The New York Giants traveled to Philadelphia on Sunday to beat down the Eagles 29-16. Ok maybe it wasn’t a beat down, but it was an impressive performance. Two of the best performances came from former USF teammates, Jason Pierre Paul and Jacquian Williams. In a season where the NY Giants have seen no contribution from their first four draft picks (Prince Amukamara remains sidelined with an injury, Marvin Austin, is out on IR, Jerrel Jernigan has only been active for one game and has zero targets, and James Brewer has spent the season on the inactive list), the Giants are still finding some surprising contributors. Highlighted by Jacquian Williams who made the top 10 of my rookie hot list for the second week in a row.
Let’s breakdown the performances of the young guys on Sunday.
He continues to impress me. I’m going to trust my eyes on this one. He’ll have the best career of the rookie linebackers the Giants brought onto their team. His playing speed is excellent. He still looks hesitant and he still has to learn, but he’s like JPP from last year (in fact went the JUCO path and played with him at USF as well). He is already showing flahes. He’s the rookie linebacker who plays the most. He is coming free of blitzes and making a ton of tackles in pass coverage keeping players from gaining big yards after the catch.
On the Vick interception in the first quarter Williams forced him up into the pocket and then he made the bad throw. That’s the second week in a row he’s forced a bad throw (he was also the player who burst through the line on the Michael Boley backwards lateral TD play. I don’t think he’s being accounted for by the offense, or he has impeccable timing on his blitzes. Either way he’s looked great.
Finally, after I’ve been pimping Williams for three weeks straight, the beat writers are catching on. Coughlin also singled out Williams in his press conference after the game (a long with a few other players) for his good play.
Ed Valentine of Big Blue View
It is becoming increasingly obvious that GM Jerry Reese and the Giants’ scouting department saw something no one else saw in this rookie linebacker, and that they were right. Nine tackles for Williams, who seems to be playing more and more. He has the speed and athleticism that is needed to play linebacker in the modern NFL, he seems to find the football, he can cover and it doesn’t look like he misses many tackles.
Mike Garafolo gave Williams a game ball:
LB Jacquian Williams. Zach Berman will have more on this pleasant surprise for the team in the coming day.
Really this rookie review is all about Jacquian Williams because the rest of the rookies were nearly invincible during Sunday’s game.
Coughlin as also lobbed praise onto Williams (quote taken from Nj.com/giants, though it was at a press conference I believe),
He has displayed, quite frankly, some things that a lot of times you don’t get a chance to cover but yet it comes up on the field and the kid is in the right spot,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “He studies, he works, he is humble and he is quiet. You saw the speed in which he plays and he was able to go to the sidelines with (Eagles running back LeSean) McCoy, who is obviously having a heck of a year. That was impressive.”
I’d be exaggerating if I said he didn’t even get on the field vs the Eagles, but not by much. He was barely on the field. He was just not part of the game plan on Sunday. His strength is against the run and while the Eagles do run the ball they pass it a lot more, which is why Michael Boley and Jacquian Williams spent a lot of time on the field Sunday, and not Greg Jones.
Garafolo points out this little nugget on Jones.
Rookie LB Greg Jones did a good job of beating blocks against the Redskins by dodging them. He tried to do that on McCoy’s 21-yard run in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get all the way around Kelce and that left a huge hole for McCoy. Jones is a bit undersized, so dodging blockers instead of taking them head-on might work in a lot of cases. In that one, it appeared fighting across Kelce’s face was his best option.
Jones is doing just fine, but he’s still adjusting to the N.F.L. game. He has clearly been outshined by Jacquian Williams, but that’s not a knock on Jones. I think Jones still has a future with the New York Giants. I’m confident in that. I think early in the process Williams and Jones have locked up roster spots moving forward into 2013. Herzlich and Paysinger have a lot to prove still.
Tyler Sash, Greg Jones, Mark Herzlich, Spencer Paysinger, Jerrel Jernigan
Jernigan, Herzlich and Paysinger didn’t see the field at much (Jernigan at all, but it was the first game of the year he was active). They are all still special teams players.
Sash continues to be used on special teams and in some nickel/dime packages. Didn’t have any impact on this game really.
How much better a receiver is Hynoski than Hedgecock? The Giants ran a 25 yard-ish wheel route pattern for Hynoski and he almost made the ball. The throw was a touch short and the defender was able to knock the ball away, but how refreshing is it to actually have a full back who can make a play once in awhile. The fact that Hynoski is even given the opportunity to make plays like that is awesome. Hynoski also blocked better this game after struggling in space vs the Rams. I didn’t catch any missed blocks. Solid game for Hynoski.
What this means for the 2012 N.F.L. draft
I’ll have a breakdown on the offensive positional needs later, but right now it means that next year the Giants might finally feel comftorable at the linebacker spot. Depending on the situation that develops with Osi Umeinyora. They may eventually move Kiwanuka back to DE (again) and need a SAM linebacker, but the middle and weak side looks good moving forward. I also think that they have found their fullback for the future.
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