The New York Giants have arguably been the most active team across the NFL landscape since the initial 53-man roster deadline — and by the look of it, they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
Per the NFL’s transaction wire and NFL reporter Aaron Wilson, the Giants have hosted four players for tryouts in East Rutherford, headlined by former Pittsburgh Steelers fan-favorite, Devlin “Duck” Hodges. In addition to the 25-year-old quarterback, the team also worked out linebacker Nathan Gerry and interior offensive linemen Tristen Hoge and Drake Jackson.
The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!
Hodges, a Highly-Decorated FCS Star With Ties to Big Blue
Hodges entered the league in 2019 as an undrafted free agent after a brilliant four-year run at Samford. During that time, Giants offensive assistant Russ Callaway served as Hodges offensive coordinator at the university (h/t Bobby Skinner of Talkin’ Giants). Samford also happens to be the alma mater of Giants pro bowl cornerback, James Bradberry.
Not only did Hodges finish his collegiate career as the Bulldogs’ all-time leader in passing yards (14,584), he also surpassed the late Steve McNair for the most career passing yard in FCS history. Along the way, the Alabama native notched numerous other high-level accolades under his belt, including being named the 2018 Walter Payton Award recipient (most outstanding player in FCS), as well as a three-time Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
As far as his NFL resume goes, it’s far less productive, although he’s had his moments. Hodges jumped former third-round pick Mason Rudolph on the depth chart in Pittsburgh, to start six games for the Steelers in 2019 with Ben Roethlisberger sidelined with injury. Hodges led the team to a record of 3-3, passing for 1,063 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions, completing 62.5% of his passes.
Following the season, Hodges trickled back down the depth chart, where he eventually went on to spend the entirety of his 2020 campaign on the team’s practice squad. Hodges signed a reserve/future contract with the Los Angeles Rams in January of this year, but was waived in late August.
The Giants currently only carry two quarterbacks on their active roster, starter Daniel Jones and veteran backup Mike Glennon. The team also added Brian Lewerke to their practice squad after he failed to make the original 53-man roster following the preseason.
Kerry Collins on Jason Garrett-Daniel Jones Relationship
While Hodges would certainly be an intriguing depth addition to the position, he’s by no means the answer under center for Big Blue. Instead, that honor goes to the aforementioned Jones — or at least the Giants hope that will be the case. The third-year signal-caller is set to embark on his second season under offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. And while many have questioned Garrett’s play-calling chops, former Giants quarterback Kerry Collins believes that the coach will prove to be extremely beneficial for Jones’ development.
“He’s got the perfect mentality for a young quarterback and for a developing quarterback,” Collins said in an interview with NJ Advance Media. “He understands the position. He’s not going to get too high with the highs, not going to get too low with the lows. He’s going to stay the course, stay steady. And he’s got a great football mind. So he’s going to put [Jones] in a good position to be successful every week.”