Preview and Predictions: New York Giants

With the training camp countdown reaching its final few days, The Giants Beat takes a look at what to watch for next week at the Timex Performance Center.

Preview:

With plenty of firepower offensively, the Giants defense is a major question mark heading into camp. Justin Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck are looking to bounce back from their injury riddled 2012 campaign, and the fate of New York's season rests on the broad shoulders of its once-vaunted defensive line. Competition at the linebacker spot will be fast and furious in 2013 with outside backer Mathius Kiwanuka the only sure fire starter on the depth chart.

Big Blue's secondary was downright awful last season and general manager Jerry Reese made adding quality depth a top offseason priority. As the position battles play out this summer, the Giants will look for first round pick Justin Pugh to provide competition for incumbent starter David Diehl at the right offensive tackle position. The tight end spot is up for grabs with Brandon Meyers, Bear Pascoe and Adrien Robinson making their bids to become Eli Manning's top security blanket. The Giants are well-positioned for another championship run if their defensive line can return to top form and Manning can maintain his elite level of play.

Predictions:

Starting Tight End: Brandon Meyers

Analysis: Meyers left theOakland Raiders in during free agency following a breakout 2012 season. Last year Meyers hauled in 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns. The four year veteran is primed to secure the starting spot with Big Blue and is the most well-rounded tight end on the depth chart.

Starting Right Tackle: David Diehl

Under fire by critics for his poor play at times last season, the long-time Giant is looking to hold off first round draft pick Justin Pugh during training camp. Diehl is the front runner heading into camp, but if his struggles continue he could ultimately be replaced at some point in the regular season.

Starting Left Cornerback: Terrell Thomas

AnalysisIn his second stint with Big Blue, Thomas endured season-ending knee injuries the last two years, which was a major red flag for many teams during free agency. In 2012 cornerback Corey Webster was victimized by opposing wideouts so expect the Giants to go in a different direction and roll the dice on the talented but often-injured Thomas heading into 2013.

Middle Linebacker: Mark Herzlich

Analysis:The Giants are in dire need of a run stuffer on the inside and Herzlich could be just what the doctor ordered. While NFL scouts have questioned his lateral movement and ability to drop back effectively in pass coverage, the former Boston College standout is in great position to command the linebacking corps.

Left Outside Linebacker: Jacquian Williams

AnalysisIn limited snaps last season, Williams showed flashes of blazing speed chasing down opposing running backs. Aiming to become a three-down player in 2013, Williams was predominantly used as a third down pass rusher due to his inability to shed blockers in the running game. Williams looks to be turning the corner and could be a surprise story for Big Blue this upcoming season.

Preseason Record: 1-3

Rick Laughland covers the New York Giants for TheGiantsBeat.com

You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland Click here to follow Rick on Twitter

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