Giants rookie minicamp takeaways: Malik Nabers already flashing skills, competitive fire

Giants rookie minicamp takeaways: Malik Nabers already flashing skills, competitive fire

East Rutherford , NJ — May 10, 2024 -- The number one draft pick for the Giants is wide receiver Malik Nabers as the NY Giants hold their Rookie Camp and introduce their new draft picks.
By Charlotte Carroll

May 11, 2024


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Malik Nabersis already finding a part of New York Giantspractice “hard.”

It wasn’t a particular drill, nor was it the weightlifting expectations that made this weekend’s rookie minicamp challenging for the Giants’ No. 6 pick. It was the directive to take it easy and not do everything, which Nabers heard from his new wide receivers coach, Mike Groh.

“Coach Groh told me I wasn’t going to be participating in everything, and I (asked) him why,” Nabers said. “That competitiveness in me is always going to show.”

That’s the spirit the Giants are looking for from the player they hope will quickly emerge as their top wide receiver.



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But this weekend wasn’t about going full bore. Rookie minicamp is supposed to serve as an introduction for Nabers, as well as the Giants’ five other draft picks, their undrafted free-agent signings and camp invites. Giants newcomers had meetings over the three-day stretch and saw the field for about an hour Friday and Saturday, participating in some individual drills and a little seven-on-seven.

In the limited showing, Nabers impressed in his receiver drills, then spent some time working with Groh and talking with head coach Brian Daboll.


“He’s athletic; he’s quick; he’s explosive; he has very good hands; he’s got good awareness; (and) he’s got flexibility to play inside and outside,” Daboll said. “Now it’s our job and it’s his job here to go ahead and start picking it up. There’s a lot to learn. Certainly, we thought he was a really good player obviously where we took him.”

Nabers already endured a welcome-to-the-NFL moment, having to publicly call off a $10,000 bet with former LSU teammate and now Washington Commanders quarterback Jayden Daniels. The bet, on which player would win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, garnered plenty of attention and questions about the league’s gambling policy.

“I’m educated now that I got here about sports betting and gambling,” Nabers said. “It was just another brother pushing another brother to try to get to success. That’s all it was.”

Daboll said he was happy with the way Nabers handled the moment after the rookie had conversations with the Giants support staff.

“They did a good job, and look, this guy is a good, young kid,” Daboll said, “And I think he put that behind him.”

Fitting right in?

• Third-round cornerback Andru Phillips can play both outside and nickel cornerback, but said he prefers to play nickel.

“(There’s) so much going on at that spot,” Phillips said. “I like being in control a lot of times. You get to communicate more. You’re involved in the run game as well as the pass game. A lot of times, on certain downs and distances, you know that ball is coming to you. I’m trying just to make as many plays as possible.”



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Daboll said the team views the nickel as a premium position. If Phillips wins the job there, that leaves one starting corner spot open opposite Deonte Banks on the outside.  Daboll hinted at who might be viewed as the frontrunner, saying he’s got, “a lot of confidence” in Cor’Dale Flott. Nick McCloudand Tre Hawkins are also vying for the role.

• With tight end Darren Waller still mulling retirement, the Giants added to the position via free agency and the draft. Fourth-round pick Theo Johnson could help fill the Waller void as a talented receiver.

“I’m super excited for whatever role I have this year,” Johnson said. “Whatever that looks like, I’m going to take it in full stride, and I’m going to put my all into it.”

QB moves

The Giants claimed quarterback Nathan Rourke off waivers last week from the New England Patriots.

The move adds another player to the position room as Daniel Jones rehabs from a torn ACL. When asked if the Rourke signing reflected at all on Jones’ progress, Daboll said the team simply liked Rourke while adding that Jones is doing some individual drills, and the team will continue to monitor his progress. The expectation from the front office remains that Jones will take over as QB1 as soon as he’s healthy. Earlier this month, Jones said he was in a “good spot” with his rehab, believing he’d be ready for training camp.


Rourke spent part of the 2023 season on the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad after playing two seasons in the Canadian Football League with the BC Lions. In 2022, Rourke set a CFL record by completing 78.7 percent of his passes, to go along with 3,349 yards and 25 touchdowns, as he earned the league’s award for Most Outstanding Canadian.

Veteran joins WR room

Daboll said Darius Slayton’s future did not factor into the Giants’ decision to sign veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson.

