JERRY REESE AND BEN MCADOO ON WFAN…
New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese and Head Coach Ben McAdoo were interviewed on WFAN regarding the team’s performance in last week’s NFL Draft. The audio of the interviews is available at CBS New York’s website.
NEW YORK GIANTS CUT QB KEITH WENNING AND RB GEORGE WINN…
The New York Giants have waived quarterback Keith Wenning and running back George Winn.
Wenning was originally drafted in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens. He has spent time with both the Ravens (2014-2015) and Cincinnati Bengals (2015). The Giants signed Wenning to the Practice Squad in late December 2016.
Winn was originally signed by the Houston Texans as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2013 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Texans (2013), New England Patriots (2013), Oakland Raiders (2013), Pittsburgh Steelers (2013), Dallas Cowboys (2013), and Detroit Lions (2014–2016). The Giants signed him to their Practice Squad in November 2016 and the 53-man roster in late December 2016.
On the third and final day of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected running back Wayne Gallman (Clemson) in the 4th round, defensive end Avery Moss (Youngstown State) in the 5th round, and traded up in the 6th round for offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty (Pittsburgh). The Giants gave up their 7th round pick (241th overall) to move up seven spots in the 6th round to draft Bisnowaty.
WAYNE GALLMAN SCOUTING REPORT: Fourth-year junior. Gallman is a well-rounded running back with good size (6’1”, 215lbs), vision, and decent elusiveness and speed. He is a slashing, cutback runner. Gallman lacks explosiveness, but he is very competitive and runs hard. Gallman can pass protect and catch the football.
SY’56’s Take: “Gallman is a pro ready back but I don’t think he is ever going to be a feature guy, which is fine. His ability to plant his foot and burst combined with his toughness can make him a dangerous player. He became a much better blocker and receiver this season as well. I wish he could hold on to more weight and protect the ball better, but you could do much worse than having him as your number two back.”
AVERY MOSS SCOUTING REPORT: Moss began his collegiate career at Nebraska where he was dismissed for an off-the-field incident. Moss has good size (6’3, 264lbs) with long arms and is a good athlete. Moss flashes as a disruptive run defender and pass rusher, but he needs to get stronger at the point-of-attack. He is a competitor who plays hard. Needs technique work.
ADAM BISNOWATY SCOUTING REPORT: Fifth-year senior. Bisnowaty played left tackle at the collegiate level but could project to right tackle or either guard spot in the pros. Bisnowaty looks the part with a good frame (6’6”, 304lbs) with long arms and huge hands. He lacks ideal agility in pass protection and mauling power as a run blocker, but he is a scrappy player with good intangibles. Smart, tough, and aggressive. Bisnowaty works to finish his blocks and has a mean streak. Somewhat injury prone.
SY’56’s Take: “Early in the 2016 season, scouts were talking about Bisnowaty as being the top guy in this class. Potential top 10 overall type. It’s easy to see why because of his easy movement out of his stance and ability to mirror a defender with excellent lower half balance and quickness. He did suffer an injury somewhere around the midpoint of the season that made his tape look weak in the second half, but even at full strength I never quite saw it from him. He didn’t move guys. More of an absorber rather than an attacker. Too easily thrown around. Those things bother me as much as a guy with really slow feet. I think he may be best suited for backup swing duty.”
MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)
Reese: The fourth round pick we took, Wayne Gallman from Clemson, running back. Wayne’s a versatile back and is very productive. Three years of production there. High level of competition. I think he ended up with 36 touchdowns. We think he can create a lot of competition in that running back group. Very versatile, played on special teams as well. Actually, I think he was a linebacker in high school, so that helps him as a special teamer when those guys play different positions in high school. We thought he was a nice addition to our running back group.
Avery Moss, defensive end from Youngstown. Avery is really a true defensive end. You don’t see a lot of those guys these days but he’s a true defensive end that can play the run, rush the passer. Big guy, has a lot of upside. We think he is just now scratching the surface of where we think he can be. We really like his skill set and really think he can come in and help us in that d-line group and at that defensive end position.
Bisnowaty, a tackle from Pittsburgh. He played a lot of football for them. A big guy that is tough and rugged. He’ll get into our offensive line group and challenge for a spot there as well.
Q: Do you see Bisnowaty as a tackle or a guard?
A: We think he’s a tackle. We’ll start him out at tackle. That’s the coaches. They can do whatever they want to do with him. I think he’s a tackle.
Q: You traded up seven spots and gave up a draft pick to get him. Why?
A: We thought that there wasn’t a lot left on the board in respect to offensive line. He could’ve easily been there but we had a little huddle and said let’s go get this guy if we can. We gave up our seventh round pick to get him.
Q: How important was it to get an offensive lineman in this draft?
A: We wanted to help the offensive line but we didn’t want to reach for anyone and we did that. We always want to help every position and offensive line is a position that we tried to help, but again, we’re not going to reach for anyone.
Q: How difficult was taking Moss as far as character and background?
A: Yes, he has had some issues. I think you have talked to him some already but he has had some issues and we think he’s well past those things. We’ll definitely keep an eye on that and if he needs any help in respect to that, we’ll definitely be there to help him. He’s a really well spoken young man that has been through some things. We think he has everything together now.
Q: How much did you evaluate that type of situation?
A: I can’t talk about some of the personal stuff that we talked about in respect to him, but we had a lot of conversations about it and we feel good at this point. We think he’s gotten past those things.
Q: Does Gallman preclude you picking up a veteran running back in the next couple weeks?
A: No, we keep all our options open in respect to that. We keep all our options open as we move forward. There’s a long way to go before we play. We will keep all our options open.
Q: Did you have Joe Mixon on your board?
A: I’m not going to talk about who we had on our board.
Q: How do you come away from this draft feeling about it overall?
A: We always try to get players that can help us now and obviously players that can help us down the road. I think we have a good combination of both of that. I always tell you guys, our first three picks we think should come in and be contributors right away. Hopefully the guys on the back side of your picks can help you as well.
Q: What’s next for these guys?
A: Not a lot to do until they get here (in two weeks).
Q: When you look at your roster that you have at this point, where do you see the team most improved at this point?
A: We tried to improve every part of the team. I don’t know what part is the most improved position. As we move forward, we have plenty of things we would like to do before we get to preseason. Obviously, after preseason there will be cuts. We will be tinkering with the roster all the way until we play Dallas.
Q: Is there one thing that you focused on this offseason that you feel you got accomplished?
A: No, we just focus on trying to get good players added to the roster.
Q: Is the placekicking situation something that needs to be addressed?
A: We’ll continue to look at that. We have a young kid (Aldrick Rosas) on the roster with a big leg that we want to take a look at and see how he looks in the spring. There’s always going to be veteran kickers out there available. We will see where that goes. There will be free agency after the draft here and we will see what’s left out there after that as well.
Q: Do you expect to add one as a priority?
A: We’ll see. We’ll keep our options open but that’s a possibility.
Q: How do you think Gallman works with Perkins?
A: That’s up to the coaches. We just try and pick a good football player right there. We think he’s that. He’s a three-year producer there. Young kid, tough, kind of linear for a running back. Tall for a running back. I think he’s a little bit over six foot, maybe just six foot. He looks taller when you think about running backs.
Q: You have 13 roster spots open. Do you plan on being aggressive and filling 13 spots?
A: Yes, we’ll go hard and look and see what’s left on the board. We’ll see if there is a position that we want to fill moving into training camp. We’ll go hard in free agency. That’s a big part of what we’re trying to do right here right now.
Q: Were there any trends that you noticed in this draft that were different?
A: I really haven’t thought about that much but I try not to be surprised by anything that happens in the draft.
Q: What was Ben’s involvement like and was it greater, less than or different than last year in any way?
A: He was very involved like all of our coaches are and all of our personnel people are. We pick players together. We come to a consensus to who we like and we live with the consequences after we take them.
Q: Have you talked to Eli?
A: We did communicate with him, yes.
Q: Were you happy with what you were able to do?
A: We’re always happy with the draft. It’s a long process and a big project. A lot of time, work and effort goes into it. Our scouts, who again probably no one in here knows or most don’t know who they are, just happy for them. We feel like we got some good players for the labor that they put into being on the road for probably close to 200 days a year and really digging these guys out to put them in front of myself and all of our personnel people. Happy for them that we feel like we got some good players.
Q: Does the extra week from now to the start of rookie minicamp change how you approach the undrafted process?
A: No, not really.
MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)
Q: How do you evaluate how this draft looks?
A: It feels good when it’s over, but it’s not over because we have all these undrafted free agents. Got to start attacking and this is really the fun part right now. Everything else was structured and easy, this process is very hectic.
Q: Those phone calls already started?
A: No, that’s not legal.
Q: Jerry Reese mentioned that you traded your 7th round pick because no one at the top of your board was left, is this true?
A: Yes. We felt really good about Adam Bisnowaty and we didn’t want to miss out on him, compared to some other people that you may have to wait on in the sixth, and then wait on in the seventh round. We felt that he was worth packaging those two picks to get.
Q: Can you take us through the process on Avery Moss and his checkered past?
A: Just like any player, our scouts do an excellent job with digging into the background with the coaches, with his former coaches, off the field. We have tests that we give, a psychological test; obviously, with a person like Avery, who has something that was known, you do extra. That’s what we’ve done throughout the whole process and we felt good about taking him right now, based on his last two years of maturity and the help that he’s received. So we felt good about him as a person.
