May 112015
 
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Ben Edwards, Richmond Spiders (September 1, 2012)

Ben Edwards – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign WR Ben Edwards: The New York Giants have officially signed free agent wide receiver Ben Edwards (University of Richmond). Edwards was invited as tryout player to the team’s three-day rookie mini-camp that concluded on Sunday.

WR Ben Edwards, 5’10”, 197 pounds, 4.56, University of Richmond
Edwards was eligible to play in the NFL in 2014, but sat out the year recovering from an ACL knee injury. Edwards lacks ideal size and timed speed, but he is a quick receiver who plays faster than he times. Edwards runs very good routes, adjusts well to the football, and has good hands. He has experience playing in the slot.

The Giants also confirmed the signings of rookie free agent tryout players running back Kenneth Harper (Temple University), tight end Will Tye (Stony Brook University), and defensive tackle Carlif Taylor (Southern Connecticut State University).

Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

New York Giants Cut Three Players: The New York Giants announced on Monday that they have terminated the contract of running back Chris Ogbonnaya and waived linebacker James Davidson and safety Thomas Gordon.

Ogbonnaya was originally drafted in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. Since then he has played for the Rams (2009), Texans (2011), Browns (2011-13), and Panthers (2014). The Giants signed him to the 53-man roster in December 2014.

Davidson was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as a rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft, but waived in August. The Giants signed him to the Practice Squad in September 2014 and the 53-man roster in December 2014.

Gordon was originally signed by the Giants as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. The team waived Gordon in August, but re-signed him to the Practice Squad in December 2014.

Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Giants.com Q&A with S Bennett Jackson: A video of a recent Giants.com interview with S Bennett Jackson is available at Giants.com.

Articles on the New York Giants Rookie Mini-Camp:

Article on WR Geremy Davis: The Giants may have found David Tyree 2.0 by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Sights & Sounds – Best of Rookie Mini-Camp: A “Best of Rookie Mini-Camp” sights and sounds video is available at Giants.com.

May 102015
 
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Kenneth Harper, Temple Owls (September 6, 2014)

Kenneth Harper – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign RB Kenneth Harper: According The New York Daily News, the New York Giants have signed rookie free agent running back Kenneth Harper (Temple University). Harper was invited as tryout player to the team’s three-day rookie mini-camp that concluded on Sunday. As previously reported, the Giants also signed rookie free agent tryout players tight end Will Tye (Stony Brook University) and defensive tackle Carlif Taylor (Southern Connecticut State University).

RB Kenneth Harper, 5’10”, 233 pounds, 4.64, Temple University
Harper is big back with decent speed and quickness for his size. He is more of a between-the-tackles runner with little elusiveness to his game. Harper is a well-rounded back who can block and catch the ball.

Because of this move, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

May 102015
 
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Will Tye, Stony Brook Seawolves (September 6, 2014)

Will Tye – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Sign TE Will Tye and DT Carlif Taylor: According to various reports, the New York Giants have signed rookie free agents tight end Will Tye (Stony Brook University) and defensive tackle Carlif Taylor (Southern Connecticut State University). Both were invited as tryout players to the team’s three-day rookie mini-camp that concluded on Sunday.

TE Will Tye, 6’2”, 262 pounds, 4.57, Stony Brook University
Tye was a Florida State transfer. Tye lacks ideal height but he is well-built athlete with very good speed for a tight end. Versatile, Tye lined up at tight end, in the backfield, and split out wide at Stony Brook University where he was a very productive receiver.

DT Carlif Taylor, 6’2”, 319 pounds, 5.10, Southern Connecticut State University
Taylor is a raw Division-II prospect with a very nice combination of size and athletic ability. Taylor lacks ideal height, but he strong, quick, and plays with good natural leverage. Taylor hustles and plays hard.

Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Articles on Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo:

Article on WR Geremy Davis: Geremy Davis knows excelling on special teams is good for the team’s future by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on TE Matt LaCosse: Matt Lacosse has good skill set at tight end by Tom Rock of Newsday

Articles on TE Will Tye:

Article on OC Brett Jones: Aspiring doctor Brett Jones is Giants’ medical center by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Articles on DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa:

Article on S Landon Collins: Landon Collins up for the Giant challenge by Bob Glauber of Newsday

Article on S Bennett Jackson: Bennett Jackson of Hazlet starts anew in Giants rookie mini-camp by Ryan Dunleavy of MyCentralJersey.com

May 072015
 
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Cole Farrand, Maryland Terps (November 3, 2012)

Cole Farrand – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants announced on Thursday that they have signed two of their six draft picks in the 2015 NFL Draft: safety Mykkele Thompson (5th round) and offensive guard Bobby Hart (7th round).

The Giants also confirmed on Thursday evening that they have signed the following undrafted rookie free agents:

RB Akeem Hunt, 5’9”, 189 pounds, 4.40, Purdue University
Hunt is a dynamic, diminutive running back who is a threat to score every time he touches the football as a runner, receiver, or returner. Not many running backs his size make it in the NFL, but he is an explosive player. Hunt is extremely fast and quick. He is elusive, but not powerful. He is easily tackled due to his size. Hunt has very good hands and has been used in a variety of pass-receiving roles, including split out wide and on screens. Hunt is probably too small to be effective in picking up blitzes and therefore faces an uphill battle to be a third-down back. He has excelled as a kick returner at the collegiate level. If he makes it, Hunt would be strictly a limited role player at the NFL level.

