Unless you’ve been living under a rock, which is certainly possible during this time of quarantine, it’s been virtually impossible to dodge the rave reviews handed out to the New York Giants regarding their 2020 NFL Draft haul.
While the G-Men have shored-up previously questionable position groups, including their offensive line and secondary, New York failed to select a single wide receiver in what was deemed arguably the best receiver class in Draft history.
However, just because they came away from the draft wide receiver-less, doesn’t mean they haven’t added potential playmaking pass-catchers from the collegiate ranks.
The Giants made former Ohio State wide receiver Austin Mack their 2nd highest-paid undrafted free agent signee this offseason. A quick glimpse at his highlight tape below, and you’ll know why.
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Mack Wins With Route-Running
Mack may have not been one of the most productive wide receivers in this year’s draft class, nor one of the fastest (4.59 forty time), but his route running skills are near the top of all wideouts entering the NFL in 2020.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein noted that Mack is an “instinctive” player and a “purposeful route-runner who can uncover on intermediate routes.” The Draft Network pegged Mack as a “technical route runner.” All of these statements can be seen in the clips below:
Size & Catch Radius is Intriguing
Standing at 6-foot-1-inch and weighing in at 208 pounds, he’s already one of the larger wide receivers on the Giants roster amongst a fairly large handful of diminutive-sized pass-catchers. Yet, Mack’s play style goes well beyond his listed height and weight.
Mack’s arm length of 33 and 5/8-inches ranks within the 91st percentile, as noted by Scout Kelley of RK Scouting. His 10-inch hands are also larger than all but one of the six wide receivers selected in this year’s 1st-round.
Here’s a clip of Mack putting his long limbs and large hands to work against Atlanta Falcons’ 1st-round cornerback AJ Terrell.
Mack Has Chance of Being a Better Pro Than College Player
Mack came to Ohio State with immense hype as a decorated 4-star recruit out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. While he showed glimpses of brilliance from time to time, he never produced to the level that many expected him to upon arriving in Columbus.
Mack’s best statistical season in college came in 2019, when he hauled in 27 receptions for 361 yards and three touchdowns. However, you must take into account the system he played in and the quarterbacks he’s played along with.
While current Ohio State starting QB Justin Fields is projected as a future 1st-round pick, Mack also caught passes from the likes of JT Barrett over his first two years at school. Barrett, while a good college player, has limitations as a passer, and operated mostly out of a run-oriented offense. Mack’s lone season with Dwayne Haskins at the helm ended abruptly due to a foot injury, forcing him to miss the final six games of the 2018 season.
Ohio State also has a history of wide receivers enjoying more productive pro careers than college careers. Obviously, Michael Thomas is the first to come to mind, while Terry McLaurin is another. McLaurin shocked the NFL world a year ago, ranking second in yards and receptions by a rookie, despite little fanfare coming out of college.
While Mack may not possess the same high-end ceiling that Thomas and McLaurin do, there’s no reason to believe he can’t work his way onto the Giants’ 53-man roster and eventually hammer out a role on the offense later on down the road.
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