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Add Kerry Wynn, Orleans Darkwa to rookie watch list

New York Giants running back Orleans Darkwa, left,

New York Giants running back Orleans Darkwa, left, steps into the end zone past St. Louis Rams strong safety T.J. McDonald for a 12-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL game Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, in St. Louis. Credit: AP / Tom Gannam

Of the 53 players on the Giants' roster, 20 are in their first or second year in the NFL. So it's only natural that a number of rookies would stand out.

Odell Beckham Jr. and Andre Williams lead the Giants in receiving and rushing, and Weston Richburg and Devon Kennard play prominent roles each week. And after Sunday's win over the Rams, you can add two more to your rookie watch list.

Defensive end Kerry Wynn had a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery and running back Orleans Darkwa ran four times for 21 yards, including a 12-yard TD. He also forced a fumble on a kickoff.

Unlike their more publicized classmates, neither was drafted.

Wynn was inactive for the first 11 games, but since he started playing, he's had 13 tackles (10 solo) and 1 1/2 sacks in four games. The Giants signed him out of Richmond after the draft.

"He impressed us all the way," Tom Coughlin said Monday. "His presence is felt. He holds his gap. He is a powerful young man and he is just going to keep on getting better as he goes along."

Darkwa was signed off the Dolphins' practice squad when Michael Cox broke his leg against Seattle. "Here is a young man who impressed us very much right away when he came to us," Coughlin said, adding that the Giants' confidence in him was illustrated by the number of snaps he saw in key third-down situations.

"Those two guys," Coughlin said of Wynn and Darkwa, "have made nice contributions."

Not just the kids

Of those 53 players on the roster, one is in his 11th season with the team. And the old fella had a pretty good game himself against the Rams.

Eli Manning's 148.8 rating was the highest for a full game in his 177-game career (including the postseason). He was 25- for-32 for 391 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

"I think his focus was laserlike," Coughlin said. "He was as focused and as zoomed in on what he was looking for in this game as any game we've seen this year."

Template for Randle

Coughlin said he was glad to see Rueben Randle contribute with six catches for 132 yards and a TD. "I would hope he would stamp it on the back of his hand to remind him of how he prepared for this one and how well he played," said Coughlin, who had disciplined Randle by benching him in two of the previous four games.

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