Joe Judge Takeaways at Giants minicamp, including first impressions

·3 min read
Joe Judge looks on 12/20/2020
Joe Judge looks on 12/20/2020

The Giants are holding their first rookie minicamp of the offseason this weekend, but head coach Joe Judge is calling this more of an "orientation weekend" than a "competition weekend."

Speaking to reporters on Friday over Zoom, Judge talked about his overall mindset this weekend, what he's looking for in some of the tryout players he brought in, and his first impressions of the rookies.

Here's a few takeaways from his news conference:

First impressions of rookie class:

"I think the biggest thing with these rookies -- with any class of rookies -- is it's all brand new to them," Judge said. "It's their first day in the National Football League, first time being on the grass, first time in our systems and schemes. So really this is an orientation weekend, this isn't a competition weekend, this isn't a situation where we're cutting down the team this weekend.

"This is just, get the guys out there and get them moving on the grass, take a look at them, get a better idea of where they are physically. These are guys that have not been with a team now for at least five months, so being out there for the first time in team activities and drills with the pace and the tempo of a practice as opposed to individual workouts with a trainer are much, much different.

"All these guys have got to get into football shape, which is part of the process of being out here in spring and working them forward."

On why Kelvin Benjamin was working as a TE:

Benjamin was among the non-rookie camp invitees this weekend -- but was seen working out as a tight end. The former wide receiver hasn't played in the NFL since 2018 and is looking to use his 6-5, 245-pound frame to possibly convert over to a tight end -- something that Judge thinks he can do.

"In terms of Benjamin working a different position today, I mean we're going to work different of guys at a variety of things right now. He's a big guy, he's always been a big receiver. He'll work receiver and he's working a little bit of flex tight end as well. I wouldn't really pin him down at any one position. We're going to use the weekend to move him around different spots to see how it works out," Judge said.

On how much stock he puts into this week's results:

It's the first week of the NFL for most players at this camp, so mistakes will surely be made. But Judge said he won't be as focused on that this weekend.

"It truly is just orientation," Judge said. "At this point, we can identify things that we have to work on and we can identify where they are currently; however, I'd say every rookie you get right now, just out of the nature of not being on a team for the duration that they've been training for the draft and all that kind of stuff, they're all far behind.

"Most of these guys are farther behind than they were when they finished their college seasons, so we've got to get them back going, get them caught up, get them in our systems, in our schemes and they've got a long way to go. That's just the truth with any rookie class."