The New York Giants‘ first unofficial depth chart is just that. Unofficial. Although very little emphasis should be placed on it, it is interesting to see the stock of some players while training camp is still young.
One of the more interesting placements on New York’s depth chart was rookie linebacker Devon Kennard listed as the starter at the strongside linebacker position, the only rookie starter on the entire Giants roster.
The Giants drafted Kennard out of USC in the fifth round of this year’s NFL Draft. He was scooped up to help give New York some depth along the unit but the injury to Jon Beason has allowed Kennard an opportunity for more reps this offseason.
Jameel McClain, who was likely going to be New York’s starter on the strongside, has shifted to the middle in Beason’s absence. McClain would conceivably be moved back over once Beason returns (which could be before Week 1), but Kennard is currently making the most of this golden opportunity that has been handed to him. After all, New York does like to substitute often on defense to keep their guys fresh, which could still mean significant playing time for Kennard.
The Giants reportedly love Kennard’s willingness, and also his ability to quickly learn and process information on the move. He seems to be an ultimate team player, as even veterans have been raving about him.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has thrown linebackers into the mix at an early age, so if Kennard looks to be ready he is going to become a big part of the linebacker unit. Even if it is not as a starter.