It’s almost that time of year again. NFL teams are less than a month away from opening up training camp and getting ready for the 2014 season. The New York Giants will be one of the first NFL teams to open up training camp this year because they are playing in the annual Hall of Fame game, which is the first preseason game played every season. With this extra preseason game to play, the Giants will have a lot of opportunities to evaluate their roster and make decisions on who will be a starter at each position. This year, Big Blue many position battles going on during training camp and players will have a lot of opportunities to make the 53 man roster. Here are the top three position battles that will be going on during Giants training camp.
The Giants biggest Achilles heel last season was their offensive line. An area that used to be a strength for the G-Men has turned into a weakness with age, injuries and poor play plaguing the past few seasons. The first spot up for grabs along the offensive line is at center with free agent signing J.D. Walton and rookie second round pick Weston Richburg. Right now, Walton has the edge, but if Richburg can prove he can play right away, the Giants will not hesitate making him the starter even if he is a rookie.
The other spot on the offensive line that is up for grabs is at right guard. Chris Snee, who has been a starter for the Giants the past ten seasons is penciled in right now as the starter but because Snee has been so injury prone lately, he is not a lock to be the starter. Snee must prove he is healthy or the Giants will put someone else in at right guard. Richburg is a option to play right guard or free agent signing John Jerry, who was a starter at guard for the Miami Dolphins the past few seasons.
The last position on the offensive line that could be up for grabs is at left tackle. Will Beatty is coming off his worst season as a pro and a serious right leg injury from last season as well. It is possible that free agent signing Charles Brown could be the Giants starting left tackle Week 1 if Beatty is not able to come back from his injury.
It seems like every year the Giants face the same question of who will be their starting tight end. This year is no different,. Expect the Giants to have no tight end that has proven to be starting caliber by NFL standards. Right now, Adrien Robinson has the edge to be the starting tight end. The Giants feel that it is Robinson’s time to be the starter, but if Robinson does not prove he is ready to be a starter in the NFL, Larry Donnell is another option to win the starting job, as well as free agent signing Kellen Davis, who is a seven year veteran. If none of the three prove to be the starter coming out of training camp, the Giants could go out and sign a tight end like Jermichael Finley.
The Giants currently have a position battle for the starting weakside linebacker on their defense. Right now, the competition is between Jacquian Williams and Spencer Paysinger, who both head into camp even in the hunt for the starting job. The Giants will also have another spot at linebacker up for grabs with the injury to Jon Beason. With Beason out right now, Jameel McClain will take over at middle linebacker, leaving a spot open at the strongside linebacker position. Both Williams and Paysinger will be considered for the spot, along with Mark Herzlich and rookie fifth round draft pick Devon Kennard.
Besides these position battles, the Giants will have position battles at free safety, defensive line and punt and kickoff return as well. The Giants will open up training camp on July 21.