John Ross gets a familiar face in the receiver room, as the New York Giants forge onward with a flurry of roster moves to kick off training camp.
On the same day that the team announced the signings of both offensive lineman Joe Looney and former Denver Broncos linebacker Todd Davis, Big Blue has also added a new weapon to the mix, wide receiver Damion Willis.
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Willis: Traits vs. Production
Willis, 24, measures in at 6-foot-3-inches and 204 pounds, already making him one of the larger wideouts on the entire roster. However, the Troy product is more than just a big body, running a 4.48 40-yard dash time at his pro day in 2019. While the traits are intriguing, Willis remains mostly an unknown who will now look to vie for a roster spot in a vastly improved Giants receiving corps.
With Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton, Sterling Sheppard, Kadarius Toney and Ross all nearly certain of having a guaranteed roster spot, Willis will battle the likes of David Sills V, Austin Mack, Alex Bachman, CJ Board and Derrick Dillon for what could prove to be the final receiver spot.
Thus far in his career, the former undrafted free agent has appeared in 10 games (two starts) all as a teammate of Ross’ with the Bengals in 2019. During that span, Willis hauled in nine passes for 82 yards. He’s also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and most recently the Denver Broncos, who released him earlier this month.
A first-team All-Sun-Belt selection as a senior at Troy, Willis recorded 98 receptions for 1,496 yards (15.3 average) and 13 touchdowns during his two seasons with the Trojans.
Golladay Earns Joe Judge’s Praise
While Willis may be a longshot to crack the Giants’ opening day roster, Golladay and his $40 million guaranteed can likely rest assured regarding his job security. Yet instead of coasting, the new No. 1 wideout in the Giants’ offense has taken the bull by the horns, earning the praise of head coach Joe Judge along the way.
“One thing I’ve been very encouraged with Kenny is, first off, the guy is tremendous to work with in meetings,” Judge told reporters of Golladay. “This guy is keyed in, focused, locked in, like he’s staring through you the whole time. He’s absorbing everything. He’s very, very ahead on how he pays attention in meetings and he carries it over to the field. Mentally, he’s really caught up really fast on what we’re asking him to do. He was good in the spring, as far as working.”
“The time throughout the summer with Daniel [Jones] and the other receivers, I believe that helped him and all the other receivers, as well. He practices really hard, that’s something that’s very important. When you look at our guys, they practice hard. A lot of times anybody new comes into our program, sometimes there’s a learning curve. I’d say with Kenny, he’s really jumped off as of right now. We go through every day, in terms of what it looks like with the eye test, but then also going through the GPS numbers, the volume, the yardage, the intensity, the high-intensity reps he’s had, and he’s always at the top of the scale right there amongst a couple other guys.”
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