TE Matt LaCosse, 6’6”, 250 pounds, 4.64, University of Illinois
LaCosse is a versatile player who has played tight end, H-Back, and fullback. LaCosse has a good frame, but needs to add bulk and get stronger. He does not get much movement as a blocker, but he works at it. LaCosse has good speed and catches the football well.

OT Sean Donnelly, 6’8”, 307 pounds, 5.48, Tulane University
Donnelly is a very tall tackle who needs to add bulk and strength. His lack of strength and power shows up in the running game as he does not generate a lot of movement in his run blocks. Donnelly has good good feet and is a solid pass protector. He has a good football temperament – tough and tenacious.

DE Brad Harrah, 6’5”, 258 pounds, 4.93, University of Cincinnati
As a senior in 2014, Harrah played in 13 games and had 32 tackles (16 solo) and 3.5 sacks.

LB Cole Farrand, 6’3”, 245 pounds, 4.75, University of Maryland
Farrand played inside linebacker at Maryland. He lacks ideal size and speed. However, he is a smart, tough, hard-working, instinctive linebacker who plays well against the run and is decent in coverage. Hard hitter and sure tackler.

SS Justin Currie, 6’2”, 204 pounds, 4.63, Western Michigan University
Currie is a big safety who is better against the run than the pass. He is a good hitter and tackler. Currie is a decent athlete for his size.

Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

The six New York Giants draft picks, six signed rookie free agents, first-year players currently on the roster, and tryout players arrived at the Meadowlands today in preparation of the rookie mini-camp that begins on Friday and ends Sunday. Roughly 60 players are expected to be in attendance. A video of the players arriving is available at Giants.com.

May 072015
 
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Kevin Ogletree, New York Giants (October 19, 2014)

Kevin Ogletree – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Cut Kevin Ogletree and Terrell Manning: The New York Giants terminated the contract of wide receive Kevin Ogletree and waived linebacker Terrell Manning on Thursday.

Ogletree was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2009 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cowboys (2009-12), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013), and Detroit Lions (2013-14). The Lions waived Olgetree in September 2014. The Giants signed him in October 2014 and Ogletree played in seven games for New York, catching five passes for 50 yards.

Manning was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Manning has spent time with the Packers (2012-13), Chargers (2013), Vikings (2014), Dolphins (2014), Bears (2014), and Bengals (2014). He was with the Giants in training camp, waived, and then re-signed off of the Practice Squad of the Bengals in November. Manning was placed on Injured Reserve in December 2014 with an ankle injury after playing in only one game with the Giants in Week 13.

Because of these moves, we have updated the Transactions, Roster, and Depth Chart sections of the website.

Jerry Reese Interview on The NFL Network: A video of an NFL Network interview with General Manager Jerry Reese is available at NFL.com.

CB Prince Amukamara on WFAN Radio: The audio of a WFAN interview with CB Prince Amukamara on Tuesday is available at CBS New York.

Article on DT Donte Rumph: Donte Rumph, humiliated on ‘Hard Knocks’ while with Falcons, invited by Giants to rookie minicamp by Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News

Article on the New York Giants and the 2015 NFL Draft: Winners and losers from each of the Giants’ 2015 draft picks by Nick Powell for NJ.com

May 042015
 
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Jerry Reese Says Victor Cruz is at 85-90 Percent: During a post-draft interview on WFAN Radio on Monday, New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese said that wide receiver Victor Cruz was at 85-90 percent recovered from the patellar tendon tear in his right knee that he suffered in October 2014.

“We think Victor is going to come back at 100 percent,” said Reese. “He’s doing really great.”

“We feel really good about Victor, he’s working hard every day,” continued Reese. “I was down there watching him work out a couple of days before the draft. He’s excited, he’s jumping up on boxes as tall as he is, almost, so he must be doing pretty good for me. We think he’s probably 85, close to 90 percent right now, but they’re taking him at a snail’s pace just so he won’t have any setbacks.

“We expect him to walk out in Dallas (on opening day) and play for us.”

The audio of Reese’s remarks, including his take on the team’s six 2015 NFL draft picks, is available at CBS New York.

Articles on S Landon Collins:

Articles on the New York Giants and the NFL Draft:

May 032015
 
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Sean Donnelly, Tulane Green Wave (September 21, 2013)

Sean Donnelly – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Though not official, the New York Giants have reportedly signed the following five undrafted rookie free agents. However, sometimes these reports are a bit premature and those who supposedly have signed are merely rookie mini-camp tryout players.

The Giants will hold a rookie mini-camp on May 8-9 at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. General Manager Jerry Reese said he expects 60-65 players to be on hand who will include the team’s six 2015 NFL draft picks, signed rookie free agents, and rookie and street free agents invited on a tryout basis.

RB Akeem Hunt, 5’10”, 189 pounds, 4.40, Purdue University
Hunt is a dynamic, diminutive running back who is a threat to score every time he touches the football as a runner, receiver, or returner. Not many running backs his size make it in the NFL, but he is an explosive player. Hunt is extremely fast and quick. He is elusive, but not powerful. He is easily tackled due to his size. Hunt has very good hands and has been used in a variety of pass-receiving roles, including split out wide and on screens. Hunt is probably too small to be effective in picking up blitzes and therefore faces an uphill battle to be a third-down back. He has excelled as a kick returner at the collegiate level. If he makes it, Hunt would be strictly a limited role player at the NFL level.

