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Giants’ Ryan Connelly may make a case to start at linebacker

Ryan Connelly, Giants

Rookie Ryan Connelly is making a case that he should be given the New York Giants’ starting linebacker position in the 2019 NFL season.

According to NJ.com’s Ryan Dunleavy (via Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio), Connelly could become one of the Giants’ starting inside linebackers in their 3-4 defensive scheme.

Fifth-round linebacker Ryan Connelly could be in the mix for one of the two starting inside linebacker positions in the Giants’ 3-4 defense, as explained by Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com.

Donnelly’s performance at rookie minicamp generated a highlight that defensive coordinator James Bettcher used when meeting with veteran players, something Bettcher would prefer not to do.

‘You try not to show a rookie to the vets too early, but I was showing the cut-up to the vets,’ Bettcher recently said, via Dunleavy. ‘This is a guy from the rookie minicamp, and it was a concept and a route and he played it exactly the right way. It was a great example. Smart and tough.’

Aside from Connelly, other linebackers who are in the mix for the Giants’ second starting inside linebacker position include Tae Davis, B.J. Goodson, Jonathan Anderson, and Nate Stupar. Dunleavy describes Connelly as a “dark horse.”

According to Pro Football Focus, Connelly gave up a total of just 46 yards after the catch in the 2018 NCAA season with the Wisconsin Badgers. He earned an overall grade of 85.2 from PFF, which tied him for 19th overall among rookie linebackers.

From all indications, it seems Connelly is a fundamentally sound linebacker. If he becomes a starter for the New York Giants next season, he should exceed everybody’s expectations.