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My Giants LB training camp roster preview

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My Giants LB training camp roster preview

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:48 am

The area I am most intrigues with this training camp is how the LB roster shapes up, there should be some very interesting training camp battles ahead..

The Giants have currently have nine LBs with decent ability/potential: Pierce, Clark, Boley, Wilkinson, Blackburn, Sintim, Kehl, Goff and DeOssie. We also have Ingram and Smith, but I think they are both likely headed to the practice squd.

Presumably the Giants will go with 7 LB spots on the final roster (going by recent years) although this may be able to stretch to 8 depending on the final roster balance. This is how I see the final roster shaping up as we head into training camp.

DeOssie will almost certainly keep his roster spot based on special teams (in lieu of a traditional long snapper).

Antonio Pierce is signed through 2010 and although he wants to finish his career as a Giant, it looks to me that Pierce isn't in the Giants long term plans and could well be his last year as a Giant.

Danny Clark is a short term stop gap while Clint Sintim spends this year learning the ropes and working his way into the rotation.

Boley is out for 8-10 weeks, in the meantime, the Giants will have Gerris Wilkinson, Chase Blackburn, and Bryan Kehl compete for the starting WLB spot, all of whom have some experience playing there. There is alot to like about Gerris Wilkinson, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy, but he has plenty of talent and ability and could be on the verge of a breakout year. Bryan Kehl will be in the mix at WLB but can also play MLB and SLB and the team is reportedly very high on Jonathan Goff who is possibly to be Pierce’s heir-apparent inside. Chase Blackburn is a guy you love to have around, he is a good backup at multiple positions and a very good special teams player, but certainly isn't a genuine starter.

The hard choices seem to be who do we leave out? After all it is a numbers game and there is a log jam of players.

Do we keep Pierce and/or Clark at the Expense of a young guy we really like?
Could our other young guys get the job done?
Can we keep Blackburn at the expense of another talented youngster with a lot more upside? This may be delayed somewhat if Boley starts on PUP and naturally depends on players being healthy, but it looks to me like there will be some tough decisions ahead for the front office.

Given Reese’s ability to get value for players, I wouldn't be hugely surprised if Pierce was traded (perhaps to the Rams or one of the new 3-4 teams) for a second day draft pick next year; particularly if Boley is expected back sooner rather than later. There was a definite drop off in the level of Pierce’s play last year and between Goff, Kehl, Wilkinson and Blackburn they could likely get the job done at MLB.
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