TE Matt LaCosse, 6’6”, 257 pounds, 4.64, University of Illinois
LaCosse is a versatile player who has played tight end, H-Back, and fullback. LaCosse has a good frame, but needs to add bulk and get stronger. He does not get much movement as a blocker, but he works at it. LaCosse has good speed and catches the football well.

OT Sean Donnelly, 6’8”, 335 pounds, 5.48, Tulane University
Donnelly is a very tall tackle who needs to add bulk and strength. His lack of strength and power shows up in the running game as he does not generate a lot of movement in his run blocks. Donnelly has good good feet and is a solid pass protector. He has a good football temperament – tough and tenacious.

Cole Farrand, Maryland Terps (November 3, 2012)

Cole Farrand – © USA TODAY Sports Images

LB Cole Farrand, 6’2”, 231 pounds, 4.75, University of Maryland
Farrand played inside linebacker at Maryland. He lacks ideal size and speed. However, he is a smart, tough, hard-working, instinctive linebacker who plays well against the run and is decent in coverage. Hard hitter and sure tackler.

SS Justin Currie, 6’2”, 215 pounds, 4.63, Western Michigan University
Currie is a big safety who is better against the run than the pass. He is a good hitter and tackler. Currie is a decent athlete for his size.

There are also conflicting reports on whether the Giants signed DE Brad Harrah (University of Cincinnati) or merely invited him to attend the team’s mini-camp on a tryout basis.

Other players who will supposedly attend on a tryout basis include:

  • QB Gary Nova, Rutgers University
  • OL Jacob Ruby, University of Richmond
  • OL Sukh Chungh, University of Calgary
  • OL Sean McEwen, University of Calgary
  • LB Byron Archambault, University of Montreal
May 022015
 
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Mykkele Thompson, Texas Longhorns (October 27, 2012)

Mykkele Thompson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

On the third and final day of the 2015 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected safety/corner Mykkele Thompson (University of Texas) in the 5th round, wide receiver Geremy Davis (University of Connecticut) in the 6th round, and offensive guard Bobby Hart (Florida State University) in the 7th round.

S MYKKELE THOMPSON SCOUTING REPORT: Mykkele Thompson is a former quarterback and wide receiver converted to cornerback and then safety. Thompson is a  bit of a corner-safety ‘tweener. He is tall (6’2”) but thin (191 pounds) with good speed (sub-4.5) but not ideal quickness for corner. Thompson is raw and still learning the safety position, but he really improved as a player his senior season. Versatile, he can play safety, corner, and nickel corner. Thompson is a decent tackler, but he is not a physical player. He has good range, but does not make many plays on the football and has given up some big pass plays at the collegiate level. Thompson is smart with very good intangibles. He is a good special teams player who blocked three punts in college.

WR GEREMY DAVIS SCOUTING REPORT: Davis is a big (6’2”, 216 pounds) wideout with excellent hands. Davis is well-built with long arms and very strong. While Davis has decent timed speed (sub-4.5), he’s more of a possession-type receiver than deep threat. Lacks ideal quickness and agility and may have problems separating from defensive backs at the NFL level. Davis has a good catch radius, adjusts well to the football, and will make the contested catch. He lacks run-after-the-catch creativity. Team leader.

OG BOBBY HART SCOUTING REPORT: Hart played right tackle at Florida State but projects to guard at the pro level. He is very young – will turn 21 in August. Hart has excellent size (6’5”, 329 pounds) and good strength, but he lacks ideal overall athleticism and feet. Hart needs to play with better technique and leverage, but he is able to muscle and maul in the run game.

MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)

Opening Statement: Our last three picks… Mykkele Thompson, safety from Texas. They used him in a lot of ways. They used him as a free safety. They used him as a nickel and they used him as a corner. We like the versatility about him. We project him more as a free safety because he can really run. He has range on the back end. Another thing that stuck out for me about this kid is that he’s a good tackler. He’s not really a smash-mouth hitter like Landon Collins, but he’s calm. You see some guys get in space and they miss tackles. This guy was a guy who got people down to give you another chance to play defense. I liked that about him.

Our sixth round pick… Geremy Davis, wide receiver from Connecticut. He’s a big, possession-type of receiver. He actually ran fast. He’s a height, weight, speed guy. He ran fast, but he doesn’t play to that time speed as much. We think he’s more of a possession receiver, first down-friendly-to-the-quarterback kind of player. He plays inside. He plays outside. He’s a big kid. He has the right attitude to play on special teams. The guy can use his body to post people up, jump balls, good route runner. We like him like that.

Our seventh round pick… Bobby Hart, guard from Florida State. Actually he played tackle a lot, but we project him as a guard up here for us. He has played a lot of football. I think he’s only 20 years old. I don’t want to say really long arms, but his arms are 33 inches. He has good arm length. He’s played a lot of ball at a high level of competition for Florida State. I see guys like that with his skill set. We see them every Sunday playing in the National Football League. But we do think he’s a guard and not a tackle.

Q: Overall, what did you think about your draft?

A: We think we picked good players. Obviously, you don’t know until you get them out there and you let them play, but we feel good about this draft class. There are some talented football players. I think we have some tough players. We’ve got some athletes and talent. We like it.

Q: You filled some needs for your football team through the draft. Do you feel good about that?

A: Yeah. We tried to tie that together. We were all about the best player available, but we tried to tie in need with value as well. We were definitely cognizant of that and we tried to do that.

