When the New York Giants invited safety Will Hill and defensive end Adewale Ojomo to camp this year nobody thought they would be anything more than training camp fodder. However, after strong camps and impressive preseasons, it looks like both Hill and Ojomo will make the final 53-man roster for the defending Super Bowl champions.
Hill was undrafted in 2011 after leaving the University of Florida after his junior year. The New Jersey native ended up playing in the Arena Football League before the Giants took a chance on him and brought him into camp this year. Hill never looked back.
Injuries and Hill’s play on the field in camp forced the Giants into giving Hill more and more playing time. Hill did not disappoint and eventually was forcing his way into playing with the starting defense. He took to the hybrid “in the box” safety/linebacker spot that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell utilizes on passing downs.
Hill was once one of the most promising players in high school football and was expected to continue to develop while at Florida. However, Hill’s priorities became confused and partying was more important than football. When he went undrafted it served as a wake-up call for him. His renewed dedication was evident all throughout camp and the preseason and he seemed to relish being able to make a big hit on a receiver or running back foolish enough to make a catch in the middle of the field.
Hill’s emergence allowed the Giants to forgo calling back unrestricted free agent Deon Grant who the Giants have been linked to in recent weeks after injuries and suspensions wreaked havoc on their secondary.
Ojomo’s preseason was similar to Hill’s as injuries forced Ojomo into extra playing time where he shined. Ojomo was brought in to just be competition in camp. Not many expected the University of Miami product to seriously contend for a spot on the mostly established defensive line. But that didn’t faze Ojomo. As injuries mounted and playing time became more frequent Ojomo looked like just another potential All-Pro New York Giants defensive end. He finished the preseason with four sacks in three games, including the strip-sack of Brian Hoyer that allowed the Giants to kick the go-ahead field goal to beat the New England Patriots 6-3 on Wednesday.
There were times when Ojomo would look like a hybrid between Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, using a good blend of speed, balance, and power to get into the opposing backfield. Ojomo can also shift inside to defensive tackle where the Giants have been hurt by injuries to Shaun Rogers and Marvin Austin which gives Fewell plenty of options.
Will Hill and Adewale Ojomo have gone from camp fodder to potential impact players on a championship caliber defense. You just never know.