Q: Did you count on Coach Pelini’s recommendation?
A: Without a doubt. One of our scouts, Steve Devine, has a very close relationship with him. You have to rely on your scouts and trust the people that they talk to and trust throughout the process.
Q: How much is that talked about before you draft a guy?
A: We have draft meetings, extensive draft meetings, where we thoroughly vet every single player. Those things are talked about and the way we do our process, which is maybe different than other teams, we kind of go through a mini-meeting about each player as we are approaching our time on the clock.
Q: Waiting until the sixth round to get an offensive lineman, is it safe to say that you guys thought this offensive line class was bad?
A: We stuck to our board from the first round until the sixth. We’re not going to reach. If we feel like there is a player of value and need at the right place and the right time, we are going to take him. We’re just not going to jump over players that we feel are better players who can contribute to reach for a perceived position of need.
Q: You drafted three guys within an hour of each other in Georgia. Has that ever happened before?
A: Yeah, we wanted to save on flights. Get to Atlanta, Delta and all get on the same flight and come on up.
Q: Is that abnormal?
A: I guess, I don’t know. Check it out, do the research. There might be a lot of guys from Florida, Miami that might have got picked. I don’t know, I never even thought about that.
Q: The offensive line is perceived as a position of need. Do you look at it like you really need an offensive lineman?
A: We look at it as we need good players at every position, at every position.
Q: It was a perceived position of need with others and you got one. Why so late for a tackle?
A: We took six players. How many positions are there on the field? Ten. So you can kind of check, oh man we could’ve got four, maybe if we had four more picks we could have got those. We’ll see when we get in free agency.
Q: Is it fair to say that inside this building you feel better about your offensive line than outsiders?
A: Probably inside this building we feel better about a lot of things than most outsiders feel. We say left, you guys say right. We say up, you say down. It’s just the nature of what we do. We trust the people that we have here from the coaches to the scouts and that’s what we have to rely on.
Q: Are we right sometimes?
A: I don’t know, are you?
Q: Ereck Flowers just turned 23, and I believe that the lineman you picked today is 23. Is it fair that you guys believe, heading into his third season, Flowers has room to grow and that he’ll show that?
A: We still have high hopes for Ereck. He’s young. The guy started two years in the NFL and the guy is still young. He really should be coming out in this draft. So to say that you are going to throw a guy away for having inconsistencies his first two years in the NFL, I don’t think that is very fair to Ereck. We think he’s going to get better; he’s going to take a big jump. He does everything possible to get better; he’s in here every day working his butt off, so we have high hopes for him.
Q: Did Gallman and Tomlinson have any one-on-one interactions in the championship game?
A: I don’t remember a certain play where he tackled him or what not. But I have to check the tape on that one.
Q: You took 11 players from the Senior Bowl the last five years. How does that week factor into your evaluation?
A: It wasn’t something that was intentional. It’s just another venue. You want them to be good in the fall, you want them to be good at the Senior Bowl, you want them to be good at the combine, the pro day. You just want at each step of the way for them to have positive results. At the Senior Bowl, you get to see the best go against the best, especially for small school guys. Like a guy like Moss, he was at the East-West and really stood out there, so those are the types of players that you really like to see in those venues.
Q: What goes into the process of picking someone that you’ve not shown interest in?
A: Our scouts do an excellent job throughout the fall, and we have three scouts that look at them. I watch them, Jerry, the coaches watch them. We see them at the all-star games, the combine, so we’ve had plenty of exposure to a guy like that.
Q: Andrew Adams said last year that because Coach Merritt called him during the undrafted free agency period, it made a difference to him. Do you have a philosophy on that, or how you go about that?
A: We try to make those guys feel special throughout the process. We host players here, we try to stay in contact with them, almost as if it’s college recruiting. So we want those guys to feel special so when the time comes and we’re calling them, it’s not just a coach going down a list and checking off who is next. It’s that they actually feel like the New York Giants want them to be a part of this organization.
Q: Does it vary from the coaches and scouts who call guys?
A: We try to hit them with everything that we’ve got.
Q: You guys always talk about the importance of the first three picks coming in and making an impact. With this draft, I don’t think you’re expecting your third round pick to be contributing right away. So what are your expectations for Davis Webb?
A: Well, the thing is the instant gratification. But as long as he shows progress and the coaches are happy with him, and he’s doing the things that we think he can do, on and off the field, then you’re happy about the pick.
Q: Did you as an organization view it as a positive or a negative when Webb transferred after he lost his job at Texas Tech?
A: It was a positive. He wanted to play, he didn’t want to sit behind a guy. He wanted to show that he was worth being an NFL draft pick.
McAdoo: All right, Wayne Gallman, productive third-year player out of Clemson. (He has) upside in the pass game, comes from a winning program, glad we have him. Avery Moss is a physical football player; he has good length, plays with an edge to him. Adam Bisnowaty is a tackle or guard from Pitt. He has played a lot of football for them, has been a productive player, he is a physical player and we are glad that we have him. With that, let’s open it up.
Q: Where will Bisnowaty play?
A: It is still early. We are going to bring him in, see how he can play on both sides, both right and left, move him around a little bit and we think he has some flexibility inside as well.
Q: Will he play tackle initially though?
A: We will start him at tackle and see how he does.
Q: What did you like about Gallman?
A: Again, he comes from a winning program, had a tremendous interview and provides a spark and change of pace. He has a lot of upside.
Q: How does he compare or complement (Paul) Perkins?
A: Different type of player. He is a little longer type player. He has some speed and we feel like he has some upside in the pass game.
Q: He also has good ball security skills.
A: Yes, we like to maintain the ball. That is a big part of things and that is a big focus for us this year. He is a productive player.
Q: What about Gallman’s interview stood out?
A: He was well-prepared for the interview. You could see that he got football; it came clean to him. He did a nice job and was very ready, polished.
Q: How much did you put into the vetting process with (Avery) Moss?
A: We did our homework.
Q: Do you feel confident that he is not a risk?
A: We feel that he has turned the corner. If he needs any support or help when he is here, we will offer that support.
Q: With a player that has been through something like that, do you check that personally?
A: We do our homework.
Q: You personally?
A: We do our homework.
Q: Did you have a chance to catch up with Eli?
A: Yes, briefly.
Q: Can you share anything about that?
A: I am going to leave our personal conversations personal.
Q: Was it a positive discussion?
A: It was a personal conversation that I am going to leave personal.
Q: Bisnowaty said that he is a nasty football player. Is that something that you want in all of your linemen?
A: I don’t know that it is the most important quality, but it is nice to have someone that plays physical with that type of physicality and likes to finish plays and plays nasty and he is also from God’s country. That helps him. He is a good, physical football player. We are glad to have him. He fits our profile and has played a lot of football at a high level.
Q: How ready is Gallman in terms of pass blocking?
A: There will be a learning curve there. He has a lot that he has to learn about the pro game. It will be different systematically for him, but again, he did a nice job in the interview. He could really communicate what they were doing offensively and that is a good start.
Q: You told Webb last night that you can’t wait to get him the playbook. How does that process work?
A: We have to go through the CBA first. You have to look at the rules and when they say you can get a playbook in their hands, then you get a playbook in their hands.
Q: Do you think that the picks made today…?
A: Again, let’s get them here, let’s get them a helmet, let’s get them a playbook and we will see how they do.
Q: What are your expectations on the late round picks?
A: As long as they are here, they have a chance. Late round picks, undrafted free agents, we view them all the same. They are going to have an opportunity to go out and compete for a job and whether you get drafted high, drafted low or don’t get drafted at all, you are going to have an opportunity.
Q: After evaluating what you did last year, are you going to make any tweaks to the rookie minicamp?
A: We have made some adjustments, but again, the most important thing is that there are a lot of nerves involved early on in that process. So you want to make sure that you take them out early, give them a chance to walk through some things, jog through some things before you actually practice with them because there are a lot of nerves.
Q: Do you feel that your roster is better today than when you walked off the field in Green Bay?
Q: In what areas do you feel you are better at?
A: I feel that we have added a lot of competition to the roster. Whether it was through free agency, adding some pieces there, or through the draft, we have a competitive roster.
Q: Was there one part where you left Green Bay and thought that there was something you had to address?
A: No, I think it is important that you don’t reach for players. I think we did a nice job of that in this draft, I think we did a nice job last year. We added players who we feel can come in and compete, offer depth and possibly win jobs.
Q: What are your thoughts on the roster after this whole offseason?
A: Again, I think we still have some work to do. The roster is still not complete. There will be some undrafted free agents that will have an opportunity to come in here and compete for jobs as well.
Q: When does Quarterback School start?
A: Monday. I can’t wait.
Q: Will Davis (Webb) be here?
A: No, he will not be here Monday. They will have a few days. They won’t be here next weekend, but the weekend after. When the rookies get here, they will stay here.
Q: Is there any reason why it is a week later this year?
A: The schedule is different because of the two extra weeks that you had. You could bump things up two extra weeks last year.
Q: Did this draft feel different as opposed to last year?
A: Just going through the process, trusting the process. Nothing new for me.
Q: Did you look at last year and think of anything going into this year that you could improve on?