Q: How much do you think Geremy Davis’ injury affected his numbers last year?

A: That may have had something to do with it, but we’re kind of looking at him in how he played this past season. He’s a good football player. He kind of reminds you of Jason Avant. I think that was a name somebody brought up in our meeting. One of those kind of guys that could be your fourth, fifth receiver, play on special teams, has size, can block, good route runner, and catch the ball nice.

Q: Why is there a disparity from Geremy Davis’ combine speed and game speed?

A: He ran a fast time. I think he ran a 4.51, but we think he’s probably more like a 4.55, 4.56; those kind of guys. But you look at the time and this guy has got really good speed. He doesn’t quite play that fast for us, but he ran it and it’s on his card.

Q: Could Davis be a potential gunner?

A: He could be a gunner. We definitely think he’s a core special teams player. These kind of guys get jerseys because they play on special teams on Sunday.

Q: There’s a story on Mykkele Thompson and his contact lenses, which led to a drop in his production last year. Have you heard about it?

A: No.

Q: What makes you think Thompson can play free safety as opposed to playing closer to the box?

A: Because he’s not a guy that goes down in the box like Landon Collins does. He’s more of a coverage safety. He can really run. He’s played corner. He plays in the slot sometimes as a nickel. He plays in the back end. We project him as a free safety. Those are the kind of guys that you play on the back end and he’s about as heavy as Collins as well.

Q: Thompson said he almost expected to be an undrafted free agent. When you have a guy like that, do you contemplate taking a risk and waiting until later in the draft even if he’s at the top of your board?

A: It was a position that we talked about. He was in the group of players we were talking about with the skill set we were looking for. It fit what we wanted and we drafted him.

Q: It doesn’t sound like he’s going to come in with a chip on his shoulder.

A: Maybe not. You never know. If he talks to you guys, he’ll have a chip on his shoulder pretty quickly.

Q: You have two spots on the roster now.

A: We have some guys that we might swap out, when free agency starts. We’re going to look at it right now if there are some guys on the board that we like better than some guys we have on the roster. There could be swap outs.

Q: How many people do you anticipate bringing into the rookie camp?

A: Probably between 60-65.

Q: Do you think you made a concerted effort to get bigger, faster and stronger?

A: We always want that. Everybody wants big, strong, fast, tough football players.

Q: You picked a lot of really young players. Is that by design?

A: We don’t think that’s a negative. They’re developing and you can teach them as they go, grow and mature. That’s not a negative for us. I think Michael Strahan was 20.

Q: It’s a positive?

A: We think that’s a positive. If a guy is 25, that’s more of a negative than a 20-year old.

Q: If you draft someone older, is it harder to have him adapt to what you’re doing scheme wise?

A: Not necessarily, but if you’re 25, you’re almost out of the league. When you’re 25, you’re almost gone.

Q: So it’s lower upside?

A: Yeah. It doesn’t fit everything quite that nice, like you said it, but we would rather have a 20-year old than a 25-year old.

MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS:

Q: How do you look at the totality of the draft from your perspective?

A: It was good. We had a good time up there. We had a good process, good conversations and we came out with some players that we really like.

Q: Did the draft fall the way you expected or hoped it would?

A: Definitely the earlier rounds we had a good idea and then this year was probably the most unpredictable draft in years with guys just going from all over. It thinned out really quick, so guys were coming from everywhere.

Q: What did you see in Mykkele Thompson that nobody else saw?

A: We told him when he was here that we were going to draft him. I guess he wasn’t paying attention. Just jokes. We did have him in here on a visit and he was really smart on the board. Playing-wise, he is a competitor, he is really smart and they played him in a bunch of different positions. He was in the slot, free and strong [safety spots]. He can handle that in game. He can run. The kid can run. He is not your classic corner, not your classic safety, but we think he can provide versatility. More of a free safety for us.

Q: Does that scare you off from a player if no one else shows interest in him?

A: Not at all. We trust our scouts. We trust our coaches. We trust our process and what the media writes or what other teams do [in regards to], if they like him or don’t like him, has very little to no bearing on what we do.

Q: Is that something you even know if other teams have interest?

A: Yeah, when we bring him in and talk to him and our scouts call guys during the week and ask what visits have you had and who has brought you in and who has worked you out. We keep a tab total of guys and the teams who may be interested. Our pro [personnel] guys do a great job of trying to track media things in the different cities and the players. We have a good idea.

Q: Did you think you could wait for someone like him or because he was on the top of your board…?

A: At times we think we can get him as a free agent, but if everybody feels strongly about the player at a certain time, then we just take him.

Q: When you picked Bobby Hart, did you consider La’el Collins at all?

A: We thought about La’el the whole draft because he is sitting up there, but we were going to pass on that.

Q: Would you have noticed a player like Bobby Hart if he had not come from such a prestigious school?

A: Yeah, I think so because the guy is 6-6 and 330 pounds. Those guys just don’t walk down the street and you don’t notice them. We would have noticed him. He is a big, competitive kid. He is smart. He is very young. He started as a freshman at Florida State, and he is still only 20-21 years old. He has played a lot of football for a young player at a high level, obviously for a winning program, so those are the things you have to think that he is not going to come here and be intimidated by anything. He is going to come here and come to work.

Q: What makes you view him as an inside prospect?

A: He’s more of a box-area athlete. He is not a nifty mover. He is a big, massive, mauling guard type of profile as opposed to a tackle with movement. He has excellent length and strength for an inside player.

