The biggest training camp competition will come to a close
Lance Medow: Fiction – Could there be an undrafted player showing up at the tight end? Sure, but as it stands now, you can pretty much guess which three players will fill that position: Rick Seals-Jones, Jordan Akins, and Daniel Bellinger. The first two are veterans who were added in free agency with ties to members of the coaching staff, while Bellinger was one of the team’s fourth-round picks. How those tight ends are utilized and how their snaps count from game to game remains a small question mark, there’s no such big secret about the roster spots. Wide receiver has more competition than tight end, especially when it comes to the likely bottom two spots in the 53-man roster.
Dan Solomon: fact – Center Jon “Dirtbag” Feliciano had a great response when a reporter asked him about Daniel Bellinger’s blocking abilities as a rookie tight end. “I mean, I think this is a transit camp, you know what I mean?” he said, smiling. Like linemen, you can’t evaluate tight ends during non-contact spring exercises. The Giants have new players at the tight end of the rep chart so there will be an intriguing training camp storyline when the pads come.
Matt Citak: fact – The Giants have several fascinating training camp competitions at a variety of positions, including left guard, safety, and cornerback. However, the battle for first tight end spot could be the furthest in the air. The Giants have two veteran options in Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins, as well as fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger. All three make the 53-man roster but the big question is who will end up in the starting line-up.
Xavier McKinney is the player most likely to make his first Pro Bowl this year
Lance Medow: fact – Remember, when evaluating a player’s chances of making the Pro Bowl, it’s more about the competition for that position in the conference than anything else. That’s why Xavier McKinney fits into the picture. Last season, the four NFC safeties were Seahawks’ Quandre Diggs, Buccaneers’ Antoine Winfield Jr., Cardinals’ Budda Baker, and Vikings’ Harrison Smith. Though Diggs, Baker and Smith have been picked frequently in recent seasons, Winfield made it to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 2021. McKinney received a lot of attention last season and was in the mix for a spot thanks to his opportunistic plays. The breakthrough in 2022 is not child’s play for him.
Dan Solomon: fact – Julian Love would dye his hair blonde if McKinney made it to the Pro Bowl last year. It looked like he might have to make good on his promise, as McKinney with the trademark look last season became the only defensive back in the NFL with at least 90 tackles, 10 passes defended and five interceptions. While it wasn’t enough to get him to the All-Star Game, he’s certainly on the radar in 2022, which is half the battle.
Matt Citak: fact – The Giants have several players who could make a push toward their first Pro Bowl selection this year, but McKinney is the most likely to do so. There’s an argument that McKinney should have made it to the Pro Bowl last year with his five interceptions and overall strong game. However, if McKinney’s performance remains as it is – he missed a large chunk of his rookie season with a foot injury – it would be shocking for the young safetyman NOT to make his first Pro Bowl this year.