A: I may have budgeted my time a little differently in some different areas, but I am not going to get into that.
Q: Do you look at the personnel on your offensive line this year and say that they will play better this upcoming season?
A: Yeah, I am excited to see the offensive line develop this year. I think that we have added some guys that will build competition there. We just added Adam (Bisnowaty). Ereck (Flowers) and Bobby (Hart) are both working very hard at the tackle spots and I look forward to seeing the competition and see how things shake out.
Q: How much do you have a set unit in mind?
A: I don’t have a set unit in mind. I want to see how guys play, how they perform and how they work together. That is a big part of things.
MEDIA Q&A WITH WAYNE GALLMAN:
Q: How’d it feel to get the call from the Giants?
A: It was a shock. I’m just sitting here waiting and I heard that phone call. I just couldn’t wait to pick it up. I’m just glad to get that call.
Q: Why do you say shock?
A: I was hearing that I was supposed to go a little earlier than expected. Just this way, I’m relaxing to it and trusted wherever I was going to go through God. When that phone call came, I was just shocked. I didn’t know who it was. I’m glad it was the New York Giants.
Q: Just from seeing your tweet, it seems like you’re coming in with a chip on your shoulder it seems?
A: Of course, no doubt.
Q: How would you describe your running style?
A: I’m a hard, physical runner. I believe I have all the aspects in the running game that a running back is supposed to have. I have speed, power, whatever a team needs to get that extra yard.
Q: Are you familiar at all with Paul Perkins?
A: I watched him in college and watched a couple games from New York last year. I know a little bit about the running game.
Q: Do you think that you would compliment him well from what you’ve seen in his style?
A: Yes. I think I would be able to complement him and the offense well as well as any other thing that they would want me to do. I’m just ready to come in and work.
Q: Reuniting with fellow Clemson player B.J. Goodson?
A: Yeah, we have a relationship. I was just working out with him, these past couple of weeks, in Clemson.
Q: Will that continue when you arrive in the next couple of weeks?
A: Of course
Q: Did you have a lot of battles in practice with Goodson?
A: Yeah, a little bit here and there.
Q: Are you home right now? What is it like there?
A: It’s just me and my mom, my best friend, my dad, and my girlfriend. They are all excited.
Q: What is the feedback along this draft process for you? What did you take from what teams were telling you?
A: Pretty much, there was really no negative thing I’ve heard. That’s why I really didn’t know who I would get picked by. I knew everybody liked me, I don’t have a bad background at all, and I know my film is good, so it was a just a matter of seeing who was going to call.
Q: What was your contact with the Giants?
A: Actually, my first visit at the combine, either the first or second visit on Thursday or Tuesday, was with the Giants. I had a really good meeting with them. From then on, I really liked the Giants and Coach Johnson and everything.
Q: What made it a good meeting? Did you break down the plays, was it the conversation?
A: Conversation, breaking down the plays, and just the vibe that I came into the room with that I felt. I just liked them from then on.
Q: Did you have 100 less carries this season? What happened? Why did the number go down?
A: I did. We wanted to pass more this past year. It was all on my coach, Tony Elliot. That’s what the coaches wanted to do this past year. We ran the ball but it is what it is.
Q: The benefit of that was that you won a National Championship.
Q: Do you think that it hurt you personally though?
A: I am not trying to think about that, but I do know that throughout the year, those carries were ones that I wanted as a running back, of course. But I will do whatever it takes to win and if that means going out pass blocking and receiving, then I will do that.
Q: Who gave you the nickname “Train”?
A: Actually, my coach. (Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running Backs Coach, Tony Elliot) and all the Clemson fans.
Q: What do you think of it?
A: At first I thought it was a little corny, but the more it was used – they ended up giving me a train sound whenever I scored or made a big run in Clemson Stadium, so I kind of just went along with it and accept it now.
Q: Did you do more pass protection this year with the offense?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: How did that go?
A: Yes, I believe that I improved over the year. At the beginning of the year, I wouldn’t say that I was doing my best job as a pass protector, but throughout the year I got better with my technique and it got us a championship.
Q: What was it like working with Dabo Sweeney?
A: Man, working with Coach Sweeney is just like working with a father figure. Coach Sweeney is all about family and just going out there and working hard each and every day. His standard is to just be the best and that is what we did every single day.
Q: Did you ever get tackled by Landon Collins?
Q: Did you ever run him over?
A: No, I don’t think I played against Landon.
Q: How about Davlin Tomlinson?
A: No, I don’t really remember Davlin.
MEDIA Q&A WITH AVERY MOSS:
Q: How did it feel to get the call from the Giants?
A: Oh, man it felt so great. I am here at the Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas with my grandma – she just had a stroke a couple days ago, so I was just with her and we were ecstatic to get the news.
Q: How is she doing?
A: She is doing good. She has shown mass recovery in the last week. She is moving faster than any normal patient really does and I wouldn’t expect nothing else from her. She is a fighter. We have been here with her day and night since about Tuesday. So everything has been going well on her end, to God be the glory, everything is good right now.
Q: Did this throw off your plans for this week?
A: Yeah, we didn’t have a lot planned, but this definitely changed everything. It changed our mood and everything because it is definitely a Lord’s blessing to even have this opportunity. But at the same time, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my grandmother, so it is just a precise thing of life – we had to be here and she was like the number one thing in my mind. It is a blessing that she is alright and it did change, but it was for the better. We are going to go family first on this one, but I am definitely glad that we were able to be here at the hospital and be able to watch the draft with her and celebrate with her, as she is getting better.
Q: Is she awake and alert now? Does she know that you have been drafted?
A: Yes, sir. She has a lot of her cognitive skills back, she is aware and everything like that and once I told her, she cried and I hugged her. She knows and she is excited. She said that she always knew I was going to go back to a cold state anyway.
Q: What do you think you can bring to the Giants?
A: From a defensive end, I know as everything I have had in my life, I have had a lot of adversity. Perseverance is a normal language for me, that is something I am used to and I just keep going through and keep doing. I am relentless when it comes to effort. I never want to give up on a play just because it is never done until the whistle is blown and I think I can definitely try to assist and learn from the D-ends that are already there and then just try to add on in terms of a pass rush standpoint, try to make some noise and help New York get to something big.
Q: Can you explain what happened in your dismissal of Nebraska?
A: My true freshman year, I came in off 17. I got charged with indecent exposure but that wasn’t what led to me actually getting dismissed. I got dismissed for going into a dormitory hall that I was banned from for a year. It is what it is. I waited to try and get back into the University of Nebraska. They dismissed me and I went to the FCS and coach Bo. I definitely learned from everything. I attended counseling from that incident and am two years graduated from that. It was a blessing not only to have this chance to be a New York Giant and play for the National Football League, but it’s a blessing just to get a second chance to play the game at another university. I felt like I was at my lowest in 2014 when I was dismissed. I was going through a crisis and didn’t know what was going on. I really found my faith with my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Everything came to balance once I added Him into my life. From there, everything has been good, so to God be the glory. I’m thankful for this opportunity and the road that came with it because it taught me a lot.
Q: How much of an impact did coach Pelini leave on your life because you followed him to Youngstown?
A: He’s a real life father figure. He may be one of the best coaches, if not the best coach, I’ve had. Another man I would want to have impact my life like he did. He came in from high school and told me, there was a lot of guys that were recruiting me and were telling me that I was going to be a starter and that they could make me an NFL player this and that. He came in and he was genuine and real. He said I may not be a starter there but that he could offer me opportunities. He said he needed me to work hard and this and this could happen. Everyone always sees the yelling coach Bo and all that, but he’s really a good dude. A fun dude. He’s really just the father that you have in the stadium. He cares for his players dearly. He just shows it and he’s a wonderful, good teacher also. He’s taught me a lot about the game of football. I’m sad to be leaving him but ecstatic about the opportunity and blessed that he was in my life.
Q: Was there a chance to go back to Nebraska if the coach stayed?
A: I was originally supposed to go back. The suspension that I had was only a year suspension. So after that year suspension, I was thinking I was going to come back. They had certain rules and protocols that I had to follow during that year that I was off to get re-admitted back into the university. So I went and did that; was expecting a call saying that I was going to be able to come back. After the end of the year after Coach Pelini was fired, they told me to find another school. That’s when I looked into other schools to go to, and I was going to go to another big D-1, but if I did that, I would have to sit another year out for transferring, so I’d only be able to play my senior year. So I decided to go to the FCS and it made perfect sense.
Q: What did you do for that year when you were out of school?
A: I worked at a car dealership called Sid Dillon in Lincoln, Nebraska. For a year, I would put in 45-hour weeks, and all that good stuff. That was my occupation for that entire time, from January to January.
Q: At that point did you think you would be in this position someday?
A: No, sir. I definitely was in a weird space, where I was trying to find myself.
MEDIA Q&A WITH ADAM BISNOWATY:
Q: How did it feel to get the call from the Giants?
A: It was awesome. Just sitting here and watching, it is an unbelievable experience and opportunity I have in front of me and I am excited to get started and to get there and get rolling. Like I said, it was awesome.
Q: The Giants traded up to get you. How does that make you feel?
A: I think it says a lot about how they feel about me, which is great. I am ready to come in and get going and start hitting the field and just get out there and help the team to win that Super Bowl. I think it says a lot about how they feel about me and I am pretty excited about that.
