For most established veterans, the National Football League preseason is a time to shake off the rust. But many rookies and second-year pros fight for roster spots in the preseason and a strong showing in training camp and exhibition action can boost a player's stock. As such, here are five rising stocks on the New York Giants.
Sean Locklear (LT) -- Locklear, who signed with the Giants last April, has seen his stock rise mostly as a result of Will Beatty's balky back. With Beatty unable to go, the experienced Locklear is taking snaps with the first unit and holding his own. The Giants eventually may slide David Diehl to the left side and move Locklear to his natural position of right tackle. Either way, Locklear may be locked in as a starter.
Dwayne Hendricks (DT) -- Hendricks, who spent last season on the practice squad, bagged a pair of sacks in the G-Men's preseason opener and has earned praise from coach Tom Coughlin for his hustle and persistence. Waived four times by the Giants, he keeps working his way back to the team. Given the injuries to the defensive line, Hendricks may be sticking around a bit longer this season.
Martellus Bennett (TE) -- The former Dallas Cowboy made headlines earlier this preseason when he declared his hatred for all opponents. However, his action on the field has spoken louder than words. Bennett, who reported to camp in good shape, has four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown in two preseason games. And the Giants need a pass-catching tight end. Opportunity knocks.
Spencer Paysinger (LB) -- Paysinger, who was an undrafted free agent in 2010, filled in admirably last season when Michael Boley went down. He could play a key role again this season. He leads the team in tackles through the first two preseason games. However, he is not promised a starting job, as the Giants are deep at linebacker. Instead, Paysinger's hustle may come in handy on special teams.
Will Hill (S) -- Hill, who went undrafted in 2011, has provided a few thrills this preseason. The former New Jersey high school star has recorded eight tackles through the team's first two preseason games and shown the ability to play in the box against the run. Plus, he can play on special teams. With safety Tyler Sash suspended for the first four games of the season, Hill will get a chance to play.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.
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