The temperature is rising near triple digits, but the autumn winds are not too far behind as NFL training camp commences today with rookies reporting to the camps for the New York Giants and Jets.
All eyes will be on the rookies this week as the veterans will slowly start to trickle in over the course of the week. By Sunday both teams will be ready for full squad workouts to begin next week.
Regarding Gang Green, most will be looking at the trio of first-round picks the Jets took in the draft this spring: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Garrett Wilson, and Jermaine Johnson. The Jets were highly praised for their work this off-season in retooling the franchise, especially in the draft.
Gardner is considered to be a generational talent at cornerback. He didn’t surrender a single touchdown in his collegiate career at Cincinnati. At nearly 6-foot-3, Gardner is one of the tallest corner’s in the NFL and one that will match up against the opponent’s best receivers.
Garrett Wilson figures to become a prominent option for quarterback Zach Wilson, who will have plenty of talent around him to make big plays. From veteran receiver Corey Davis, speedy slot receivers in Braxton Berrios and Elijah Moore to running back Michael Carter, and new additions in tight ends CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, there will be plenty of pass-catching options.
The Jets are also excited to see rookie running back Breece Hall (Iowa State) and tight end Jeremy Ruckert (Ohio State) in this offense as well.
Defensively, a lot of people will be watching rookie defensive end Jermaine Johnson, whom the Jets targeted in the draft, even trading back into the first round to get him at the 26th pick. Johnson had an outstanding final year at Florida State where he was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. A lot of draft experts were surprised Johnson dropped like a stone in the first round; he’ll have a chance to silence the doubters beginning today.
Meanwhile, the Giants are excited about debuting their defensive end, Kayvon Thibideaux this afternoon. The loquacious Thibideaux, who is not shy on confidence, registered 35.5 sacks at Oregon the past three seasons. The Giants hope he can bring back the ferocity the Giants once enjoyed in past defenses.
While Thibideaux will certainly draw headlines this summer, the bigger rookie story is on the sideline as Head Coach Brian Daboll begins his first season as Giants Head Coach. Daboll was an extremely successful offensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills the past few years, credited with turning around the career of Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Can Daboll — who comes across as the complete opposite of his predecessor, Joe Judge, get Daniel Jones — and more importantly the Giants back on track?
Football is here folks, rejoice!