Q: Are you a tackle or a guard?
A: I think it is whatever they feel like they want me to do. I played a lot of tackle at Pitt and a little bit of guard, but I am willing to play either one, so wherever the best fit is for me and the team and however we are going to win the most games is going to depend on where I play. I am excited to play either one.
Q: How would you describe your game?
A: I am a nasty football player. I get after people. That is something that I am very proud of – I am out there and I am physical every play, making sure that the guy across from me wants to quit. Everything I do on the field is nasty and physical and I take myself off the field with the preparation and I take that to the next level, so that when I get out there it is all football.
Q: What do you think you have to work on the most?
A: I think just continuing to work on the details of my fundamentals. I think it all comes back to that offensive line play and fundamentals are huge. If you continue to work on those every day and I think just continue to learn, keep learning, keep perfecting my game and skills every day and that will help me to become a better player and to succeed.
Q: Do you know much about the Giants offensive line situation right now?
A: Yeah, I know a little bit. A few years back they drafted a few guys and they have a few guys starting right now and there are some opportunities and right now I am just excited to come in there and get out there and do the best I can and help contribute to this team. I think that is my main thing coming out there.
With the 23rd pick in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected 6’5”, 229-pound quarterback Davis Webb from the University of California.
SCOUTING REPORT: Webb has the tools. He has ideal size and a very strong arm. He can move around the pocket, but he is not a scrambler. Webb throws a nice deep ball and can wing it through tight windows. But he is a project who needs a lot of technique work and more experience in reading defenses given that he comes from collegiate spread offense. He can be streaky with his accuracy and his decision-making has been questioned despite his intelligence. Webb is a very smart, hard working quarterback who loves the game and who is dedicated to getting better.
SY’56’s Take: “His size and easy throwing motion can get you excited, but he has a ways to go in terms of progression and learning. Webb is a couple years away and will have to spend a lot of time correcting elements such as a footwork, lower body mechanics, and reading a defense, among other things. Possible starter down the road, but more likely a backup… Webb is a hot name with some of the people I get to talk with…and others think he won’t ever be a starter. Nobody denies the talent, but he has a ways to go. I’ve watched every game of his from 2016 and he does the same things week in and week out that bother me. He has to completely change his game and while I think it is possible, it’s simply unlikely.”
MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)
Reese: Davis Webb, quarterback, Cal. A third round selection. He was very productive in that offense, like a lot of quarterbacks are. We thought that he had the best arm in the draft this year, really a gifted arm, thrower. For a tall guy, he is a good athlete. He can be off schedule and buy some time with his legs, so there are a lot of things that we liked about him. We think that he will have time – like we said earlier, Eli has however much time that he has left, two or three years left in his contract or however long he plays. We think that this guy has a high ceiling that can come in here and develop behind him and learn the pro game and challenge and compete and create competition at the quarterback position. I will take any questions.
Q: What are the challenges of using a high draft pick on a player that is probably not going to play for a couple of years?
A: Well, you never know when a quarterback is going to help. Obviously, we would like for him to have a couple years to be the caddie and learn the pro game and all the nuances of playing quarterback in these league, but he has all of the tools to play the quarterback, and we think that he has a high ceiling and hopefully he can sit on the sideline, hold a clipboard and learn the game.
Q: When you drafted Ryan Nassib, I think you said that you hope he never plays. Is it different with (Webb)?
A: We hope that Eli continues to play at a high level and this guy can develop. That is what we hope for. You never know what is going to happen, but that is what we hope for.
Q: Did you have a first round grade on Davis Webb?
A: We had a good grade on him. I am not going to talk about which round we had him. We had a good grade on him.
Q: How surprised were you that he was sitting there in the third round?
A: I am not surprised by anything in the draft anymore. It is hard to surprise me in the draft. But we liked him, we had him rated high and we think that he has a top skillset to play this position in the National Football League.
Q: Do you feel like you have an advantage in taking this guy and knowing that he has a chance to develop in the next couple of years?
A: Well, we hope so. That is what the whole premise is – that this guy can sit behind Eli for a couple of years, two or three years or however long it takes. Let me get this straight guys, we hope that Eli plays for a long time for us. Eli is our quarterback and we still think that he can play at a high level, but we do know that he is not going to play forever, so we are trying to make the best decision as we move forward for the rest of Eli’s career.
Q: What type of franchise quarterback qualities did you see in Davis Webb?
A: Here is the thing. First of all, he has a big arm. He has one of those wintertime arms, he can throw it in the wind, so again, we thought that he had the best arm talent in the draft this year and this guy is football all the time. You have to be that kind of guy in this league. You can’t half do it up here and play at a high level in the National Football League. This guy is a son of a coach, football all of the time and he has the quarterback profile that we like.
Q: What was the process like with him? Did you see him or meet him?
A: We didn’t bring him in here or anything like that, but we spent some time with him at the combine.
Q: Nobody went to work him out?
A: We did not.
Q: How does this work out for the rest of the roster? You have five quarterbacks now.
A: Well, again, we are just going to create as much competition at every position as we can and that will take care of itself as we move towards training camp and we will see where it goes.
Q: Did you sit with Eli at some point and let him know that you were thinking of bringing in a quarterback to develop?
A: Eli understands the process. Eli is a very smart guy and he understands the process. He knows that he is not going to play forever. He knows that it is our job to prepare for when he has finished his career here, so he understands that. It is nothing that we had to talk to him about.
Q: Did you talk to him after you drafted the quarterback?
A: We didn’t have any conversation with Eli before we drafted, but we draft a quarterback and we are going to let our quarterback know that we are drafting a quarterback, of course.
Q: Is there any concern that you are coming out of the draft without picking an offensive lineman?
A: Well, there are a lot of picks left and we will keep trying to fix the roster and add to the roster as we move through the rest of the draft. We have more picks to take.
Q: When you made the first few picks, did you have to talk about if you had to take Webb at that point?
A: You never know where guys are going to go. We stay true to our board. The big defensive tackle was there and we picked him and this guy was the next guy on our board and we picked him.
MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)
Q: What do you like about him?
A: He’s a big guy with a live arm. Son of the coach with the top intangibles. Went to Cal and took leadership of the whole group. He ran meetings. Really strong personality, a leader. A football junkie. He’s a surprisingly good athlete for his size. Just has a lot of upside to develop.
Q: What happened when he was at Texas Tech?
A: He was coming off of a couple injuries. He started there. Texas Tech had a lot of guys that transferred out of there. A kid went to Virginia Tech, a kid that is at Oklahoma now. Davis kind of beat them out. He was competing against Mahomes. Coming off an injury, Mahomes had a leg up. He just kind of beat him out at that point.
Q: Did you get to see him at his pro day?
A: Yes. Saw him at the Senior Bowl, saw him at the Combine. We’ve been tracking him all year. Our area scouts were really excited about him early in the year because of the transfer and guys that are out west. Really fired up about him from that point on.
Q: What does it say about his resiliency as a player that he could lose his job at a major program at Texas Tech and then go right to another one like Cal?
A: This guy is a football player. Son of a coach, tough guy. Obviously disappointed. I’m sure he’s disappointed right now that he wasn’t a higher pick. That’s what you love in a quarterback. Guys that can bounce back and have fortitude to persevere. That’s what you need. We think he has that.
Q: Is the process of picking a quarterback different than from other positions?
A: It’s more of a lightning rod type of pick as opposed to picking a DT or corner and stuff like that. A quarterback has all these innuendos and questions about why you’re taking him and what you’re going to do with him. It’s the most important position in sports, so of course it’s going to get the most attention.
Q: Did you have any contact besides the Senior Bowl and the Combine?
A: Yes, we met with him in the fall, our area scout met with him. Senior Bowl, we met with him. Combine, we met with him. We kind of kept an eye on him. I’m surprised he was still around at this point. I thought he would go higher.
Q: Why do you think he fell?
A: That’s a good question. I think it was the system that he played in, a little bit of the inaccuracy that he had. Each team evaluates quarterbacks in a different way.
Q: One of the scout criticisms was his deep ball can be a little inaccurate. Is that something that when you have a coach like McAdoo and a couple of years, you feel like you can work out?
A: We’re hoping this guy can develop his skills. You have a guy like this in the situation we have now, we’re hoping he doesn’t have to come in right away and be the guy and get thrown into the fire. He can work on his skills.
Q: Were some of those concerns on why he fell not as much of a concern to you guys?
A: Yes. Obviously, it gives you a little bit of a cushion and some breathing room. You saw what happened in the first round, teams trading up everything to get those guys. We feel we have a fairly equal talent at the bottom of the third compared to some of the guys that went pretty high.
Q: Ben McAdoo hasn’t even met Davis in person. You take that as he trusts the board and scouting. Does that speak to how this process played out?
A: You learn from Philly down there. The Sixers. Trust the process. No, I think we work hand in hand really well together. The coaching staff, scouting staff and ownership. Frankly, I try and put Ben in touch with guys that I think we really have a chance to get. Again, I did not think at this point Davis would be one of those players. I thought he would be gone at this point. He’s watched the tape, the quarterback coach has communicated with Davis, our scouts have been in touch with him and talked to him at various points throughout the year. He’s just one of the guys that wasn’t a priority to Ben to meet because there are only so many guys you can meet with.
