With rookie training camp beginning on May 13th, the New York Giants announced a total of 13 undrafted free agent signings. The group features players in multiple positions, with areas of need on the team standing out. Rookie minicamp will be the first opportunity for these players to make an impression, before having a real opportunity to make the roster at OTAs and ultimately in the preseason. Speaking to reporters, head coach Brian Daboll assured the class that hard work and skill would pay off, saying “If there’s a guy that stands out, we’ll find him”
One of New York’s glaring areas of need is the tight end position. Following the departure of Evan Engram, the club signed Jordin Akins and drafted Daniel Bellinger out of San Diego State. Heading into rookie minicamp, the team announced two more additions at tight end, most notably Austin Allen out of Nebraska. The 23-year-old spent four seasons with the Cornhuskers, becoming a key member of the 2021 team. Selected as a captain that season, he started all 12 games, recording 38 catches for 602 yards and two touchdowns. His receptions and receiving yards were Nebraska tight end records and despite the team’s lowly 3-9 record, he earned Big Ten Tight End of the Year honors.
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The other undrafted free agent (UDFA) tight end signing is Andre Miller out of Maine. His senior year numbers somewhat resemble Allen’s, with 39 receptions, 684 yards, and three touchdowns, though he did it in nine games. Playing in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), however, will mean he faces a more uphill battle considering the weakness of the conference. Regardless, Miller was a stalwart with the Black Bears, starting 33 games during his career and recording 13 touchdowns on 1,670 yards.
Other Areas of Need
The Giants have additional positions that are weaknesses, as mentioned previously, with one of them being defensive tackle. This figures to be the reason why the club has brought on three defensive tackles as UDFAs to rookie minicamp. The first of that trio is Jabari Ellis of South Carolina. A team captain with the Gamecocks in 2021, he played in all 13 games that season, recording 41 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 5 tackles for loss (TFL). For his career he had 81 total tackles, progressively seeing more playing time with every passing season.
Christopher Hinton out of Michigan is another member of the UDFA class, with 56 total tackles, 4 TFLs, and 2 sacks in his three seasons with the Wolverines. The third defensive tackle recently added is Antonio Valentino out of Florida. The 24-year-old, who transferred from Penn State before his final season, recorded 23 total tackles, 3 TFLs, and a sack in his lone season with the Gators.
Defensive Backs Also in the Mix
The club also added four undrafted defensive backs for the offseason in Yusuf Corker out of Kentucky, Darren Evans of LSU, Trenton Thompson out of San Diego State, and Zyon Gilbert of FAU. The most notable player of this crop is Thompson, who earned a number of honors in 2021 including All-Mountain West First-Team as well as a Pro Football Network Second-Team All-American selection. A five-year senior, Thompson recorded 147 career total tackles with 8.5 TFLs and an interception.