The New York Giants are looking good during the preseason, but other than Damontre Moore’s blocked punt, no one has really stood out as a breakout stud. Sunday’s preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts will be a huge game for players vying for starting jobs to make their case.
Here’s a look at five Giants that have the potential to have a breakout performance against the Colts.
Yes I did have him on my list of players to watch for last week against the Steelers, but with such a low scoring game and only a few snaps, we didn’t see much of Nassib. Nassib was touted to be the number one quarterback draft pick because of his relation to Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone. Even though he didn’t land with the Bills, the Giants decision to draft him was a steal. Nassib can be utilized as a trade incentive as he learns from Eli Manning and practices with elite wide receivers.
For Sunday against the Colts, Nassib can have a very big game if given more snaps. The Colts gave up a lot of points to the Bills own rookie quarterback EJ Manuel so why should Nassib be any different? Even though Nassib will obviously not start for the Giants, having a huge game on Sunday can be very enticing for teams who are looking for a quarterback.
Taking reps with the first team this week, it is clear the race for middle linebacker is still not definite.
Mark Herzlich has been the front runner since OTAs earlier in the offseason, but with Connor practicing with the first-team before the second preseason game against a Colts team who struggled offensively last week gives the impression Connor is in line for a golden opportunity.
Last season, Connor had a decent season as middle linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys with 56 combined tackles and no sacks or interceptions, but the Giants don’t make defensive acquisitions just because. Connor can validate the Giants reasoning for signing him with a breakout game on Sunday.
The 2011 second round pick is still trying to break out. Entering his third year in the NFL, this upcoming game against the Colts, in his words, “is a pivotal point for me in my career.”
Austin can definitely use a breakout game agains the Colts. There is no question he is working hard and very devoted, but in the NFL, if you don’t produce, you don’t play. The example for this was Victor Cruz. Cruz displayed production as an undrafted free agent. Austin was drafted and entering his third year with participation in non-pivotal moments won’t make him a starter.
With the emergence of Johnathan Hankins, Austin really needs this game.
We know it is Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle as the Giants triple threat. But who can be the fourth and make it a fantastic four?
Enter Louis Murphy.
Murphy signed with the Giants for a one year contract for the veteran’s minimum in the hopes of a long term deal with New York. In four seasons, Murphy accumulated 1,707 yards for seven touchdowns on 115 receptions. His first two seasons were the most productive and it fits with numbers of a three or four string receiver on a team like the Giants.
A receiver with great speed with an ability to block; Murphy has been given praise from the coaching staff and earlier in the year was developing a connection with Manning. Having another option for Manning won’t hurt and for an underrated talent like Murphy who won two BCS Championships to have a big game Sunday will go a long way to playing time.
What about a fab five?
With the departure of Kris Adams, the Giants signed Marcus Harris to fill Adams’ roster spot.
An All-American at Murray State, Harris led the FCS in receiving yards per game and with 84 receptions for 1,075 yards and nine touchdowns during his senior year.
If we are looking for the next Cruz performance, Harris could provide that. He is not on any one’s radar and no scouting report on him can bode well for a surprise breakout performance from him.