Q: So the lack of contact wasn’t because you were playing coy, but that you didn’t think it was realistic?
A: I don’t know. No, a little bit of both. You try and mix it as a little bit of both. You want to do your research and dig but still not be too obvious about what you want to do.
Q: Were you going to take a quarterback in this draft no matter what?
A: No, not necessarily. If there was a guy at the right time and was the right guy, we were going to take him.
Davis Webb, big man with a chip on his shoulder. He’s a gym rat, coach’s son, excited to plug him into quarterback school and hit the ground running.
Q: Ben, where does he slide into your depth chart right now?
A: He’s a young guy, he needs to come in and see how he does, throw him into the mix and let him compete.
Q: What do you like about him? What stands out?
A: I think he’s a big man, he’s a fluid mover, he’s a pocket passer but he’s not necessarily a statue back there. He can move around and has some good rhythm in the body.
Q: Why does he have a chip on his shoulder?
A: He lost a job early in his career, sitting there probably a little bit too long in this draft.
Q: You thought he would be drafted earlier?
A: I thought he would drafted earlier, yes.
Q: 1st round?
A: We had him graded fairly high.
Q: Ben, Jerry said you guys called Eli and told him what you guys were doing. Obviously that’s not something you do with other positions. How closely will you monitor how the players react to this?
A: Not at all.
Q: What was Eli’s reaction?
A: I didn’t talk to Eli.
Q: Do you feel like the offense that you run might be a friendlier transition for someone coming out of an offense like Texas Tech or Cal?
A: I think every case is different. You take it on a case-by-case basis and we find out when we get them in the building.
Q: Was there a point where you were sold on him? [inaudible]
A: Again, we liked the way he works, we like the way he leads, he’s a positive player, did a nice job at the Senior Bowl, that helped his cause.
Q: Does his performances remind you of another quarterback?
A: There are a couple guys out there, but I don’t want to do that to him.
Q: For you personally, your only one-on-one time with him when you were in the room with him was at the combine?
A: My evaluation was based on film study.
Q: Does he fit into the offense in the way that Eli does? Obviously not experience wise, but is he a different kind of athlete?
A: Pocket passer. Again, he’s a fluid mover back there. He can move in the pocket and extend plays. He can do some creating. Like I said, he’s not a statue back there.
Q: You have not met him before?
A: I have not met him.
Q: Is there extra gravity brought on by taking a quarterback, especially given the importance of the position?
A: That’s a dramatic question, I’m not sure what you’re asking.
Q: This is an important decision, I would assume, as a head coach and a franchise, potentially bringing in the quarterback of the future.
A: He was the highest player on our board, we had a high grade on him, we felt that there was good value for the pick, and we’re confident that he’s going to come in and develop.
Q: Usually when you take a guy in the 3rd round, you expect him to play somewhere, special teams, start, rotation, you don’t expect this guy to play at all.
A: He’s not going to be covering kicks for us.
Q: How do you weigh that? You get a guy in the third round and say look he might sit for two years.
A: Well, you have to trust. There’s a lot of work that goes into it, whether it’s scouts, Marc Ross, the coaches evaluate, the coordinators evaluate, Jerry and I evaluate. You have to trust the process.
Q: This is a guy you said you thought would be gone at this point. As the Draft is unfolding, are you thinking in the back of your mind, hoping that he’s going to last?
A: Hoping doesn’t work, I tried it. It doesn’t work real well, so you just let it play out, take it pick by pick and when you have someone sitting up there that you graded up there and they’re the highest guy on the board, you’re confident that you did your homework and it’s going to pay off.
Q: What character traits have you been able to identify with him that make him the potential franchise quarterback?
A: You can see he’s a persistent guy, he’s a hard worker, the game is important to him. Like I said off the bat, he’s a gym rat, he’s a coach’s son and grew up in the game and that helps. He’s going to have to have thick skin like they all do. Let’s get him here and let’s get him a playbook and a helmet.
Q: He was the highest player on your board in the 3rd round?
A: When we made our pick he was the highest player.
Q: Was he close to being the highest rated player in the second round?
A: That’s a long way back.
Q: Did you have a set idea as to what milestones you want him to reach at a certain point or do you let him develop organically?
A: Reps are tough to come by, that’s a big part of the offseason and the way things are with the new CBA. Reps are tough to come by, but they call it development for a reason. It takes different guys different speeds to get you to where you want him to go. We just need to get him in and throw as much at him as quickly as possible and see how he handles it.
Q: You said you haven’t met him in person, was that by design?
A: No, there’s only so much ground you can cover.
Q: How big a benefit do you think it is for a quarterback to come into the league and sit for a couple years?
A: I think it’s huge. I think it’s tough to come into the league and be a number two. I don’t think there are very many guys, even in this draft, that can come in and be a number two quarterback. I think it’s challenging, it’s asking an awful lot. It’s a different game and it’s a challenge. It’s a benefit to be able to sit behind especially a veteran quarterback and learn. It goes a long way.
Q: You think for developmental purposes it’s better for a quarterback to get in the game right away or sit?
A: Case by case, it’s different. Every guy is different, but I do think it helps.
Q: You say you never met him, but did you talk to him tonight?
Q: What was that conversation like?
A: He’s pretty excited.
A: Pretty excited.
Q: Do you have to strike a balance? I mean people are going to want to see this guy play at some point and you still have Eli. Is that going to be [inaudible]
A: Doesn’t matter.
MEDIA Q&A WITH DAVIS WEBB:
Q: What was your reaction when you got the call that you were coming to the Giants?
A: I was ecstatic. I was very fortunate to be selected by such a great organization and great coaches and Coach McAdoo and I am just very thankful for the Giants organization picking me up today and I am ready to get to work.
Q: Ben (McAdoo) said that he was surprised that you were on the board this late. Were you surprised by that, too?
A: Yeah, the NFL Draft is a little weird. You really can’t predict it, so anything can happen, but I am just glad that I ended up at such a great organization and so many great players on the Giants team and obviously great coaches. I am just looking forward to being a great teammate and being a prepared quarterback.
Q: They have obviously made it clear that Eli Manning is the starter here. They view you as someone who can potentially take the reins. Is that a role that you are comfortable with?
A: I don’t know what my role is on the team yet. Obviously Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl MVP, so he is one of the best and a Hall of Fame quarterback. So I am just excited to be in the same quarterback room as him and we will see what happens. I am just trying to be a great teammate first, be prepared from a week-to-week standpoint as a quarterback because I have a long way to go.
Q: What was this process like for you in the last two days?
A: It was all over the place. My emotions were very high and very low, but again, I have had so many great people help me out the past couple days and past 22 years of my life to always stay even-keeled and control what you can control and commit to those controllables and that is what I did tonight and yesterday. It was out of my control and I was just looking forward to seeing who would pick me up and obviously the great organization New York Giants and there are so many good players of the team, so I am just excited and looking forward to heading up to New York very soon.
Q: What is your relationship like with Patrick Mahomes?
A: Yeah, Patrick Mahomes and I are very close friends. Obviously we were together at Texas Tech and we have kind of stayed in touch ever since then. So it was cool to go through the draft process with him and I am looking forward to seeing how he does in Kansas City with the Chiefs organization and obviously I will be rooting for him.
Q: Do you come into this process setting milestones for yourself or do you plan to develop organically?
A: I am not sure. I am a very goal oriented type person, but at the same time, I don’t know what my role is yet. I am just a third round draft pick tonight and I am looking forward to being a great teammate first and being a hard worker because those are the two things that I can control and I look forward to doing those two things first.
Q: You mentioned there are a lot of things you can get better on. Is there anything particular that you identified as something you want to work on right away?
A: Yeah, I have brand new coaches so I am excited to see what we can continue to develop and get better at. Obviously I think that one thing I need to work on is being more efficient mechanically. Coming from a spread type system in college and going to the NFL, obviously every college quarterback needs to develop into an NFL type quarterback, so I am just looking forward to that development and working hard at it.
Q: Is there any disappointment that you are not coming to a team where you are going to compete for a starting job right away?
A: Not at all. I am just excited to be a part of a great organization. I commit to the controllables, and the Giants thought enough of me to pick me tonight and I am just very thankful for the opportunity and I am looking forward to meeting teammates and getting in the playbook and being in the weight room and just develop relationships and be a great quarterback.
Q: When was the last time you were in New York?
A: It was a couple weeks ago. I visited the Jets, so that was the last time that I was in the area.
Q: What do you see as your greatest strengths as a quarterback?
A: I am not sure. I think that I have a couple things that I do a good job at, but at the same time there are so many rooms for improvement in my game. I think that I am a great leader – I was voted a captain at two different schools, so I would say that my leadership qualities are strong. I was a coach’s kid and the only two things that I focus on are being a great teammate and being a hard worker and I think everything else will play itself out.
Q: Was your father a quarterbacks coach?
A: Yes, he was. He is a head coach at Frisco Centennial down in Dallas.
Q: Are you home in Texas right now?
A: Yes, I was home for draft night in Prosper, Texas and I had my family over and a few close friends and we were all very excited when the New York Giants called my name tonight.
Q: You are going to have the luxury of time with the Giants. Do you view that as beneficial to you?
