The Athletic names two Giants as second-year breakout candidates

·1 min read

New York Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson and edge rusher Quincy Roche have been identified as two second-year players who are ready to ‘break out’ in 2022 by The Athletic.

Roche was a sixth-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers last year who was waived during final cuts and picked up by the Giants. He played in 14 games for New York last season, starting three, recording five QB hits, five tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble.

He could turn into a sleeper. He’s a bouncy, nimble athlete on the edge, one who can change direction and retrack to the ball with a lot of speed and explosion. When he’s locked in, he can be a real problem against the run, as an edge-setter who’s just hard to move. However, he does get tired — it happened too much in 2021 — and that can limit his impact.

Still, there’s a lot to like here. Roche’s effort can be intense, and if he can find a way to keep that max energy longer, he’ll be a great addition up front. His situation is interesting, though. The Athletic’s Dan Duggan notes that he’s in a roster battle in New York, as the Giants also have talented young edge rushers in Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux to think about (and they’re not going anywhere). If Roche can’t stick with New York, don’t be shocked if he shows up somewhere else and makes an impact. He can play.

Robinson, a third-round pick, missed the entire first half of the 2021 season with a foot injury but showed great strides as the season progressed.

Receivers have a really hard time separating from Robinson and beating him at the line of scrimmage. Robinson has good long speed, too, so he also challenges players who have second-level acceleration. He’s all-around fast and showed an ability to play without fear on an island last year as a rookie.

He got beat early in New York’s November win over the Eagles because he gave up on a route too soon, but Philadelphia went back at him repeatedly that game and never found success again. Robinson (6-0), ran stride-for-stride with speedy Jalen Reagor on a go-ball with the game on the line in the final minute to help the Giants preserve a win.

It’s not always perfect, though. Robinson can still get lost. He had some issues in coverage in a preseason game last week, in fact. There’s work to do here, but he’s still someone to keep an eye on.

The Athletic bypassed the Giants’ top two picks in last year’s draft — wide receiver Kadarius Toney and Azeez Ojulari. Most fans are eager to see them break out as well.

Related

Giants inducting Leonard Marshall, six others into Ring of Honor

Giants' Brian Daboll: Tyrod Taylor may receive first-team reps

Giants trim roster to 85 by waiving Jeremiah Hall, two others

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire