The 2015 New York Giants rookie class will have high expectations heading into this season. Several of these rookies are projected to be starters heading into training camp. It’s no secret that 2015 is a make or break season for the Giants. If they miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, there will be major changes to the coaching staff and to the roster.
Although the Giants were 6-10 last season, many feel that injuries played a huge factor in this and that the team is closer than last year’s record would indicate to being contenders. So whether the Giants make or miss the playoffs could come down to the performance of their rookie class.
A similar scenario happened in 2007 when the Giants were facing a make or break season, and the team would go on to winning Super Bowl XLII. Several rookies from that year such as Ahmad Bradshaw, Aaron Ross, and Kevin Boss played huge roles in helping the Giants win their 3rd Super Bowl. Now the Giants are hoping for the same in 2015.
Here’s a look at the Giants 2015 rookie class and the impact each player can have on the team.
Ereck Flowers offensive tackle from Miami: The Giants used their first pick in this year’s draft and selected offensive tackle Ereck Flowers out of the University of Miami. Flowers is a strong physical lineman that can play both tackle and guard. His physical presence and attitude is what attracted general manager Jerry Reese and making this selection. He may start at one of the guard positions but the plan is for him is to eventually play left tackle and protect Eli Manning’s blind side.
Landon Collins safety from Alabama: With Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown leaving the Giants via free agency, the Giants were thin at the safety position. So the Giants traded up and selected Collins with the first pick in the second round. Collins was widely considered the best safety in the draft. At 6 feet and 228 pounds, Collins is athletic and physical enough to play either free safety or strong safety. Expect Collins and second year safety Nat Berhe to be the two starting safeties for the Giants this season.
Owa Odighizuwa defensive end from UCLA: With Steve Spanuolo back as defensive coordinator, he will have place emphasis on pressuring the opposing team’s quarterbacks. This is why the Giants selected Odighizuwa with the third pick in the draft. During his four years at UCLA Odighizuwa recorded 12 ½ sacks and 24 tackles for a loss. At 6’3 and 267 pounds, the Giants feel he’s strong enough to play defensive tackle on passing situations. He may not be a starter, but he’ll be rotated in the defensive line frequently.
Mykkele Thompson safety from Texas: Trading up in the second round to draft Collins cost the Giants their fourth round pick. So, in the fifth round the Giants selected Thompson for depth at the safety position. Thompson lacks ideal speed for a safety, but he can be a vital member of the Giants special teams having blocked three punts in his college career.
Geremy Davis wide receiver from Connecticut: The Giants are loaded at the wide receiver position with Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Preston Parker. However, due to concerns about how Cruz will be coming off knee surgery, the Giants took Davis in the sixth round for insurance. Davis will be a long shot to make the team and will have to excel on special teams during training camp and the preseason to make the 53 man roster.
Bobby Hart offensive tackle from Florida State: With their final pick in the draft, the Giants selected Hart in the seventh round. A common thought in the NFL is that you can never have enough offensive lineman, especially if they can play the tackle position. At 6’4 329 pounds, Hart as the ideal size for a lineman, but must improve on his footwork if he’s going to make the final roster.