Cornerback Jayron Hosley is probably not a name that New York Giants fans have heard in a while, but the 2012 draft pick is making a late push for relevance in his fourth NFL season. Entering his final year on his contract, Hosley showed up this offseason in excellent condition, and he has taken advantage of injuries to the Giants' secondary.
When the Giants opened up their joint practices with the Bengals on Tuesday, Hosley was lined up with the first team defense. Starter Prince Amukamara was absent from practice, and the Giants have been dealing with other injuries throughout their secondary.
Hosley found himself matched up with one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in A.J. Green. Although Green got the best of him at times, Hosley held his own and the Bengals' offense didn't really get rolling until the final two offensive series' of practice.
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Hosley was overlooked in his third season with the Giants in 2014, and part of that might have to due with the fact that he had earned a bad reputation with the coaching staff. The Giants brought in new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo this offseason, and he offered every defensive player a clean slate. Hosley has remained humble and hungry throughout the transition.
"Honestly, I understand how it goes," Hosley told reporters on Tuesday, per Newsday. "I wasn't productive playing the nickel spot and I understood that. You want to be on the field, you want to be out there, but you have to look at the Carfax, you know? What's really going on."
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was specifically pleased with Hosley's physical form heading into training camp.
"He certainly came back in excellent condition," Coughlin said, per Newsday. "I think he's very serious about it right now. He's trying and he senses that this is a critical camp for him. We're hoping he comes through in a fashion that we thought of him when we drafted him."
Amukamara and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are locked into the Giants' starting cornerback spots, if healthy, but the third spot on the depth chart is up for grabs. Some expect Trumaine McBride to lock it down, but he has failed to make a strong case so far. Hosley has an excellent opportunity to win the nickel cornerback job and prove that he can be the player the Giants expected to be when they drafted him in 2012.