If you are a New York Giants fan, you could not be any happier with what you saw out of the starting roster Friday night. Despite it being just pre-season, Eli Manning looked very sharp finishing 17-21 for 148 yards and a touchdown to the much maligned Ramses Barden. Ramses Barden has been a lackluster third round draft pick thus far, and has been pressed hard this training camp to remain with the team. With the return of special teamer and reliable receiver when healthy Domenik Hixon, and the emergence of undrafted free agent Victor Cruz, Barden has been shuttled to the bottom of the depth chart. Barden definitely did himself a favor by playing well Friday night, but with David Douglas and Dan DePalma challenging him for a spot, nothing is certain.
Douglas in particular appeared comfortable returning punts, which has been a barren position of the Giants for years now. With previous bums like Darius Reynaud and Will Blackmon manning the postion it would be a beautiful thing to see a player actually returning punts competently at a professional level. Douglas had a couple of chances and had an excellent return called back on holding, but it looked like Douglas might have the ability to excel at the position.
All of the Giants’ starters looked good, but none better than first round pick David Wilson. Wilson had several eye opening runs while getting a chance to play with the first-teamers in the absence of Ahmad Bradshaw. The critique on Wilson so far was that he liked to dance too much, and is incapable of picking of blitzes on passing plays. Although he did not have a chance to block, he displayed breakaway speed while running north and south, with no dancing in between. Wilson just might be the penicillin for New York’s anemic running game last season.
On an injury note Prince Amukamara left the game with a mild high ankle sprain. With the cornerback position already depleted with previous injuries it is important for Amukamara to return healthy and not miss an extended part of the season as he did last year.