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Rookies a big unknown for Fewell

Giants first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara holds up

Giants first-round draft pick Prince Amukamara holds up a Giants jersey during a news conference at the team's training facility. (Apr. 29, 2011) Credit: AP

Perry Fewell was given a lot of new toys to play with in this spring’s draft. Only trouble is that he hasn’t been able to take them out of the box yet.

The Giants had a defense-heavy draft class when they made their selections earlier this spring, including two players who they believed were among the top 15 players in the entire draft. They took cornerback Prince Amukamara in the first round, defensive tackle Marvin Austin in the second round, and linebacker Greg Jones, safety Tyler Sash and linebacker Jacquian Williams in the sixth round.

Now, in mid-June, Fewell still has no idea what any of those guys can do.

“I was looking at our film from a year ago, and at this time last year we had some plans in place for the rookies,” Fewell said. “Chad Jones, we felt like he could make a significant contribution to our defense. Jason Pierre-Paul, we said ‘Boy, we know where he is and what his learning is like and we think he can make a contribution to our team.’ We were able to evaluate our players and teach them some of the basics and fundamentals of what we were doing, what we were installing.

“We don’t have that luxury this year. We know what they look like on tape, but we haven’t had a chance to work with them and that’s the biggest difference. We can’t project going into the fall what this kid can do and what he can’t do because we haven’t had a chance to work with him and we haven’t used any building blocks as far as New York Giant terminology, New York Giant defense, etc. We haven’t been able to give these guys building blocks.

“Obviously we didn’t have the OTAs and the minicamps to evaluate them and see exactly how they would fit, so that’s going to be an interesting task for us as we approach 2011.”

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