The New York Giants have added an influx of size and intrigue into their underperforming and undermanned wide receiver unit. The G-Men have elevated wideout Austin Mack from their practice squad to their active roster ahead of Sunday’s Week 4 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 215-pound Mack should stay busy in his NFL debut, as he’s expected to garner a sizeable role on special teams, as well as make a push for snaps on offense. Starter Sterling Shepard remains sidelined with a turf toe injury, while C.J. Board and Damion Ratley have combined for just five receptions in his place. Furthermore, Darius Slayton and Golden Tate have each failed to top 53 receiving yards in back-to-back weeks.
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Mack’s Savvy Skillset Can Push Him Up Depth Chart
Mack’s inability to make the Giants’ initial 53-man roster out of camp was somewhat of a surprise, considering New York made him their second-highest-paid undrafted free agent of the offseason. However, now active, the former Ohio State standout is ready to make some noise in a Giants offense hungry for a mere glimmer of playmaking abilities from their skill position players.
While not a burner by any means (4.59 40-yard dash), Mack wins with high-end route-running and a quarterback-friendly catch radius. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein called Mack an “instinctive purposeful route-runner who can uncover on intermediate routes” during the 2020 draft process.
A few glimpses of the clips below and it’s easy to see where Zierlein is coming from:
— Giants Daily (@NYGDaily) April 26, 2020
Ohio State WR Austin Mack winning against Kindle Vildor. pic.twitter.com/iVmD3DY6WE
— Zach Hicks (@ZachHicks2) January 22, 2020
The Draft Network shared a similar viewpoint on Mack as an NFL prospect, here’s what they had to say about the Fort Wayne, Indiana native:
Stout frame with length at 6’2 and 215 pounds. Well put-together and has strength throughout his body. Experienced with 19 career starts, began last season with at least 3 receptions in the first 6 games before suffering a foot injury. Natural talent as a boundary type wide receiver. Physically imposing receiver who has consistently gone up and won through contact. Fearless going over the middle of the field. Drops his pads in the open field and brings physicality as a ball carrier. Aware of the sticks and will push his route past them in order to work back downhill. Does a great job of using his hands in order to create late separation when he’s crowded. Will easily fit in as a possession type of receiver at the next level. Sees zone coverage well, finding voids along the boundary and in the middle of the field.
The Giants offense has been abysmal this season, while quarterback Daniel Jones has struggled mightily to get into a groove, highlighted (or rather lowlighted) by a 69.2 QB Rating. A player with Mack’s catch radius and possession traits could potentially add a much-needed security blanket for the young signal-caller.
Here’s to hoping Mack gets a chance to flaunt his stuff on Sunday.
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