The whole point of the Giants spending a draft pick on cornerback Sam Beal in last year's supplemental draft was to allow for the young man to get a head start on becoming acclimated to the NFL.
In retrospect, perhaps the Giants knew they would be moving on from Eli Apple and figured that by the time they did, Beal might be ready.
Unfortunately, the third-round pick was not. He aggravated a shoulder issue in his first training camp practice and was placed on injured reserve.
Although he was unable to practice or do any work, Beal did participate in meetings and other activities allowed by the CBA, so that come this year, he would at least be further ahead of the rookie class.
The work paid off, as Beal has been working opposite of Janoris Jenkins as the other starting cornerback, with Beal noticing that the difference helped slow things down for him.
"It did, learning from the older guys and having veteran coaches to teach me," he said. "So, it made me smart, so when I got out there."
Having gone through the classroom work last year, Beal is already being looked upon as a leader by the young pups.
"When they came in, I had to explain something to them. Just because I haven’t played doesn’t mean I can’t coach them too. When they came around, I gave them some advice, just like the older guys gave me. Coach let us know the same thing, help the younger guys even though I’m a young guy too. I’ve been here, so I have to help them," he said.
Beal is not shy about expressing his chances of staying with the first-team defense.
Although he missed two-thirds of the mandatory minicamp (he was excused for personal reasons), believes that last year's behind-the-scenes film work he did has given him an advantage as he prepares to compete this summer against rookie first-round pick DeAndre Baker.
"It puts you on a different level. You see stuff that you have already seen on film, so it kind of helps me," he said.