Free-agent signees unable to take a physical with their new organizations due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a trending topic for weeks now, leaving some players futures in limbo. The New York Giants’ roster move on Wednesday is a reminder to fans of the worst that could come out of the delay, albeit on a smaller scale.
Giants Waive LB Nate Harvey
The Giants have officially waived linebacker Nate Harvey with a failed physical designation. The 23-year-old Harvey was originally signed to a three-year, $1.755 million contract by New York in May of 2019 after going undrafted out of East Carolina.
Harvey, who started his college career at Georgia Military College, impressed during his days at ECU. During his 2018 campaign with the program, he racked up 25.5 tackles for loss, 23 solo tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in 2018, which ranked top five nationally. Harvey’s efforts earned him American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors. However, where the Giants hoped Harvey would be able to help the team from the jump was on special teams.
In 2017, Harvey recorded six special teams tackles (five solo), which ranked second on the team. He also led the Pirates with four hits on punt returns while adding in two more on kickoff returns.
Unfortunately, a knee injury in mini-camp just days after signing ended Harvey’s 2019 rookie season before it could even get started. Harvey’s knee would require surgery, leading the team to place the linebacker on season-ending injured reserve.
From the looks of things, Harvey’s rehab has not gone as planned, leading to New York failing him on physical.
When Healthy, Harvey Will Likely Entice NFL Teams
Looking back at Harvey’s collegiate days, it’s clear that the guy can be productive. However, it’s his upside that likely garnered the Giants’ interest initially and what will likely have other NFL teams willing to give him another shot once he returns to full health.
Harvey didn’t even start playing standup linebacker/defensive end until 2017, eventually making the full transition to the position in 2018. Prior to that, Harvey was a running back throughout his entire high school and junior college career. For Harvey to go from the offensive side of the ball to the best defender in the AAC, during the same time that a guy by the name of Ed Oliver was roaming the conference, in the span of two years is extremely impressive.
Here’s what The Draft Network’s Benjamin Solak had to say about Harvey as a draft prospect in 2019. “You can’t teach his physical traits, and in that, he’s essentially still an undiscovered quantity,” Solak said. “His high ceiling should excite any team that gets him on the roster.”
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