Slayton, who is unhappy with his contract, hasn’t attended voluntary workouts this offseason. The receiver said earlier this month that he’s confident the sides will come to a resolution soon. The situation began before the Giants drafted Nabers, which should only add to the Giants’ leverage. They’ve got their receiving room of the future with recent draft picks Nabers, Jalin Hyatt and Wan’Dale Robinson.



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The 30-year-old Allen is yet another, albeit older, addition to that room.

“Has been a productive player for a while,” Daboll said. “We’ve had good conversations. Ended up choosing to come here. Happy to have him.

“We’ll throw him out there and see how he does.”

Over a 10-year career, after being drafted in the second round by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Robinson has tallied 562 receptions and 43 touchdowns along with 7,028 receiving yards. He finished with 34 receptions for 280 yards last year in Pittsburgh.

Health updates

Jones isn’t the only player rehabbing an injury. Others include right tackle Evan Neal (ankle) and kicker Graham Gano (left knee). Daboll didn’t get into the specifics of their rehabs.

“I think they are all taking good steps of, you know, trying to get out there for (OTAs),” Daboll said.

Cornerback Aaron Robinson, who tore his ACL and MCL in October 2022 and missed all of last season, has participated in some walk-throughs but is still rehabbing.

Unique New York

Part of the fun for many rookies transitioning to the NFL is exploring a new city, and the Big Apple offers plenty of adventures for the Giants newbies.

For sixth-round linebacker Darius Muasau, who hails from Hawaii, the weather is the biggest new adventure. He’s played in Wyoming and saw light snow, but he’s already excited for the holidays.

“I’m looking forward to a white Christmas,” Muasau said. “I haven’t seen anything like that in Hawaii, so I’m just really excited to be here.”

Meanwhile, second-round safety Tyler Nubinis relying on some past video game knowledge to prepare for his exploration of his new city.

“Played Spiderman for all my life, so I kind of know where some stuff is at swinging through the city,” Nubin laughed. “But seeing it in real life is going to be cooler for sure.”

Giants bring back Chris Snee

Two-time Super Bowl winner Chris Snee is back with the Giants but this time in a front office role. He started this week as a senior scout in the personnel department, and he’ll be involved in both college and pro scouting. Snee was in attendance at minicamp.

After a sterling career as a Giants right guard which included four Pro Bowl nods, the 42-year-old began his post-playing career in 2017 as a Jaguars scout. There he evaluated both college and pro players, focusing on offensive linemen. Snee, who played under Giants coach Tom Coughlin, reunited with Coughlin in Jacksonville. Snee is Coughlin’s son-in-law and remained in Jacksonville until 2020.

“By the final year, it evolved into defensive line as well, which is kind of the natural progression,” Snee said in a press release. “I’m sure every scout will tell you they have positions that they’re stronger at evaluating, but I definitely would like to be able to evaluate all positions and learn. Never been a guy to come in and think I know everything because I don’t.”

Snee spent two years at his alma mater, Boston College, before returning to New York. With the Giants, it stands to reason that Snee will at least initially focus on the offensive line.

The Giants also announced two other personnel changes. Nick La Testa, who was a pro scout, was promoted to assistant director of pro scouting. Charles Tisch, a football operations assistant, now has the title of manager, football administration. Tisch is the son of Jonathan Tisch, who is treasurer on the Giants board of directors. The Tisch family co-owns the Giants.

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(Photo: Chris Pedota / for USA Today)

Charlotte Carroll covers the New York Giants for The Athletic. She previously covered the University of Connecticut basketball and the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun for The Athletic and wrote for Sports Illustrated. She interned at The Denver Post and Field & Stream magazine. Follow Charlotte on Twitter @charlottecrrll

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Bud T.

· Sat

We have to hope Chris Snee can help get the O line back to what it was when he played. I find it ironic that Nabers can’t have this bet with his buddy that is only about an incentive to perform their absolute best, yet every other commercial on every game is about betting. I hope they can at least bet a dinner.


Anthony T.

· Sun

“He’s played in Wyoming and saw light snow” There is probably no place in Wyoming that does not get colder than it gets in the Meadlowlands for a long time, places where you can get more snow in a week than NY-NJ does in a year,


James M.

· 19h 19m ago

Sorry I had to flag most of your comments fake Anthony T. Time to change your name. Again.


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