Q: Did he play any inside?

A: Maybe when he was younger, but he has been a right tackle the last couple of years.

Q: Do you think of [Geremy Davis] as someone who could fill a role like David Tyree did here?

A: You mean catch balls off his helmet? This guy is a big guy who is strong, competitive and more of a possession type receiver, even though he ran really fast at his pro day. He is more of a possession type. He catches the ball. A big guy like that is going to make it as your fourth receiver and special teams player if you want to say the Tyree role. Preston Parker did it for us last year. You need those utility backup guys to help you win. Be ready. Be prepared. If you get in the game, make a catch and play on all the core special teams. Every team needs has to have those kinds of guys to win and that is what we think this guy can do.

Q: Do you like the [Jason] Avant comparison with Davis?

A: Yeah, one of our scouts, Ryan Jones, compared him to Avant. That was a good one. Hopefully he can be an ‘Avant.’

Q: Going after undrafted rookies?

A: We are in the process of doing that right now. We target a few guys and we like to go after those and if we don’t get them, then the roster fluctuates by what we are going to do. That is what we are in the process of doing right now. Preparing for that.

MEDIA Q&A WITH HEAD COACH TOM COUGHLIN: (Video)

Opening Statement: I think you can see what the intent was going into the draft, not only had a need, but we were also able to put ourselves in a position to help ourselves out from a standpoint of the quality of the player. We have talked about the first three rounds so I will just jump right into the afternoon.

We felt like in [Mykkele] Thompson we had a guy that actually will go very well with Landon Collins. Thompson has played corner, as you know, the majority of his collegiate career. He is a good cover guy and he is fast. He can play in the centerfield position. There is no way around it, you are going to have to bring him down to the line of scrimmage on occasion. As we go forward, if we could create it, we would create it the other way around. It also has been said that Thompson can play some nickel. We do have some guys that can play over the slot. We will just have to play that out as we work.

In Geremy Davis, we took a big wide receiver that also is going to be a contributor on special teams. You had a guy whose projection isn’t the greatest. I am not going to – you guys know more about the collegiate numbers than I do and the different teams. Davis is a big, fast wide receiver who catches the ball well. I don’t know if he is going to separate the way some of people that we have would, but he is going to contribute on special teams as well.

In Bobby Hart we took a guy that has played four straight years for a team that won a national championship. Truly a football university that has been outstanding in collegiate football for long, long time. A hard-nosed outfit. This guy has played a lot of football. There are some things we will have to do to shape exactly how that works with him, in terms the guard or tackle position. He has shown the ability to play both. We’ll establish that when we get him in here.

Overall, we made the maneuver. We traded up to be in position where we would take a player that we really felt would help us. In doing that there were a couple opportunities for choices that were subtracted. Overall that is the price you have to pay sometimes to get the player that you want in the program.

The draft, with the exception of the free agent part of it, which we do have some numbers that we are going to have to jump on right at the conclusion of the draft in free agency. Hopefully we will do well there because, to be honest with you, there are always opportunities for people to make your team that come out of that collegiate free agency. We will approach that as soon as the draft ends and put together, not only our 90 roster, but what we are going to do with our rookie mini-camp, which some of the players that are currently on our roster are eligible to be involved in that, which is a good thing. The rest will be a tryout camp as well.

Q: Was need more of a focus in this year’s past?

A: No. This is a franchise that in all the years that I have been around — you may have some legitimate battles of things of this nature, but the best player is going to get taken. Sometimes it looks as if we already have people at that spot, but over the years that has been proven the way to go. This organization does not change from that policy.

Q: In the beginning it looks like with the first three picks….?

A: If you can match them (value and need) up, that is what you want to do.

Q: That is the dream scenario?

A: It is. When you have needs and you have to fill them, but sometimes as you sit there and the players come off the board, it doesn’t work that way. We put ourselves in position with the number two spot to accomplish both and also the number three spot worked out very well for us in that regard.

Q: Would you be okay with two rookies starting at safety?

A: Let’s see how that plays out. We are glad to have those young men here and competing for that very situation, but let’s let it play out.

Q: How much do you think you guys improved or where do you see the biggest improvement this offseason?

A: Take a look down the line right here. Offensive line.

Q: Combining this and free agency?

A: There have been some changes, not quite as many as there was a year ago, but there have been changes. There always are. There is a certain percentage of your roster that you know is going to change throughout the course of free agency and the draft, so we are excited about those that we have here from a free agent standpoint and we are anxious to get them on the field and out of the meeting rooms. That will take place this week for us and the rookies will be here so we can take a look at them this weekend and put them right in the program the following week.

Q: Is there a specific area where you think you are better at?

A: I am not going to say that now. I hope we are better at all of them. We should be better in all the spots. That is the purpose of going out in free agency and bringing in players that you hope can help you. Not only on offense and defense, but certainly with [Dwayne] Harris on special teams.

Q: Do you think in the last three days your team got bigger and stronger and tougher?

A: That was one of the intents. And faster, too. Certainly younger. The roster will end up being younger.

Q: Can you realistically get all 12 receivers you have on the roster snaps?

A: It won’t stay that way. You have a number that you have in mind for camp. You are going to work with that number. If that number happens to be, whatever the position might be, over, then you are going to have to adjust.

Q: Will the rookies jump in right away with the veterans before the mini-camp?

A: No, they can’t. They don’t get here until Thursday. Once the rookies are here, the veterans are out the door. They cannot be here, other than the guys that are presently here eligible. We do have a few.

