Saturday marked the second day of the team’s rookie minicamp. Thibodeaux and Neal were two of 85 players who were on the Giants’ roster for rookie minicamp. Neal, the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft, lined up at right tackle during the first day of rookie minicamp. Thibodeaux, rocking his new No. 5 jersey, participated in his first practice since last December, when he was wrapping up his career at Oregon.
“I put (my jersey) on and I feel like I’m not there yet,” Thibodeaux said of his first NFL practice, via NJ.com. “There’s still some hoops and hurdles I gotta go through to be part of the team … It still hasn’t hit me.”
Both players are expected to make immediate contributions to the Giants. Neal, a mountain of a man at 6-foot-7 and 350 pounds, was incredibly versatile at Alabama, where he started at left guard and at both tackle positions. Neal made 15 starts at left tackle last season while helping Alabama’s offense finish in the top-10 nationally in total yards, passing yards, third down conversion percentage and red zone efficiency.
The fifth overall pick in the draft, Thibodeaux racked up 19 sacks and 35.5 tackles for loss in 31 games with the Ducks. The first player in a dozen years to lead Oregon in sacks and tackle for loss in back-to-back seasons, Thibodeaux was also the first Ducks defensive lineman to earn All-America honors since Colts Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was given the honor in 2015.
Neal and Thibodeaux headlined an 11-player Giants rookie class that also includes former Kentucky receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, former North Carolina guard Joshua Ezeudu, and former LSU cornerback Cordale Flott. This was the first draft for Giants head coach Brian Daboll, who comes to New York following a successful run as the Bills’ offensive coordinator.