There are always a range of emotions coursing through the building the week after the NFL draft — when the rookies selected gather for the first time at the team facility, check out the locker room, get fitted in blue Giants gear and hit the field for the first time.
A rookie minicamp comes at the perfect time. Hope springs eternal as the temperature rises, the greenery flourishes and there is a renewed freshness in the air. This is a new beginning for quarterback Daniel Jones, selected last Thursday night with the No. 6 pick. He gets to toss the ball around for the first time for the Giants and get a look at the playbook as he and the other nine draft picks gather for a three-day NFL indoctrination.
There is nothing like the arrival of a quarterback taken in the first round, if that quarterback is considered the heir apparent for the starting job. It has been 15 years since the Giants experienced this sort of rush. In the spring of 2004, the first impression was more woozy than wonderful.
Eli Manning was selected by the Chargers with the No. 1 pick in 2004 and promptly traded to the Giants in a mega-deal that shipped Philip Rivers to San Diego. On his first day on the field for the Giants in his first minicamp, Manning looked as shaky as a newborn foal taking its first uncertain steps. His first pass wearing Giants colors was a wobbler that hit a tackling sled.