Q: You didn’t have a rookie camp last year. Do you like having the minicamp to introduce the rookies?

A: We have done mini-camps forever, so that is probably I would prefer it. Sometimes it doesn’t fall that way. Sometimes where you are with your team, they just roll right in anyways, regardless. This gives a chance to introduce the fundamental concepts, the terminology etc. on a little bit lesser scale in terms of the intensity of it. Then take them on the field and I think that will help some of these guys be introduced to where we are.

MEDIA Q&A WITH THOMPSON:

Q: Did this catch you by surprise getting drafted by the Giants in the fifth round?

A: It was a surprise to me. I don’t even know how to explain it right now.

Q: What’s surprising to you about it?

A: Just the place. It sounds right. This was the only team I took a visit up to. I’m just glad they believed in my ability and picked me up.

Q: What was the visit like? Who did you meet with and what was the impression you came away with?

A: I met with everybody. Of course, I was mainly with the defensive coaches and the defensive back coaches. It’s just a great vibe around there. They all really care and they want to win. I got a positive vibe from every one of them.

Q: Is this where you expected to go in the draft or did you have a different feeling heading into this process?

A: Honestly, I had no idea where I was going to go. Obviously, free agency was a possibility. Me thinking that I didn’t put that good of numbers up this past season, I thought free agency was going to be the main goal probably.

Q: Was there a reason for the numbers you put up this season?

A: There was no reason for it. I didn’t have too much action this past season.

Q: What do you bring to the NFL?

A: Honestly, I’ll play wherever they want me to. In college I played every defensive back position, so wherever they want me to go, that’s where I’ll play, and, of course, special teams is really big.

Q:  Is it your versatility or something else that you might say is your best quality?

A: My versatility, of course, and, of course, my length and my speed for my size.

Q: Do you know anything about the Giants’ second round pick, Landon Collins from Alabama?

A: I have seen a couple of games on him and of course I have seen his stats and everything.

Q: What were you doing today? Were you preparing for the possibility of being drafted or just taking it as it goes?

A: Of course, that is what I wanted to happen, but I was just here with my family. Nothing too big. We are just relaxing on the couch. I had no clue when or if my name would get picked, so I was just waiting by the phone.

Q: What was the reaction when the phone rang?

A: At first I just thought I was getting a text message. My phone has been blowing up. When I saw the New York area code, I was shocked, and I looked up at the TV and saw that [the Giants] had the next pick. I don’t even know how to explain it right now.

Q: Did you live in Italy very long as a kid?

A: My dad was in the Air Force. I lived in Italy for a couple years, but nothing that I can remember.

Q: When you started wearing contact lenses did that help you when playing football?

A: Yes.

Q: When did that start and how much of a difference did that make?

A: That started probably towards the beginning of this past season. Of course seeing better is always a one-up in your game. With my performance, it seemed like it helped.

MEDIA Q&A WITH DAVIS:

Q:  Did you think the Giants might be interested?

A: I know they are close to Connecticut, but I never really heard from them. During this whole process, you never know how teams work this thing out or if they show interest or they might be interested. There is so much that goes on.  I am just happy to see my name and do the best work I can for the Giants.

Q: What do you think you can bring to this team?

A: From a receiving standpoint, I am a big, physical guy. I am not afraid to open up big blocks for running backs and other receivers. I am not afraid to go across the middle. I have great hands. From a special teams standpoint, I can use my physicality on the front line for kickoff returns or blocking for the punt, running down on the kickoff and making a tackle. I am just going to give my all.

Q: You went from over 1,000 yards [receiving] as a junior to 700 yards this past year… What was the reason for that?

A: I missed two games with a high ankle sprain [on my left leg]. Then when I hurt my ankle, it was in the beginning of the ECU game so I pretty much missed three games. Prior to that, I was on pace for another year like I had, but unfortunately I had the injuries. I came back strong at the pro day, Combine and all-star games. I am happy that the Giants realized it.

Q: Can you make a catch like the one Odell Beckham Jr. made?

A: I always practice those muscle memory catches on the JUGS machine. [Beckham Jr.] is a great talent and I am happy to be working with him and a lot of the other guys like Victor Cruz and [Rueben] Randle. I just hope I can get under those guys’ wings and contribute on special teams and eventually at the wide receiver position.

Q: What do you think you can do on special teams?

A: I am a pretty big guy. Six-two, 215 [pounds]. I am a physical receiver. I am going to run down there and make tackles. I can be an in man on punt protecting for the punt. Front line on kickoff return. I am going to use all those traits that I have as a receiver on special teams.

MEDIA Q&A WITH HART:

Q: The Giants project you playing guard at this level. When was the last time you played the position?

A: I played guard my sophomore year and then in practice a little bit this year. Guard is fine with me. Whatever they need me to play, that’s what I’m willing to play.

Q: What are the differences you find between the two positions? Was it an easy transition when you moved from tackle to guard?

A: Pretty easy. With any new position there are new challenges, but I’m up for all of the challenges ahead.

Q: How much did you talk to the Giants prior to the draft? Did you have any idea you would land with the Giants?

A: I had no idea I’d be landing here. I talked to them in Indianapolis briefly. It was definitely a shock, but I’m definitely happy to be here.

Q: What about all the big games you’ve played in at Florida State helps prepare you for the NFL?

A: It definitely has helped. We’re definitely battle-tested there. We’ve been through a lot. Just keeping my composure in those games we had.

