What we learned from Giants training camp: Friday, July 27

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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants took the field for their final practice without shoulder pads.

Returning to good health

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t take quite as many live 11-on-11 reps as he did on Thursday, but the reps he took were encouraging. Beckham got open on a deep crossing route in safety Landon Collins’ area of the field. He had to stretch out to secure the catch, displaying a recovery of his speed while showing off his world-class hands. There weren’t any setbacks for the star wide receiver as the team continues to take a preventative approach with a smaller workload.

Collins made Beckham and quarterback Eli Manning pay for their nice play on him as he jumped another pass intended for Beckham and secured the interception. Collins was playing a deep zone, saw the play developing and jumped the route. Beckham and Collins both look like they’re recovering well and they seem to be developing a nice camp battle between the two of them.

Competing for Playing Time

Cornerback Grant Haley made a couple of good plays. He came up with an interception after jumping a route on a pass thrown deep to wide receiver Sterling Shepard. That’s some impressive awareness for an undrafted rookie. He made another great play by breaking up a pass intended for wide receiver Roger Lewis.

Donte Deayon also had a nice pass deflection on Lewis. William Gay might not be a lock for the nickel back position with Haley and Deayon making plays in practice.

The free safety position saw a frequent rotation. Curtis Riley made a nice play by breaking up a pass intended for tight end Rhett Ellison. Orion Stewart jumped a route, secured an interception, and then made sure he kept his feet in bounds.

Reasons to be optimistic

Wide receiver Sterling Shepard was consistently creating separation in the middle of the field. He also got open deep down but Grant Haley covered for the other cornerback who was beaten on the play.

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Defensive end Olivier Vernon had his way with offensive linemen Nate Solder and Ereck Flowers. While this is good for Vernon, it’d be encouraging to see Solder and Flowers win some battles also.

Defensive end Connor Barwin is new to the team but that didn’t stop him from getting into the backfield a handful of times.

Romeo Okwara was previously a defensive end in the 4-3 scheme, but today he kept up with a tight end in coverage as if he were a natural 3-4 outside linebacker. He did get flagged for pass interference but displayed the speed to keep up.

Cornerback Janoris Jenkins continued to impress with a pass deflection which required him to reach around the receiver while avoiding pass interference.

Wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo was thrown a very high ball but was able to climb the ladder to catch the pass. He’s an undrafted rookie who has gotten first-team reps.

Rookie running back Saquon Barkley displayed his understanding of pass protection by walling off a linebacker after an adjustment from Manning before the ball was snapped.

Players who didn’t practice

Nose tackle Damon Harrison didn’t practice with an undisclosed injury for the second consecutive day. Rookie defensive end R.J. McIntosh is dealing with a thyroid condition that has him on the non-football injury list.

Synopsis

The defensive backs seemed to have an advantage today on anyone not named Odell Beckham Jr. or Sterling Shepard. This was the main area of concern coming into training camp, so it was good to see them compete at a high level. Nate Solder and Ereck Flowers were struggling for the second day in a row, but with shoulder pads and a step up in physicality they may win some battles.

– Christian Morell is a Contributor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL and the New York Giants. Please like and follow on Facebook and Twitter. Christian can be followed on Twitter @Cmorell72.

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