Giants position battles

July, 25, 2008
7/25/08
11:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

WilkinsonClark
Blackburn

Weakside linebacker: Gerris Wilkinson vs. Danny Clark vs. Chase Blackburn

Gerris Wilkinson is a former third-round draft pick who has been slowed by injuries and inconsistent play. But he's easily the most athletic player of the three and will probably win the job. I watched him in coverage against Tom Brady in that final regular-season game and he showed outstanding range.

Clark is a veteran player who might stand up better against the run. He's been compared to last year's starting linebacker Kawika Mitchell, who left in free agency. Blackburn is the dark horse, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and the rest of his staff love his high motor. He's not all that athletic, but he's constantly around the ball.

Intensity index: Hot

Secondary: CBs Aaron Ross vs. Sam Madison vs. Corey Webster and Safeties Sammy Knight vs. Kenny Phillips vs. Michael Johnson vs. James Butler

Aaron Ross is poised to make a big leap after a solid rookie season. He'll win a starting job and probably move into the slot in passing situations. Corey Webster lost his starting job last season, but he bounced back nicely in the playoffs. Sam Madison will probably be the nickel corner. He's still a physical player, but he's 34 and his best football years are behind him.

The Giants thought Kenny Phillips was outstanding in last month's mandatory minicamp. He'll probably win the starting job and play next to 34-year-old Sammy Knight. Michael Johnson could end up replacing Knight. Oh, and Butler started 13 games last season, but most people thought he was a weak link in the defense.

Intensity index: Mild

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