Mar 102017
Menelik Watson, Oakland Raiders (August 12, 2016)

Menelik Watson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

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The Daily News is reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in unrestricted free agent offensive tackle Menelik Watson (Oakland Raiders).

The 28-year old Watson was originally drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. Since that time, he has played in 27 regular-season games with just 17 starts, including five games in 2016. Watson has been injury prone and missed the entire 2015 season with a torn Achilles tendon. He also missed time in 2013 (knee and calf), 2014 (foot and ankle), and 2016 (groin and calf). Watson has good size, is athletic, and is versatile, having played both tackle spots. Watson is a good run blocker, but he has had issues in pass protection.

(Late Note: Watson signed with the Denver Broncos).

The Bergen Record and ESPN are reporting that the New York Giants have expressed interest in free agent offensive tackle/guard D.J. Fluker, who was cut earlier this week by the Los Angeles Chargers. ESPN says Fluker has a visit scheduled with the Giants and is drawing strong interest from the New England Patriots as well.

The 25-year old Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 1st round of the 2013 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Chargers, Fluker has started 59 regular-season games, first at right tackle and then right guard. After a solid rookie season in 2013, Fluker has struggled since and was cut by the Chargers in March 2017. Fluker has excellent size (6’5”, 339 pounds) and strength, but he has struggled in pass protection. Tough, he’s played through injuries but has had issues with the cerebral elements of the game such as picking up stunts.

The New York Giants officially announced the signing of unrestricted free agent tight end/H-Back/fullback Rhett Ellison (Minnesota Vikings) on Friday. Ellison is reported to have signed a 4-year, $18 million contract that included $8 million in guaranteed money.

“Rhett is a versatile, hard-nosed player who we feel is one of the best blocking tight ends in the league,” said General Manager Jerry Reese. “He also has good hands and is a very capable receiver in the pass game.”

Ellison said the Giants were interested in him before the 2012 NFL Draft and had hoped the team would select him nearly five years ago.

“It just kind of came together at the right time,” Ellison said. “It was unbelievable. It was cool to see that they were still following and still keeping an eye on me, and still wanted me to come here. It was the best-case scenario.

“I haven’t had an opportunity to be part of a team like this. I can already tell the culture is a whole different thing here. It’s a family. Everybody is all-in from the G.M. to the dishwasher. I can already feel the family here.

“(Blocking is) a big part of what I do. It started as a survival thing at USC, where that was the only way I was getting on the field. That was the pride of my game, being physical, being in the right spot, being a technician, and just effort. In the run game, it’s all about effort.”

At USC, Ellison was a teammate of Giants linebacker Devon Kennard.

“I had a lot of battles with him,” Ellison said. “He’s a strong dude, so it’s going to be fun to compete with him again. I think we definitely made each other better in college. He’s one of my favorite guys.”

Ellison’s father, Riki, played on the San Francisco 49ers (1983-1989) when the Giants and 49ers had an intense rivalry.

“He’s excited,” Ellison said. “He wants me to have an opportunity to win a Super Bowl. And he couldn’t be more excited. He had some run-ins with the Giants back in his career. Oddly enough, they were one of his least-favorite teams, because they had some losses to them in the playoffs.  Now he’s a big Giants fan. He’s already asking for all the gear.”

The 28-year old Ellison was originally drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Vikings. In five NFL seasons, Ellison has played in 73 regular-season games with 41 starts. He has 51 career receptions for 515 yards and three touchdowns. Ellison suffered a serious patellar tendon injury in Week 17 of 2015. He returned in 2016, but only caught nine passes for 57 yards. Ellison has good size (6’5”, 250 pounds) and is a good blocker. He is very versatile, having the ability to play tight end, H-Back, and fullback. Lacking speed and quickness, Ellison is not much of a threat as a receiver. Ellison is a good special teams player.

The transcript of today’s media conference call with Ellison is available in The Corner Forum.


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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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