New York Giants: 2012 Rookies in Competition to Keep Their Jobs in 2013

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New York Giants: 2012 Rookies in Competition to Keep Their Jobs in 2013
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New York Giants training camp.

COMMENTARY | David Wilson, Rueben Randle and Jayron Hosley were standout rookies for the New York Giants in 2012. Barring any injuries, all three players should see increased roles during the 2013 season -- with Wilson and Hosley possibly earning starting jobs.

But for the rest of the 2012 rookie class, the future is uncertain. Fierce position battles for tight end, defensive end, defensive tackle and safety may leave four second-year players fighting to keep their spots on the 2013 roster.

Adrien Robinson, Tight End

The position of fullback might determine Adrien Robinson's fate. With Henry Hynoski projected to miss training camp due to a knee injury, backup tight end Bear Pascoe might be the Giants' starting fullback come September. A position change for Pascoe could be a huge blessing for Robinson -- the Giants' 2012 fourth-round draft pick.

Considered a project player, Robinson demonstrated more potential than productivity in college. He played in only two games in 2012, and has a slim chance of supplanting free-agent acquisition Brandon Myers as the starter. But, because of the uncertainty surrounding who will play fullback, he could easily land the backup spot. However, if the Giants choose to address the fullback issue with a free agent, Robinson will have to show significant growth and consistency in order to compete with the multifaceted Pascoe.

The Giants kept three tight ends on the roster in 2012, but there is no guarantee that they will do the same in 2013. Rookies Chase Clement and Jamie Childers will also be competing for the job, along with 2012 practice squad player Larry Donnell.

Adewale Ojomo, Defensive End

The defensive end position is the deepest on the Giants' defense, even with the departure of Osi Umenyiora to the Atlanta Falcons. With big names already on the roster, it would be a long shot for 2012 undrafted free agent Adewale Ojomo to join the group. Veteran players Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka, and 2013 third-round Texas A&M draft pick Damontre Moore are currently the Giants' top four defensive ends. Ojomo will likely be competing for a single roster spot during training camp.

In 2012, Ojomo's impressive preseason earned him a backup spot, but mental errors and inconsistency in stopping the run kept him on the bench. 2010 sixth-round draft pick Adrian Tracy may be the frontrunner this year to earn the fifth spot. Tracy played well when called upon during 2012, and he impressed coaches during mini-camp in June, as reported by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. Ojomo must exceed expectations if he wants to compete with Tracy. However, there is a chance that both players can earn a spot, but only if Pierre-Paul has not yet returned from surgery by the start of the season.

Also competing for defensive end spots are third-year player Justin Trattou and second-year player Matt Broha.

Markus Kuhn, Defensive Tackle

German defensive tackle Markus Kuhn, one of the Giants' seventh-round draft picks in 2012, will be part of the most intense position battle during camp. The Giants ranked just 25th in rushing defense in 2012. They gave up 2,066 yards and allowed 4.1 yards per carry. These are unacceptable numbers by any team's standards, and with Chris Canty and Rocky Bernard now gone, defensive tackle spots are wide open.

According to Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger, Kuhn impressed coaches in 2012 with his mistake-free play, but an ACL injury prematurely ended his rookie year. The Giants were quick to assemble stiff competition during the offseason, and it will be interesting to see if Kuhn has recovered quickly enough to keep his roster spot. Along with Kuhn, veterans Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin will compete against big names like former Cleveland Brown Shaun Rogers, and former Philadelphia Eagles Mike Patterson and Cullen Jenkins.

Will Hill, Safety

Will Hill, an East Orange, N.J., native, was the local feel-good story coming out of camp in 2012. As a rookie free agent, Hill made the 53-man Giants roster after going undrafted. Hill played in 12 games and recorded 38 tackles with 2 defended passes.

But what a difference a year can make. Recently, the league suspended Hill for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the NFL's policy on substance abuse. With Antrel Rolle and Stevie Brown penciled in as 2013 starters, and 2011 sixth-round draft-pick Tyler Sash returning from injury, Hill's job was already in jeopardy before his suspension.

The Giants kept only four safeties in 2012, and if they repeat this in 2013, the fourth spot will likely go to Cooper Taylor, the Giants' fifth-round University of Richmond draft pick, or free-agent acquisition Ryan Mundy. Hill's time with the Giants may be coming to an abrupt end.

Matt Mosley is a professional writer with more than 10 years experience covering sports, music and film. Along with his passion for other New York sports teams, he has followed the New York Giants for more than 25 years.

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