It would be understandable if general manager Dave Gettleman and the Giants are dealing with buyer’s remorse.
On Monday night, they will get an up-close look at what might have been.
Tristan Wirfs — the NFL’s highest-graded rookie offensive tackle according to Pro Football Focus — will be in town playing right tackle for the Buccaneers.
“He looks like a really good lineman,” Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams said.
Unlike struggling Giants rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas, Wirfs has been playing on the right side and is off to a fast start, having allowed just a single sack. Thomas, meanwhile, has allowed six sacks — which is tied for the most in the NFL — and 37 quarterback pressures this season, according to PFF. He was drafted fourth overall, while Wirfs was picked 13th by Tampa Bay.
“Obviously, he’s really big and he’s strong but there are moments where he’s still a rookie,” Williams said of Wirfs. “There’s a weakness in everybody’s game that you can find. We’re going to try to attack that as much as possible.”
“But he’s definitely playing really well from what we’ve seen on film. He looks like he’s going to be a good player in this league for a long time.”
The Giants are hoping to see Thomas flash similar potential.
The Markus Golden trade opened up a spot at outside linebacker, giving rookie sixth-round pick Cam Brown more of an opportunity. Brown has stood out so far on special teams and has earned praise from the coaching staff, though he has received only 19 snaps on defense.
“Cam has made a lot of progress for us,” coach Joe Judge said. “He’s obviously developed a lot through the kicking game, and for a young player, exposure on the field in coverage units really builds in directly to your development as a defensive player. … Seeing the ball, getting to the ball, playing with leverage, getting off blocks, learning the speed of the game. That’s all been instrumental in Cam’s development, and he’s made a lot of progress in the package we’ve used him in.”
Running back Devonta Freeman (ankle) missed practice again while defensive backs Adrian Colbert (shoulder) and Darnay Holmes (neck) remained limited. Wide receiver C.J. Board (concussion) practiced fully after he was limited on Thursday.