The Giants No. 10 draft pick Eli Apple from the New York Giants started as a freshman on a national championship-winning team, but questions still remain as to if he can play at the NFL level. A two-year starter at Ohio State before declaring for the NFL draft, Apple improved steadily throughout the minicamp.
“I think today was a pretty solid day on my part. I tried to get my hand on a lot of balls, competing out there,” Apple said. “I got a lot of reps with the ones, for sure. It was fun being out there with the ones.”
Apple knocked a floating Eli Manning pass that was intended for rookie Roger Lewis. Then he deftly broke up an intended pass for Myles White ffrom a 7-on-7 drill and attracted plenty of attention from Odell Beckham Jr. as he made a successful pass defense at the goal line.
“It was interesting for sure,” Apple said. … but you can tell with his explosiveness and how he gets out of breaks. It’s impressive.”
He had his hands full in covering Beckman Jr at the minicamp practices. However, the coaches and teammates know how to makes it all worth the while before the matchup games come September. This is the best work Apple has received from the starting defense all spring by subbing several plays for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He’s lined up due to being outside by his quickest pathway on the field and is more likely to adapt playing the slot as the nickel corner that he did not play in college.
“Well, it’s definitely a different role.” Apple said. “I think I’m adjusting to it well. [I’m] trying to learn as much as possible, put myself in uncomfortable situations on the field just so I can get better. You have to communicate a lot more. It’s kind of like being a linebacker, really. You’re in the middle of everything, and you got to communicate and know where your leverage is, know where your help is.”
Apple has performed impressively throughout the workouts and believed he has made significant strides from the past two months. “I definitely feel like a different player,” Apple said from his development after the draft pick.