Strong camp efforts have Rhett Ellison, Jay Bromley in mix to start

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants return to work Monday after a day off. Training camp is already 11 days old. They have run through eight practices. Only five more remain -- and a preseason game -- before they break camp.

Here's some player assessments so far:

Started strong

TE Rhett Ellison: He’s been thrown right into the first-team mix and flashed an ability to block, one that the Giants have been missing at the tight end position for several years. He also has caught the ball well.

DT Jay Bromley: Coach Ben McAdoo noted he’s playing physical, with a strong base. He’s burst into the backfield to ruin runs seemingly with regularity. He's even turned it on as a pass-rusher in recent days. As McAdoo noted: “Big year for Jay.” He’s in the mix along with Robert Thomas and Dalvin Tomlinson to start next to Damon Harrison on the defensive line. The Giants have Bromley listed as the starter on their "unofficial" depth chart for the preseason opener against the Steelers.

CB Michael Hunter: He’s built on his strong spring with a good start to the summer. Hunter has good size and plays physical. Receivers have a hard time getting off the line against him. Hunter hasn’t given up many plays at all. He's their No. 4 cornerback at the moment.

CB Eli Apple: It looks as if Apple has made a significant jump from his rookie season. He’s holding his own against star receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. He’s definitely proven that he can run with anyone, even after adding weight this offseason.

LB B.J. Goodson: He’s won over his teammates and coaches with his ability to command the huddle and play with some edge. Goodson’s physicality has stood out early in camp. He's thudding running backs to the ground every day, and has done well running with receivers and tight ends when necessary. Goodson looks for real.

OL D.J. Fluker: He’s made a strong impression with his size and desire the first week of camp. When Fluker gets his hands on a defender in the run game, it’s over. He also moves well for his size. Fluker has exclusively played guard. He looks like a guard, not a tackle.

G Justin Pugh: He’s healthy and playing at a high level. He’s been the Giants’ best lineman early in camp. What has impressed me most about Pugh is that he's displacing defensive linemen on running plays.

OT Chad Wheeler: The undrafted rookie held his own early in camp, until a rough day this past Saturday. He’s shown violent hands to keep pass-rushers out of the backfield. His punch is impressive. His body may not be NFL-ready, but he seems to play with consistent technique.

WR Darius Powe: He’s slimmed down a bit and is getting open. Nobody has caught more passes during live drills early in camp than Powe, a second-year receiver out of Cal who spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad.

Slow starters

LT Ereck Flowers: The technique flaws that plagued him last season have surfaced too often during the first week of camp. This past Saturday was his best day, but he needs more of those. The inconsistency is still a problem. There has been more than a few occasions where Flowers' hands are on the back shoulders of defenders and he dips his head and loses balance.

DE Owa Odighizuwa: After missing the spring, Odighizuwa has worked quietly with the third-team defense. He hasn’t made much of an impact as he acclimates to football. There is time, but it hasn’t been a great start to camp.

RB Shaun Draughn: He hasn’t practiced and is on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with an ankle injury. That hurts when you’re fighting for a roster spot.

DE Devin Taylor: The offseason acquisition missed several days with a lower-body injury. The Giants haven’t really been able to make an assessment on the lengthy pass-rusher, although he did show up this past Saturday when he finally returned to the field.

WR Kevin Snead: He’s struggled at times catching the ball. He can’t catch punts. That’s not good when you’re trying to make a mark as a wide receiver/kick returner.