The expectations for Giants rookies Wan’Dale Robinson, Evan Neal in NFL debut

Judging by the recent comparisons, Evan Neal and Van’Dell Robinson could only succeed in Week 1 by playing full workload of Snaps for the Giants.

Of course, expectations will be much higher than that low bar Sunday when Neal is starting with the right tackle and Robinson is sprinting at the receiver, but the Giants didn’t have much luck getting a season-opening effect from their first and second rounds. Is. Draft picks in the last three years. An injured Xavier McKinney did not play – rookie pass-rusher Kyvan Thibodaux is following the same path – and Daniel Jones, Kadarius Toni and Deandre Baker contributed barely off the bench.

Since Saxon Barkley ran for 106 yards and a touchdown outside the gates in 2018, the gold standard has been Aziz Ozulari’s three-tackle, one-sack debut, with more competition from Day 1 starters Dexter Lawrence and Andrew Thomas. Not there. So, what is it fair to expect from these two top rookies on Sunday in Nashville, Tenn., against the Tennessee Titans?

“I’m comfortable with whatever they ask me to do,” Robinson said. “I’m not going to sit here saying I’m going to do a lot of things. I’m going to do everything I can to help me win.”

Vandell Robinson at Giants practice on August 5, 2022.
Robert Sabo

Neil’s official debut went a little easier last week when Titans hit rusher Harold Landry (12 sacks last season) suffered a season-ending injury. 7-overall pick, allowed three pressures on 37 pass-blocking snaps in two preseason games, but it cannot be certain whether he held his own because the pass rushers showed him only basic moves. Landry’s backup, Denico Autry, should provide an easy start.

“That’s what I’ve been waiting to see,” Neil said. “I haven’t played a regular season game yet, so I’m excited to see what it shows. I think in pre-season I’ve got some great looks, good competition and lots to learn from.” There are good experiences, so I guess it will be Week 1.

Were there any particularly valuable lessons?

“I just can’t trust my raw athleticism or talent that much,” Neil said. “I had to become a technician. I’m more comfortable with the sets I have. I’m using my hands more, and I’m also more balanced, but obviously I have a lot of work that still needs to be done.” I think my game is going in the right direction.”

Neil’s parents will applaud this moment in the stands on Sunday as “testament to the hard work it took to get here,” but an entire section of Nissan Stadium could be taken over by Robinson’s enthusiastic section. . About 40 family members and friends are expected, according to his father, who has also sent 20-30 text messages from others in his hometown of Frankfort, Ky., planning to make the 3 -hour drive to Nashville. Huh.

“It will be a lot of emotions,” said little Robinson. “I’ll get excited. I’ll be a little nervous, I’m sure. But in the end, it’s just playing football, and I can’t worry too much about it.”

Dale Robinson’s message to his son before his NFL debut is straight out of the coach’s book.

“My son and I have the mentality, ‘We made it, but we don’t make it until we’re thriving,'” the elder Robinson told The Post. “Many people end up satisfied like they made it, but that’s not how we roll. This is just the beginning.”

Evan Neil at Giants practices on May 19, 2022.
Evan Neil at Giants practices on May 19, 2022.
Noah K. Murray/NY Post

Neil has plenty of support in the Giants’ locker room since Thomas walked into his shoes two years ago – playing as a rookie first-round draft pick from an SEC powerhouse. They will book the offensive line against the Titans.

“He told me to just focus on what’s happening inside – not really pay attention or focus on what’s going on outside. [the team]Neil said. “No matter what kind of product is put out on Sunday, the goal is to flip the page and then focus on getting better next week, and continue to develop positively as a player.”

The Giants’ roster movement all that happened during training camp already provided enough “Welcome to the NFL” moments.

“You really see it’s a business,” Robinson said. “It really is a job, and every day you really have to come out and earn it.”

Starting from game days.

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