Q: What are your thoughts on Jameis Winston?

A: Jameis is a great guy. I’m pretty sure he’d be successful wherever he went just by the time he puts into the game and his passion for it. Wherever he went, whether it was first or wherever, I know he’ll be successful.

Q: Do you know Ereck Flowers?

A: Not personally. Just playing against him and talking to him after the game. Nothing personal.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a player?

A: A very smart player. Tough player. Just a player that’s going to get the job done.

May 022015
 
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Landon Collins New York Giants Press Conference: Safety Landon Collins, who was drafted with the first pick in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, addressed the media on Saturday. A video of the press conference is available at Giants.com.

Q:  Is it exciting to be here?

A: Yes, very exciting.

Q: What was it like to walk in here and see everything?

A: It is a dream come true. Walking in here and finally having your name called and to be at the facility that you are going to be playing at for the next few years it is just a dream come true. You always dreamed of this moment, so when it actually happens a sigh of relief takes place.

Q: What have the last 24 hours been like for you?

A: It has been crazy. I haven’t gotten that much sleep. I tried to celebrate, but I couldn’t really celebrate because I had to get up for an early flight to get up here. It has been fantastic. It is a great feeling. To visit here and be here is fantastic.

Q: Have you had any conversations with the coaches at the Combine and up to now and what were they able to tell you about you might fit in here?

A: Last time I talked to the coaches was at the Combine. We talked and had a good conversation. We talked for about fifteen minutes at the Combine. We had a good conversation and they felt confident in me I guess.

Q: Have you had a chance to experience the city at all?

A: This is my first time in New Jersey or New York. I am definitely going to try to experience it when I get out here.

Q: Can you talk about the physical nature of your game?

A: That is how I play the game. That is my passion for the game to make sure I make plays on the ball and be around it and make sure I make the tackle and make sure they don’t score. That is just how I am. I always try to make plays and make physical plays as much as possible. You make a physical play you knock the ball out or cause a fumble or you knock the ball out of the receiver’s hands when they try to catch it. That is my type of game.

Q: How does your size play into that?

A: Size came along with it. I couldn’t help that. I kept continuing to work and try to build my strength and my arm size and chest and speed and everything else came along with it.

Q: Did the perception that you might be a ‘box safety’ bother you?

A: Yes, sir, it did. I played in the box at Alabama, but I was a safety. It was not an in the box safety. I played free, strong and played our money position, which was our fifth [defensive back] on the field. [I] was not just an in the box safety.

Q: Did you hear that during the process from actual teams?

A: It was just the outside noise. Teams said I played a lot in the box, but once they saw me play this past year in the deep middle and then they had total confidence in me.

Q: Number 26 was important to you? Did you ask for 26 here?

A: Yes sir. I am going to talk to the equipment manager and ask him for it.

Q: Sean Taylor wore 26 and that was your guy?

A: Yes sir.

Q: What do you know about Antrel Rolle?

A: He’s a big safety too. He’s fast and a great guy. He knows the game very well.

Q: Do you know him at all?

A: Not really.

Q: You’re trying to replace Rolle. What kind of pressure is that for you?

Landon Collins, Alabama Crimson Tide (October 18, 2014)

Landon Collins – © USA TODAY Sports Images

A: I came into a lot of places. I came from Dutchtown. I came in right after Eric Reid. Going into Alabama I came in after Mark Barron and HaHa Clinton-Dix and Vinny Sunserry. I had plenty of big shoes to fill, so I’m going to definitely fulfill those shoes and keep it going.

Q: Have you had any conversations with the safeties drafted from Alabama about what to expect?

A: Not really. I talked to Eddie (Lacy). I talked to Ha-Ha. I haven’t talked to Mark yet. I talked to Robert Meachem. Nick Toon; all of those guys. They congratulated me and they told me to be ready.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice that one of them gave you?

A: Don’t lose the drive that you had back in college and high school.

Q: What were they telling you after the first round when you weren’t drafted?

A: Just keep my head up and the first round and second round stuff doesn’t mean anything because once you get into the pros and you show the teams what you’re able to do you’re going to be great.

Q: What do you feel you need to show the coaches moving forward?

A: I’m going to show them I’m an all-around safety. That’s all I can say.

Q: Do you feel you’ll be ready to play right away?

A: Yes.

Q: You feel you’ll be able to start?

A: Yes.

Q: What has made you prepared to start as a rookie?

A: Alabama prepared me for that. Being under Coach Saban, he doesn’t coach as freshmen, he coaches us as juniors and he puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulder as an 18 year old. I have the upmost respect for him because of that. Going through that process it helped a lot because it made me a man, the person, the player, and the leader that I am today and a smart player knowing the game. Definitely the school and coach Saban have helped me a long way with that.

Q: You’ve done a lot of traveling that last 48 hours. Are you going back home and then coming back for the rookie mini camp?

A: Yes. I’m going to head back home and then come back up.

Q: Are you tired?

A: No. I’m just ready to go start working out again. I’ve been off for three days because I was in Chicago. As soon as I touch back down I can go back working out and get ready for the rookie mini camp.

Giants.com Interview with S Landon Collins: A video of a Giants.com interview with S Landon Collins on Saturday is available at Giants.com.

May 022015
 
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Ereck Flowers New York Giants Press Conference: Offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, who was drafted with the ninth pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, addressed the media on Saturday. A video of the press conference is available at Giants.com. A video of Flowers arriving at the New York Giants team facility on Friday is also available.