A: I don’t really know what that question entails. Again, I am very happy right now just to be selected to the NFL. I think that every kid wants this dream to happen, so right now I am thankful for the opportunity and I am looking forward to getting to work and being a good teammate.
Q: When did you get a sense tonight that the Giants were going to take you?
A: Again, I didn’t know which team would take me because there are 32 good ones out there. The New York Giants happened to select me tonight and I am very fired up for them and I am excited to be up there in New York very soon and get to work and learn the new playbook and try to develop into the quarterback that I think I can be.
Q: How much did the Giants come onto your radar during this process?
A: They were definitely on the radar. There were a lot of teams out there, but I am just very happy that the Giants selected me tonight and I am looking forward to getting up there.
Q: Did you talk to Coach McAdoo earlier and if so, what did he have to say?
A: Just welcomed me to the team and the organization. I am very blessed by that. I am very thankful to Coach McAdoo and the entire staff and I am looking forward to getting up there.
With the 23rd pick in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected 6’3”, 310-pound defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson from the University of Alabama.
SCOUTING REPORT: Fifth-year senior. Tomlinson is an average-sized tackle who is very strong and tough. He can hold the point-of-attack against the double-team block. He is an outstanding run defender who plays with with leverage. Can stack and shed and he is a sure tackler. Tomlinson is not a top-notch pass rusher, but he has good quickness and can push the pocket. Tomlinson is very smart and a high-character player who plays hard all of the time. Tore one ACL in 2011 and the other in 2013.
SY’56’s Take: “One of the more interesting and impressive kids in the class when it comes to the off the field story (both parents died before he was 18 years old). Tomlinson doesn’t have standout physical traits but you know you are getting a guy that will get the job done. While he is a different sized player than Linval Joseph, I feel he will have a similar impact early in his career. Just a reliable presence inside that makes guys around him better with the potential to blossom in to more. Really watch some Alabama tape and you’ll see him do things you didn’t think he could do. 2nd round is where I strongly consider him.”
MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)
Reese: Dalvin Tomlinson, defensive tackle, University of Alabama. Big guy that we think can come in and compete for a starting job for us. Create a lot of competition at that position. He’s a two-gap type player. He can hold the point of attack, has that NFL toughness that we like and the profile that we like. We thought he was a terrific pick right here right now at this point in the draft.
Q: Did this position become more of a need when Johnathan Hankins left in free agency?
A: Well, we’re just trying to pick good players. Obviously Hank left, so that created a little bit of a void. We’re just trying to pick good players. We stayed true to our board and he was the next man in line.
Q: Does the way that Landon Collins has worked out so far make you even more comfortable taking a guy from Alabama?
A: Well, Alabama has notoriously put out good players and Landon is a terrific player for us. We’re just trying to pick good players from wherever. Alabama has obviously been a top program. This guy is, like I said, NFL ready. He’s a big, tough guy. Big guy on the inside.
Q: How much have you interacted with him?
A: We interviewed him at the combine. He was one of the best interviews we thought out of the entire combine. He was one of the best guys we interviewed. He’s a New York Giant kind of player.
Q: What was so impressive about that?
A: I can’t remember everything because we interview so many guys. I just remember that he was impressive. When he left the room, everyone was like, ‘wow, that was pretty impressive.’
Q: Is he a guy that can bounce outside to defensive end as well?
A: No. He’s an inside player. He’s a two-gapper and can push the pocket inside. He’s an inside player.
Q: Was he close to being a first round pick?
A: I think some guys probably would’ve considered him as a first round pick. I think that, yes.
Q: You seem very comfortable with this format. Every three or four years you take a defensive lineman and get what you can out of him. Is that just the way it’s worked out?
A: That’s just the way it’s worked out. We would love to keep the player. Sometimes you can and sometimes you can’t. With the last two big guys we’ve had inside (Linval Joseph and Johnathan Hankins), we weren’t able to keep them. They moved on to a better situation for them. We’ve been able to draft some guys that have been able to come in and fill the gap for us.
Q: With an undergrad degree in finance, Dalvin is going for a second degree in financial planning in May. How proud does it make you that you guys have brought in someone smart both on the field and off the field?
A: We want him to play football. We don’t want him to do our taxes or anything like that. We want him to come in, stop that run and push that pocket so our defensive ends can get to the quarterback.
Q: You’re comfortable having two mainly run-stopping guys in the middle of the line?
A: Well, we think he can push the pocket inside. He’s violent with his hands inside. He’s got that NFL toughness that we like. He has the grown man strength inside. We think he can push the pocket for us inside.
Q: You like that though? The two guys that are run stuffers in the middle. Is that fair to say?
A: You have to stop the run up here. You have to rush the passer and you have to stop the run. I think he gives us a two-way guy.
Q: The one thing that sticks out in his bio is the two ACL’s. How much did you have to push him just to make sure?
A: Yes, that came into consideration for us. He’s played on those things for three years now. Our trainers and doctors were okay with him and didn’t think it would be an issue.
MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)
Q: Is this a guy that you guys feel can step right in and contribute?
A: For sure. It kind of reminded us – we kind of talked about the situation where when we had Linval (Joseph), the year we took him we kind of talked about him early and then he was there in the second for us and filled a void. Linval goes and then (Jonathan Hankins), we were really high on Hank and we talked about him early and he was there in the second round and we took Hank and he filled in. Both of those guys became pretty good players for us, so this was kind of a similar situation.
Q: So in four years you will be looking to replace him?
A: I hope not.
Q: Is there a guy that you can compare him to that is in the pros now?
A: No, he is himself. I don’t know. I am not that smart to kind of go off the top of my head. No, nobody jumps off right now.
Q: What about Hank? How similar or different is he to Tomlinson?
A: They are different players. I will just talk about Dalvin. Dalvin is strong, he is country strong, he has jolt, he has walk-back power, he is stout at the point of attack, he has sneaky athleticism and every down he plays hard. Every down.
Q: Was the knee injury a concern?
A: No, he has been three years and played and we have a great medical staff here that makes sure that we don’t take anybody that is a risk and they were good with him.
Q: What do you remember about the combine interview with him?
A: Man, Dalvin was one of the best definitely this year, but he will be a guy that you talk about for a long time. He was one of the more memorable ones that we have had. He was just smart, mature, poised, confident, just a man. He walked in the room and he had a commanding presence and as they say at Alabama, he is a man’s man. He was an ultimate leader there, guy you want in the foxhole and just really a leader for those guys. We hope that he brings some of those same attributes for us.
Q: Did all of that come through in the interview?
A: Yeah, well you knew about it coming in because all of our scouts do a great job throughout the year getting the information, and everything from Bama right from the start was, ‘Watch out for this guy, he is underrated. They have all these stars on the defense, but watch out for this guy.’ Sure enough, the guy is kind of the lynch pin of their defense and they are underrated, so you knew all of the positive things that they say and then when he comes in the room and talks – you will see when he gets here. The guy is pretty impressive.
Q: Was there one thing that he said that really stuck with you guys?
A: No, just the whole interview and the way he carried it to just talking about his life and then all the football things that we talked about.
Q: When you walk out of an interview like that, do you kind of think that you would love to make that pick at some point?
A: Yeah, you want all the boxes to check positive. I would say convergent validity from your scouts, from your interview, from the combine, from the fall and everything to kind of come together and he was one of the few guys that when we talked about him, it was all positive, from the area scouts, to the coaches, to myself, to Jerry (Reese), to Ben (McAdoo) and Chris Mara. Everyone said positive things. Now, did that mean he was the first pick in the draft? No. But I just mean that everything that we talked about Dalvin was positive with his profile. It was just one of the more impressive profiles on and off the field that you will see. It is what we like to call a clean profile.
Q: His NFL.com profile stated that he never played more than 45 percent of snaps in the season. Is that something that you look at?
A: I never knew that stat. I just know that at Alabama they rotate all of their guys in and out and they play. We just know that when he is in there and he is playing whatever role for us, but for them when he was in there he was doing the dirty work, getting the hidden production and just a grunt, tough guy in there.
Q: How important was it to bring in someone from Alabama who has that championship experience and was working under one of the best college coaches of all-time?
A: That is always a positive. Bama puts out good players. You are looking at 15 guys every year at Bama and you know that they get big-time recruits and that they have the pedigree and the profile, so when you are going there you have an expectation of what you are getting from players from that program.
Q: He has a pretty substantial wrestling background. Is that something that you look for in a defensive lineman?
A: If he can wrestle the offensive lineman down and make a tackle, yeah. But no, that just adds to his impressive profile, that the guy was a three-time state champion in wrestling.
Q: You mentioned last night that Engram was a clean profile guy. Does that factor into where you place players on your board?
A: Sure. Experience, positive off the field profile, those are the things that help out a player’s value on our draft board.
Q: Dalvin’s parents passed away. Was he raised by relatives?
A: Yeah, he had a group of people that kind of raised him. The things that he has been through in his life – he had to grow up fast and it shows in the way that he carries himself.
Q: You have been at Alabama every year. Is Tomlinson the kind of kid that you had an eye on the last couple of years?
A: No, he is a fifth year senior and kind of had to work his way up into the system there, so he wasn’t one of those ‘jump off the screen’ kind of guys when he was a young guy. They rotate so many guys in and out of there that you don’t know who is going to be the next one. But he earned his time on the field and he made the most of it.
