022 season on a high note, recording 351 yards and four touchdowns in just eight games. Robinson appeared in just six games last season after tearing his ACL but has the potential to be a real star this season for New York. The Giants also added Parris Campbell and Jamison Crowder in free agency. Crowder broke his ankle last season but has been consistently reliable throughout his career. Campbell on the other hand, notched career highs in receiving yards, receptions, and touchdowns last season. New York also added Tennessee rookie Jalin Hyatt in the third round. He likely won’t be a starter, but his speed adds a big play element to a limited air attack. This race is wide open, and the Giants desperately need playmakers to step up to improve the passing offense.

Running Back: Saquon Barkley vs. Matt Breida

This is only a position battle because Saquon Barkley is reportedly considering sitting out the upcoming season because of his lack of a new contract. The Giants franchise tagged Barkley, but as we saw with the Le’Veon Bell situation years ago, sitting out can’t be ruled off the table. Barkley had a career year in 2022, earning pro bowl honors and totaling his most total yards from scrimmage and touchdowns since his rookie year. But Barkley feels playing on the franchise tag puts money at risk and believes he’s worth more. Matt Breida is a solid depth back, but without Barkley on the field, the Giants’ offense loses its’ strongest punch. 

Cornerback: Deonte Banks vs. Nick McCloud vs. Aaron Robinson vs. Cor’Dale Flott vs. Darnay Holmes

Adoree’ Jackson likely has the starting spot locked up, but the other corners on the roster will compete for the spot opposite him. First-round pick Deonte Banks is my favorite to lock down the starting job alongside Jackson. Banks was one the of the best corners in all of college football last year and is elite at pressing receivers at the line of scrimmage. He can succeed in man and zone coverage and has the highest upside of any cornerback on the roster. But he’s still got to win the job. Another corner in the competition is Nick McCloud, who appeared in ten games for the Giants last season. 2021 third-round pick Aaron Robinson, 2022 third-round pick Cor’Dale Flott, and nickelback Darnay Holmes are additionally in the mix to compete for the starting job as well.

Breakout Player: Kayvon Thibodeaux

I think you could go with either edge rusher for the Giants in this spot, Azeez Ojulari or Kayvon Thibodeaux. As Ojulari notched eight sacks in his rookie season, I decided to go with the second-year Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux was the fifth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and was solid, but not spectacular as a rookie. He recorded four sacks, two forced fumbles, and 16 tackles for loss in 14 games last season. This year it feels like he’s primed to take a leap. He’s got great power and speed and finished last season on a high note. In the Giants’ final four games, he recorded three sacks and even earned Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 15 for his 12-tackle effort against Washington. Injuries slowed Thibodeaux down to start last season and if he’s fully healthy this season, I expect him to pop.

Rookie to Watch: Deonte Banks

The Giants could opt to start a corner that has more NFL experience off the bat, but I think Banks is ready for the challenges that the NFL brings. He’s not a big-time defensive playmaker and I don’t expect him to rack up a ton of interceptions as a rookie, but he’s well-rounded. He’s great in man coverage, effective in the run game, and has the athletic tools to hang with any wideout in the NFL. I anticipate big things for Banks in his rookie season.

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