Which 2016 Rookies will have a Giant 2017
Entering 2016 there were very few expectations placed on Giants safety Landon Collins. Collins joined Big Blue by being their second-round pick in 2015 and at seasons end Collins was in the starting lineup. There were some critiques of Collins’s play such as Collins’s being exploited on deep plays by the opposition. But the narrative changed on Collins during the 2016 season as Collins emerged as a defensive playmaker and received an All Pro selection because of his performance. Now with this type of rapid development over one season which Giant 2016 draft picks will have a monster 2017 season for the G-men?
Sterling Shepard, Wide Receiver
Coming into the 2016 season Shepard was one of the most talked about draft picks in the 2016 class by the New York Giants. The reason for this selection was to replace departing Ruben Randle and provide a compliment for Odell Beckham Jr. Shepard did have his opportunities in 2016 and had a solid rookie campaign by compiling 65 catches for 683 yards and 8 touchdowns. The only reason why Shepard will not explode on the scene in 2017 is the Giants have more weapons with Brandon Marshall at wide-receiver and first round pick Evan Engram at tight-end. But if Shepard plays at an All-Pro level no Giant fan will complain.
Eli Apple, Cornerback
Many fans were surprised when Apple’s name was announced as the first-round pick for Big Blue mainly because Apple did not receive a lot of media attention. The advantage that Apple had was as a rookie he was number 3 on the depth chart playing behind Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. While Apple made mistakes in 2016 Apple did improve as the season progressed and Eli could be ready in 2017 for full-time cornerback duties.
Darian Thompson, Safety
This is one name that was rarely called out in 2016 because Thompson was injured for the duration of the 2016 season. Thompson was chosen to provide competition at safety with Collins, now it looks like Thompson will be competing for his job in 2017. How a year can change anything in the NFL.
Paul Perkins, Running Back
Based on the 2016 season alone Perkins was the biggest steal of the Giants draft. Coming in to the season Perkins was number 3 on the depth chart but after injuries to Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings Perkins was given an opportunity in 2016. The rook made the most of the opportunity and provide a spark for the Giants run game. Many saw a glimmer of hope as Perkins was able to provide explosiveness not scene by the Giants followers since Ahmad Bradshaw left town.