The New York Giants are getting the day off Saturday, so it's a fine time to sit down and take a few questions. Long as they came complete with the #nygmail hashtag on Twitter, that is.@DanGrazianoESPN: I would say it's a surprise that Larry Donnell seems to have emerged as a more likely candidate for starting tight end than Adrien Robinson based on performance so far. But we knew there'd be a battle at that position, and it will continue, with Daniel Fells likely forcing his way into the mix as well.
If you count Chris Snee's retirement early this week as a surprise, then that's probably your answer -- there's now a position battle at right guard. Brandon Mosley looks to be getting the first shot at it while John Jerry works his way back from his springtime knee surgery, but Jerry is a guy they believe can start, and if Mosley doesn't wow them and Jerry gets healthy, he's the favorite. I am curious to see whether rookie Weston Richburg could play his way into that starting right guard spot. He was drafted as a center, but they're impressed so far with what J.D. Walton has shown them, and Walton and Richburg both look great, they could end up starting next to each other at center and right guard, respectively.
Also, while it's not the sexiest position battle in the world, it's interesting that Brandon McManus is getting a chance to win the kicker's job from Josh Brown, who was re-signed as a free agent. McManus is a favorite of special teams coach Tom Quinn, who pointed out during minicamp that he's got experience kicking in bad Northeast weather from his college days at Temple.
Finally, rookie Devon Kennard is really in the mix at linebacker, and I wonder if he can claim the strongside spot for his own while Jon Beason is out and Jameel McClain is manning the middle. Everybody loves Kennard, even McClain, who said Friday that he doesn't like to compliment rookies and then went on to compliment Kennard for about four different things. @DanGrazianoESPN: I think there's a chance the Giants could use the rookie Andrew Williams right away as a goal-line back, because in the past they've liked a power back in that role, and Williams can certainly be that without any further development. But outside of that, no, I would say he's well behind David Wilson, Rashad Jennings and even Peyton Hillis on the depth chart. The Giants love what Williams did in college, but they absolutely need to see more from him as a pass-catcher and, most importantly, a pass-blocker before he could start taking reps away from those other guys. The way their running back group is structured right now, barring injury, they won't feel the need to rush a rookie before he's ready. And while there's a lot to like about Williams, he's far from a finished product.
@DanGrazianoESPN: First-round draft pick Odell Beckham Jr. has a hamstring injury he aggravated in the first practice of camp Tuesday, and he hasn't practiced since. I agree with you that Eli Manning and the offense need him. They drafted him because they believed he could play the "X" receiver spot on the outside and beat press coverage with his speed. They don't have another strong candidate for that role. Mario Manningham may be the best fill-in, but he himself is dealing with knee problems and is still limited in practice. Beckham didn't practice in minicamp either because of a hamstring problem, so it's clearly become a big concern. They don't want to turn a July injury into a September injury, and they still have plenty of time to be careful with him. But there's no doubt they would like him to start getting his reps with the offense. The longer he sits out, the more of his development seeps into the regular season.
What's wrong With Odell ? Hasn't been practicing Eli Needs him at Reciever! #NYGmail— Giants MUT (XB1) (@GiantsMUT_) July 25, 2014
@DanGrazianoESPN: Stevie Brown looks just fine at safety. He says he still has to monitor his knee from the ACL surgery that cost him the 2013 season, but he's moving around fine on the field. What he delivered as a surprise fill-in starter in 2012, with the eight interceptions, will be difficult to repeat. The key for Brown is being a more consistent and versatile player than he was that season. He believed he was ready last August to play safety the way the Giants want him to play it -- able to seamlessly switch off with Antrel Rolle between the box and the post -- but the knee injury cost him and them a chance to see for sure. But he's working his way back, and he believes he can take that next step he was ready to take last year before he got hurt. Enjoy your Saturday.
@DanGrazianoESPNhow does Stevie Brown look? Think he can still play at high level #nygmail— Frank White (@kean9333) July 25, 2014