Victor Cruz has flooded fans with nothing but progress since beginning the road to recovery from a torn patella tendon. Most recently, Cruz confirmed that he is on track to be ready for the start of training camp. This is all good news, but fans won't know what they have until Cruz gets back into action during practice. Very few NFL players have returned to form following a torn patella tendon, and the injury is known to sap players of their lateral agility explosion. Cruz has never been a WR who wins with straight-line speed, he is one of the NFL's best slot receivers because he is explosive and quick laterally, in and out of breaks. If the Giants' offense wants to take another step forward, and build on last season's late success, they will need Cruz to be the 1b to Beckham's 1a--offering Manning two elite options in the passing game.
Steven Ryan-USA TODAY SportsSteven Ryan
Will Odell Beckham Jr.'s hamstrings hold up?
Every Giants fan held their breath when Odell Beckham Jr. missed spring practices with a hamstring injury. This time, it was the opposite hamstring than the one that kept him out of the first four 2014 regular season games. Beckham's hamstring woes date back to his collegiate days at LSU. Beckham is expected to be ready for the first practice of camp, and he was reportedly held out of spring practices as a precaution. With Cruz's return, the addition of Shane Vereen, and new faces along the offensive line, the Giants need Beckham to get as many practice reps as possible. In year two of Ben McAdoo's offense, Beckham could be asked to do even more. He will have a difficult time accomplishing these nuances if he is sidelined through camp.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY SportsRobert Deutsch
Who will take Jason Pierre-Paul's snaps at RDE?
Jason Pierre-Paul's timeline is uncertain, but reports have suggested that he will sit out at least the next six weeks of action. With JPP out, there will be plenty of reps to go around at both left and right defensive end spots. In spring practices, while JPP was out, the Giants mixed in DT Cullen Jenkins at RDE in his absence. Robert Ayers, Damontre Moore, George Selvie, Kerry Wynn and rookie Owa Odighizuwa will all compete with Jenkins for starter snaps at defensive end. Earlier this week, I broke down why Damontre Moore is ready to break out this season. You can read that here. With JPP's injury, Moore has an opportunity to see more snaps in camp, at both left and right defensive end. It will be interesting to see who emerges from the rotation during camp.
TNS via Getty ImagesPaul Moseley
How big will Shane Vereen's role in the offense be?
When the Giants acquired Vereen this offseason, some assumed that he would simply take over as the team's passing down back. It didn't take many spring practices to learn that was not the case. Vereen was quickly installed with the first team offense and made his mark in red zone situations. He has developed a "nice rapport" with Eli Manning, and OC Ben McAdoo thinks he can be a quarterback's best friend. Although Vereen was never used much as a runner in New England, he was a productive rusher in college. Many believe that his skill set as a runner was miscast in New England's predominantly power-based blocking scheme. He is seen to be a much better fit in McAdoo's scheme that relies on zone concepts. Don't be surprised if Vereen leaves camp as the Giants' lead back.
Steven Ryan-USA TODAY SportsSteven Ryan
Will the Giants' offensive line remain the same?
After losing projected starting LT Will Beatty to an injury before spring practices began, the Giants abandoned their plan to use rookie first-rounder Ereck Flowers at RT. He was thrown into the fire at LT instead. Throughout the spring practices, the Giants' line remained the same. From left to right: Ereck Flowers, Justin Pugh, Weston Richburg, Geoff Schwartz, Marshall Newhouse. The Giants have made a point of keeping the same guys at the same spots to build continuity, but OL coach Pat Flaherty recently hinted that Brandon Mosley would compete with Newhouse for the starting RT spot. Aside from that battle, the Giants have both Pugh and Richburg slotted at different positions than the ones they played in 2014.