To help preview Friday night’s game between the Detroit Lions and New York Giants, we asked Ed Valentine of Giants SB Nation blog Big Blue View to give us some background on the 2018 Giants.
He let us know what expectations are for New York in 2018, some rookies to keep an eye out for, and his thoughts on the Giants moving on from new Lions edge defender Devon Kennard. Check it out:
1. Eli Apple is a guy that had an up-and-down week of practices. What’s the general perception in New York about his play in the NFL thus far?
Apple’s play is hard to judge. It’s been up and down and only one game in there is no conclusion to be drawn. What is encouraging is his attitude. After last season -- a suspension, questionable effort, awful treatment of the media, issues with teammates -- his attitude has been terrific. He’s been much different, and that leads to optimism about his future.
2. What do you think of Devon Kennard? Were you happy/sad/ambivalent that the Giants let him go?
I always liked Kennard. Stand up guy, decent player. Teased Giants fans as a rookie with a really good stretch of play, but never matched it. Good run defender, can give you some pass rush, maybe not great in coverage. I like Kennard. The new coaching staff likes Kareem Martin better. They are similar players, I think.
3. Obviously Odell Beckham Jr. grabs all of the headlines and attention, but who’s another Giants receiver the Lions should know about?
Well, if you’re looking for a brand name I would give you tight end Evan Engram. If you’re looking for a young kid who is trying to make the roster, keep an eye on Amba Etta-Tawo. He’s been very impressive so far.
4. After a hugely disappointing 2017 season, what are expectations for the Giants this year?
Well, they went all-in on 37-year-old Eli Manning. That leaves them a short window. They need to win, to make the playoffs. The expectation would be that they will be in the hunt for a playoff spot.
5. Which Giants rookies (outside of Saquon, who we’re unlikely to see Friday) have made the biggest impressions at camp thus far?
On offense, second-round pick Will Hernandez. He will start at left guard, and he has been everything the Giants hoped for. On defense, third-round pick B.J. Hill. He’s emerged as a starter on the defensive line, and looks like a guy who could be a really good player.
Thanks to Ed for the answers, and be sure to check out my answers to his questions at Big Blue View.