Q: How important is it that he has that dirty production aspect?
A: I think that is a big thing that the coaches were looking for with whoever that fourth guy was in there because we have three studs on the defensive line, I think. So the next guy – he can kind of come in there and learn from those guys and play his role, there are not a lot of big expectations and just go play.
McAdoo: Very good profile, pro ready, excited. I’ll open it up.
Q: Jerry said it was a pretty memorable interview at the combine.
A: Yes, he did a nice job in the interview. He knew the football very well, great personality, he’ll fit in well in the room.
Q: Is that a thing where you test him on plays or something like that?
A: Yes, we have some different things we like to take them through, different exercises and he did a nice job.
Q: When you consider bringing guys into the defensive line room, do you think about the big personalities, big players when you look at that defensive line with a guy who can really fit in with a OV (Olivier Vernon), JPP (Jason Pierre-Paul)?
A: I think the interview just kind of confirms some things. You see him on tape, (he) plays at a high level, he’s pro-ready, plays with a good pace, uses his hands very well, which is something you don’t get with a lot of guys coming out of college and do it very well. He’s not just a run stopper, he has some transition rush skills, which is nice on first and second down. He has some versatility there to.
Q: Not everybody does, but how much do you like having the two 300-plus pounders together in the middle that can both stop the run and how beneficial do you view that combo together?
A: I like third and long. That’s a good place to start, with your defensive tackles.
Q: Do you draft a guy like Tomlinson thinking about the fact that you play a team like Dallas in your division twice a year that’s going to be running the ball for a while?
A: Just value in big guys. It’s where he was on the board, but you have to stop the run. That’s the foundation in this game. One of the core parts of this game is stopping the run, getting teams into third down and long so you can rush the passer and disrupt the quarterback.
Q: How do you view this move as the Johnathan Hankins replacement?
A: We lost a good player, Hank moved on. Dalvin was at the top of the board, so we picked him.
Q: Is it difficult to evaluate a guy like him when he has so many good players around him?
A: You just watch his fundamentals; grade him off of his fundamentals. They produce some good players down there at Alabama, but they play good players as well. You see good players throughout the SEC, so he’s battle-tested.
Q: How similar or different is his skill-set from a guy like Hankins?
A: They’re two different players. He has some versatility, he can play a little nose, a little three (technique), possibly some five technique or some four technique based on the scheme.
Q: Coach, two picks so far, two players from the SEC, what does it say about that conference that you guys have gone there twice now?
A: They must have some good players because they were at the top of the board twice.
MEDIA Q&A WITH DALVIN TOMLINSON:
Q: What was your reaction when you got the call from the Giants?
A: I was excited. My family was excited with me. Everyone was happy for the most part.
Q: Was this about where you thought you would go for the most part?
A: I wasn’t sure where I was going. I was just waiting and being patient, to be honest.
Q: What do you remember most from your interview with the Giants at the combine?
A: I remember just critiquing myself a lot. I told them about my life story and everything. I’ve been through a lot of adversity in my career at Alabama and also in high school. I always fought through it and just wanted to become one of the best competitors on the team.
Q: Do you feel that you’re NFL ready?
A: Yes, I feel like I’m ready for the NFL.
Q: Dalvin, are you particularly excited to play with Landon Collins after the year he had and with a defense that led the Giants back to the playoffs last season?
A: Yes, I’m super excited to see Landon again. The Giants defense is an amazing defense. I love the play calls and the scheme they run. I feel like I’m going to be a perfect fit for their defense.
Q: Has Landon reached out to you?
A: I’ve been getting a lot of texts and calls. I haven’t seen anything from Landon yet, but I’m pretty sure he has.
Q: Can you just get us up to speed on your background?
A: I grew up in Georgia. I was a three tournament wrestler. State championship in high school. Just have been through a lot of adversity. My mom passed going into my senior year. I pushed through it and it motivated me to become a better football player and person. I used that at Alabama and try to continue to get better each and every day. It paid off for me.
Q: Your father had previously died?
A: Yes, he passed when I was five years old.
Q: Who are you gathered with right now that is closest to you?
A: My brother, my aunts, uncles and cousins. Family friends and all the coaches from high school and even park ball that have been coaching me through my whole life.
Q: Is part of that adversity going through two ACL surgeries?
A: Yes, it is. Coming into college with a torn ACL and then also having a second one and still being able to get back onto the field. Most defensive linemen probably wouldn’t have been able to come back from it the way I did. Also, to fight through it each and every day was tough on me at first. I just kept fighting through it each and every day and it ended up working out in the long run. I’m grateful for it because everything happens for a reason.
Q: How would you characterize your pass rushing skills?
A: I feel like I’m a great pass rusher. I haven’t been in the position to show it off a lot. I feel like I’m an even greater run stopper but I have a very good pass rush game.
Q: I think I read that you could’ve gone to Harvard. Was that right and a serious consideration?
A: Yes, that’s right. I was pretty much considered a nerd coming out of high school. Harvard was in consideration for me because academics was a big thing in my life.
Q: Were you a soccer goalie?
A: I was a goalie and I played striker, also.
A: I know, right.
Q: How many red cards did you pick up?
A: I didn’t pick up any in a few years. I’m surprised just like you are. I thought I was going to get a lot more red cards.
Q: You played soccer in high school?
A: Yes, I played up to my senior year, right before I got to Alabama.
Q: Soccer and football are in different seasons in Georgia, right?
A: Yes. Soccer is in the spring and football is in the fall in Georgia.
Q: At Alabama you wrestled teammates in the locker room all the time right?
A: Yes, for the most part.
Q: How much are you looking forward to joining this defensive line here? They have a couple good players.
A: I’m pretty excited. They can teach me a lot of things from the defensive line standpoint. I’m blessed to have people like that at the program already.
Q: How familiar are you with that defensive line already and the fact that you’re the replacement of Hankins?
A: I haven’t gotten to meet them personally but I’m pretty sure when we get there we’re going to have a pretty good relationship and build an even stronger brotherhood. They’re going to mentor me and become a better defensive line.
With the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected 6’3”, 234-pound tight end Evan Engram of the University of Mississippi.
SCOUTING REPORT: Engram was a four-year starter at the University of Mississippi. He’s not built like a traditional tight end, more like an H-Back/wide receiver ‘tweener. The strength of Engram’s game is catching the football. He creates mismatches because of his combination of size and athletic ability. Engram is quick and fast. He runs good routes and is a natural pass receiver with a good catch radius. Engram is a vertical threat down the seam of a defense. He also runs well after the catch. Engram is committed to the game and a hard worker. While Engram works hard at his blocking, he lacks the frame to ever be a significant factor as an in-line blocking tight end.
SY’56’s Take: “During the grading process, I thought there was a legit shot Engram would finish atop (the tight end) list. He was close and to be honest, these two (David Njoku and Engram) may be back to back on the overall big board. If Njoku is gone and Engram ends up being the pick, I wouldn’t be disappointed one bit. Engram is essentially a top tier speed WR that weighs 234 pounds. While he is a notch or two below as a blocker from most of these guys, he still got the job done in the SEC against linebackers consistently. In terms of what his role would be long term, think of how the Redskins use Jordan Reed. He has that kind of ability, if not more.”
MEDIA Q&A WITH GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE: (Video)
Reese: Evan Engram, tight end, H-back, Ole Miss. We think that this guy can be a dynamic weapon in our offense. Obviously he has great speed for the position – we think that he can be a matchup nightmare for teams trying to cover him with linebackers and safeties, so he was a guy that we liked a lot. Our coaches liked him a lot and it seems like they can use him in our offense in a lot of different ways and we think that with this addition as a fast receiver down the middle along with some of the other receivers we have, that we can help the offense out some. I will take any questions.
Q: Did you try and trade up for O.J. Howard?
Q: Did you try and trade up for anybody?
A: I am not going to talk about – do you want to talk about our pick or not? We are not talking about who we tried to trade up for.
Q: Did you value his big play ability over a tight end that was maybe more well-rounded as a blocker?
A: I don’t think that any of the tight ends block that great in this draft. Most tight ends in these receiving offenses in college these days are not true to what we call, wide, wide type receivers, end of the line guys. Most of these guys are H-back types and we think that he is a tough, hardnosed, H-back type blocker, yeah.
Q: What is his comparison to a Reed or Gronkowski
A: Well, we see him as a weapon. You guys can talk to our coaches. I think Ben will come in here and see you guys a little bit later, but we see him as a weapon and we will take all of the weapons that we can get.
Q: How do you make sense of his skillset when he doesn’t have the blocking aspect?
A: Like I just said, I think that the tight ends that come out of the offenses nowadays, these college offenses, these guys are more H-back type players. He is not a traditional end of the line tight end, but we think that he can do things in the blocking game. He is big, he is fast, he has big hands, he is smart, he will help you on special teams – he is a well-rounded, versatile football player.
Q: You added Brandon Marshall. This guy is similar in size, right?
A: I don’t think Brandon is – what does Brandon weigh? Brandon is a big man, I can tell you that. But this guy, we are calling him a tight end. You guys can call him an H-back, call him whatever you want to call him.
Q: Do you see him as a guy that is going to be in the slot?
A: You guys can talk to Ben about that. We see him as a guy that can line up anywhere at any of the receiver positions, tight end, in the slot, outside – he can line up anywhere.
