Who Makes the Cut: The NY Giants Tight Ends
The Giants have not had a dominant tight end since Jeremy Shockey. Since then Jerry Reese has brought in a long list of nice players, a few journeyman, a few casts offs and few late round picks and free agents. There are some very positive vibes with the current squad that is in uniform; however, if you’re looking for Tyler Eifert or Jimmy Graham that is not going to happen with this group.
Post Shockey era: Kevin Boss, Jake Ballard, Bear Pacsoe, Martellus Bennett, Brandon Myers, Adrien Robinson, Larry Donnell, Jerome Cunningham, Daniel Fells.
Not one of these Tight Ends in the past nine years have made a significant contribution outside the excellent year by Jake Ballard had in 2010. Ballard did not rack up major stats; however, he caught every pass thrown to him, a few were big time catches, including a game winner in New England when the Giants beat the Patriots in Foxboro. A small spark by Martellus Bennett in 2012 showed promise but in true Jerry Reese fashion the Giants did not resign him.
Larry Donnell – It doesn’t look like anything has changed in 2016. The Giants still employee Larry Donnell the fourth year Tight End who is known for soft play, frequent and unnecessary jumping of defensive backs, almost zero yardage after the catch, yet year in and year out he saves his job with one great game or a miraculous catch in pre-season. He should be shown the door.
Will Tye – Tye turned out to be a very nice player when forced into the starting role in 2015. He pleasantly surprised everyone with his consistent hands, his ability to get open in the seem, and run after the catch. In 2015 the Pro Football Writers Association voted the undrafted Tight End to the all rookie team. At this point the job should be his to lose and it should be fun to see what he can do with Eli and a full season.
Jerell Adams – the former high school basketball player turned Tight End is a bit of wild card. While he can go up and get the ball from his rebounding days his reputation for being stiff and not overly athletic will hurt him at the NFL level. For a player of his size 6’5″ 250, I expected more strength as he only benched 225 pounds 18 times. Could be developed a bit but has a low ceiling and should be cut.
Matt LaCosse – an undrafted rookie in 2014 is pushing for a starting job. LaCosse has impressed the coaches and fans in the last two training camps and could start on a handful of NFL teams. Whether it’s the Giants, only time will tell. Last year LaCosse opened some eyes with his pass catching ability, which he continued again this year. However, with an additional 10 pounds of muscle, he is clearly the best blocker on the team. With the group that is presently in camp, LaCosse should be looking a permanent roster spot.
Ryan Malleck – local NJ (Point Pleasant) product Ryan Malleck grew up a Giants fan. Another undrafted Tight End, Malleck was called right after the draft and offered a chance to compete. The Virginia Tech product is flying below the radar and has impressed with his blocking. Jerry Reese doesn’t cut draft picks, and has a tendency to hold onto guys to long (Adrien Robinson) so expect Malleck to lose this year’s battle to Jerell Adams. The practice squad is a likely home for 2016.
Starting Prediction: Tye, LaCosse and Adams