Q: What have your last couple days been like up here?

A: It is going pretty good. It is a lot different than Miami. I am getting used to it.

Q: What is different about it for you?

A: There is a lot more traffic. A lot more going on. The city never really sleeps. I like it. It is going pretty good.

Q: Have you been recognized yet around town?

A: Yeah, I have been recognized. Maybe because I always have the [Giants] gear on.

Q: Have you been to New York before?

A: This is my first time.

Q: You have a lot of exploring to do then…?

A: We have mini-camp next week, then we have OTA’s, so I will be at the hotel busy until June.

Q: Who have you had a chance to meet and talk to and who has made an impression on you?

A: I had a chance to talk to [David] Diehl. Everyone around the building, all the coaches and everybody. I haven’t really seen the players. I guess I will wait to meet them.

Q: How do you think landing in the largest media market is going to play out? Thoughts?

A: Miami is a pretty big city. Same thing, just focus on football. Clock in and clock out. Get the job done.

Q: How does it make you feel when you hear people say you have a nasty streak in your game?

A: It is just who I am. It is not something I am really sticking out about. It is just how I play.

Q: Can your turn being nasty on and off?

A: Yeah, whenever you’re on the field, it is a different mindset.

Q: Can you talk about the physical nature of your game…You seem to be a strong run blocker?

A: I love run blocking. That has dated back to high school. My running back from college went to the same high school as me. Mostly what we did was run the ball.

Q: What do you like about run blocking?

A: Opening the holes, watching the [running back] get through and running the ball wins games. [I enjoy] everything about it.

Q: Do you feel you have an advantage run blocking with your size and strength?

A: I have played against some big dudes and some real athletic dudes. I would say I didn’t have the advantage with my size, but the effort and everything I put into it going into [the games]. That maybe gives me more of an advantage more than my size.

Q: What do you remember about the Nebraska game last year?

A: That we should have won that game.

Q: Do you remember the matchup up with Randy [Gregory]? How’d that go?

A: Yeah.

Q: He was just drafted by the Cowboys and you may face him in the opening game… Are you looking forward to that?

A: I am looking forward to that.

Q: Were you disappointed when Nebraska played [Gregory] on the opposite side of you for most of that game?

A: It is more so a team mindset. I was really looking forward to any matchup. I was just looking to win the game. At that point we really needed that game to turn our season around.

Q: Are there any skills that you developed from playing basketball that have translated into your offensive line career?

A: My footwork, more than anything.

Q: What aspects of your technique will you focus on working on this offseason?

A: Hand placement.

Q: Why?

A: At this level, technique plays a bigger role. That is one thing I am focusing on, getting my technique better.

Q: Have you heard from Eli Manning yet?

A: He called me.

Q: How was that conversation?

A: It went pretty good. He was welcoming me and stuff. He was telling me about it and telling me to get ready to go to work.

Q: Do you take it to heart that it is your responsibility to keep Manning clean?

A: Yeah. I take everything.

Q: Did he remind you of that?

A: No. he didn’t remind me.

Q: Did you get a chance to talk to any of your fellow Giants offensive linemen?

A: Yeah, some of them have texted me or tweeted me. I am ready to come in and meet them.

Q: Do you have any relationship with Jon Beason because of the Miami connection?

A: No, but he texted me though.

Q: How did it meet your expectations being a top-ten pick? How did it play out for you?

A: I didn’t really have too many expectations of where to go. It was more so just trying to land in a good spot. A place where I could progress. I didn’t really have a mindset of having a certain spot [to be picked in the draft]. I just wanted to get to this level and find a place I really fit and can progress. That was more so my mindset.

Q: Does it mean something to you that you ended up in the top-ten?

A: It is great to be in that. It is just a selection. It is more so what you do now than when you are selected.

Q: Can you talk about your relationship with your father and what is has been like the past few days and months?

A: It has been good. We have been working out and taking visits. Just setting everything up and getting ready to go. We will be ready to go this Thursday when we come back up.

Q: Without an agent, was it hard to set up his visits?

A: No, they just called [my father] directly.

Q: Would you say he is your toughest critic?

A: Yeah, or after myself.

Q: Is that physical play a mindset or an attitude?

A: It is how you were taught to play. In high school the coaches I had – we had to play a certain way. After playing a certain way, it just becomes who you are. I can’t really sit here and say I have a certain mindset. It is just how I play.

Q: Were you usually bigger than the kids you were going against when you were younger?

A: I was always taller than everybody. I was never fat. I was just taller and bigger.

Q: You will go home now and then come back for the weekend?

A: Yes.

Q: Have you found or looked at places to live?

A: Oh no. I just got here. I don’t even know my way around yet.

Ereck Flowers, New York Giants (May 1, 2015)

Ereck Flowers – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Q: How was it yesterday at the Mets game?

A: It was good. I never really went to baseball games. The game was good. It was a pretty good game to go to.

Q: How was your first pitch?

A: It was pretty good. I had a pretty good pitch.

Q: Were you nervous?

A: No, I wasn’t nervous.

Q: When was the last time you threw a baseball before last night?

A: Probably about fifth grade.

Q: Did anyone give you advice on throwing it?

A: Don’t let it hit the ground.

Giants.com Interview with OT Ereck Flowers: A video of a Giants.com interview with OT Ereck Flowers on Friday is available at Giants.com.

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