Q: How do you think the first round played out?
A: Well, it played out just like most first rounds. This draft was a little different because we thought that guys would come off of the board all over the place and it did that. There were a lot of uncertainties about a lot of players with respect to some off the field issues, some injury issues, different issues like most drafts have, but I don’t think that anyone was surprised about anything that happened.
Q: In the media and mock drafts, Engram was a guy that people saw as a second rounder or late first. What do you think was the difference between what you guys saw in him compared to the mock drafts?
A: Well, we liked him because, again, we feel like he is a weapon in the offense. We think that this guy can be a weapon and he is versatile and you can use him in a lot of different ways and our coaches are extremely excited about getting a guy like this in our offense.
Q: Reuben Foster was on the board. Is that a guy that you didn’t target because of his off the field issues?
A: Well, we had (Engram) in a good spot and we picked him and I am not at liberty to talk about what we have working right now. (Foster) is still on the board.
Q: With the receivers that you have, does that help your offensive linemen because you have quick guys that can get open faster?
A: We hope so. We hope that everyone we pick can help our offense in some kind of way, so we feel that this guy can come in and again, you play two-high safety in this league and if you have a guy who can stretch the defense down the middle, we think that is a tremendous weapon for the offense.
Q: You struggled to score points last year. How important was it to get an offensive weapon in this draft early on?
A: Yeah, we are just trying to help the offense any way we can and help our team anyway we can, so that is important for us, just to get a good football player and we think that we got a tremendous football player.
Q: Was this just not a year that you felt an offensive lineman in the first round was going to work?
A: There are some offensive linemen that we think are good football players, but we stay true to our board and we picked the best player that was up there.
Q: How do you think that Evan Engram fits in with your current set of tight ends?
A: That is a good question for Coach McAdoo. We think that he is just a dynamic football player who will help our team. You guys can talk to Coach McAdoo about how they plan on using him, but he has a skillset that you can use him in a lot of different ways and I am sure that coaches will be creative in using him that way.
Q: Do you think he is a guy that will open up the red zone?
A: I think that he opens up a lot of things. We just feel like – Jordan Reed is a good example of a tight end that is hard to handle, one of those undersized tight ends that is hard to handle for linebackers and safeties and this guy is probably cut in that same kind of cloth and this guy is really fast. This is a fast, receiving tight end.
Q: You mentioned the two-high safety look as something that you struggled against last year. Is this pick kind of a response to that?
A: Again, we think he will help us. That is for sure. We think that if you can stretch that two-high safety look with speed down the middle and you have speed on the outside, I think that helps us.
MEDIA Q&A WITH VICE PRESIDENT OF PLAYER EVALUATION MARC ROSS: (Video)
Q: Was he your top tight end on your board?
Q: The way you guys viewed him, was it a situation where you walked in this morning and you thought there would be a pretty good chance that Engram would end up being your guy?
A: We talk about a lot of different scenarios, a lot of different players being in position to take at 23 and he was one of those guys.
Q: Very few tight ends combine blocking and receiving, how do you differentiate between guys who are primarily pass catchers at that position? What separates one ahead of another?
A: Well you have to see their skillset, their speed, their hands, their body control, their routes, their feel for the game, so those are the things you look for in a receiving tight end. Evan lines up a bunch of different places; they used him a lot of different ways, so he just seems to have a natural feel as a receiving tight end.
Q: The size and speed of tight ends these days is a lot different from what it used to be, does this go along with what the Giants’ plan for what the offense will be?
A: You have to ask [Head Coach] Ben [McAdoo] about if he’s a part of the plan, but from a scouting prospective he was a playmaker. He was a versatile playmaker, very athletic guy, clean off the field, and checked all the boxes as far as things we look for in a quality player.
Q: If you look at his numbers, he had a big jump last season. Anything happen?
A: I think they just used him more in the offense. He was a senior, you rarely see seniors anymore, he just grew as a player, he got better, they used him more and I think they both benefited, Ole Miss and Evan.
Q: David Njoku was another tight end that was on the board at the same time, what differentiated the two in your opinion?
A: I won’t talk about Njoku versus what we liked about Evan. What we liked about Evan was his versatility, his feel for the game, his polish, his hands, his route running and his experience. Those were the things that we really liked about him.
Q: Was part of it adding another game breaker, home run hitter type to compliment Odell [Beckham Jr.] and to just give you more explosiveness that way?
A: Anytime you can get somebody who can make first downs and score touchdowns, that helps out the offense. It helps everybody out. The coaches are really excited to add a guy like this. The more weapons you have, the harder you are to defend, and hopefully it will come to fruition like that.
Q: He’s called a tight end. The way football is played now, is he more of a weapon than tight end?
A: He’s not going to line up on the line and just try to drive block people all the time. He’s going to be in the backfield, he’s going to be in the slot, he’s going to be detached. He will be down at the traditional tight end position sometimes as well, but the way Ole Miss used him he could line up at four or five different positions. He has that versatility, he has the smarts to do that, so I would envision that we would use him in a similar fashion because that’s a benefit that he has.
Q: Do you see any Jordan Reed in him, [SVP & GM] Jerry [Reese] mentioned him.
A: You can see the similarities, he’s [Evan] an inch taller, Jordan was 10 pounds heavier, this guy ran a lot faster, but the way they were used, yes, very similar.
Q: Did you time him yourself?
A: Evan? No, I let my scouts do it. I just write it down and chart it. I’m too old for that.
Q: Is his speed comparable to some receivers?
A: Yes, besides John Ross, he was one of the fastest guys as far as a receiver or tight end. He might have been the second fastest guy. The receivers that were taken in the top ten, one [Corey Davis] didn’t work out and he ran faster than the other one [Mike Williams]. He was about the second fastest guy as far as the skill positions on offense.
Q: [Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo] Spags calls it basketball on grass sometimes, do you guys in the personnel department look at the tight end position maybe a little bit differently now? Do you have to do that because of the way the game is played?
A: Yeah, you just don’t see it anymore, traditional tight ends in college. It’s rare to actually see a guy line up and do that. The way the game is played in college, it’s spread out and they’re catching the ball and just chucking it around sometimes. I think we’ll see more and more of these guys if they have the athletic ability, the feel, the smarts, all that stuff that you do.
Q: Do you find is unusual to see two or three tight ends taken in the 1st round?
A: No, nothing surprises me. Going through the process, you knew who the good players were and you had a good idea of where they were going to go, so it didn’t surprise me.
Q: You signed Rhett Ellison before this, is that a good complement? First a guy who can block and now this a guy…?
A: Seems to be. In theory, yes, it looks like that. Hopefully it plays out that way.
Q: Did his 40 time open your eyes even more than they had been with him?
A: Yeah, he was fast, but nobody expects the guy to run 4.42 at that size. You just never would’ve thought that. You think the guy would run a 4.5, 4.6, or something like that, but for a guy to jump out there and run a 4.42, it was shocking. It didn’t push him up on the board anymore, it didn’t change the perspective, the reports were in with what he could do with his skillset and that just added another positive value to his profile.
Q: Can he line up on the edge and drive guys, like a traditional tight end?
A: We’ll see.
Q: What was your impression with the way the first round played out in general?
A: You go in the draft and you always expect the unexpected and right from the start, there were some unexpected things that happened and you don’t know what it is but you just wait for it to happen and it did. 32 draft boards, 32 teams, they got it all different.
Q: The offensive line crop was historically shallow based on the number of players picked in the first round, did that kind of match up with your evaluation of that class coming into the draft?
A: We had some guys we liked, we had some guys we didn’t like and we’ll see.
Q: Not to hammer home the Jordan Reed thing, but when you have a player and you go against a player and you see how difficult it is to defend against that profile, does that add…?
A: You always draw comparisons when you play a guy. DeSean Jackson leaves Philadelphia and goes to Washington, aww man, come on. So, of course, when you play against a guy twice a year, it’s more on your mind, but you don’t look and say we need to get that kind of guy. It’s just when you’re talking about the process, you bring up the comparison.
McAdoo: Excited to add Evan Engram to the mix. Talented player out of Ole Miss. Length, speed, playmaker, special teams contributor. We’re excited to add him to the mix and hit the ground running with him.
Q: He has drawn comparisons to Jordan Reed, a big tight end/receiver type. Do you envision him to be that kind of player that can play multiple positions within the offense?
A: Yes. He played multiple positions at Ole Miss. I think we can bring him up and move him around a little bit. He needs to play special teams out of the gate and move him into our offense to see what he can handle. Push him that way.
Q: Where do you think he is as a blocker?
A: I think he’s a willing striker. We need to refine his fundamentals. He does what he’s asked to do in their offense and does it well at a high level. We have some things that we’re going to have to work on with him.
Q: Does he have that competitive nature?
A: Yes, he’s a competitor.
Q: Is he more of a slot weapon to you as opposed to a guy that’s going to be in line with bodies?
A: Again, we’ll get him here and play with him in a variety of ways but he’ll play with his hand on the ground.
Q: Because of that flexibility, what does that do for you as a play caller?
A: The fastest way to the end zone is down the middle of the field. Anytime you can add someone to your offense that can run down the middle of the field with that type of speed and length, it stresses the defense.
Q: The consensus was that the top TE in the draft went a few picks before you. Was there any thought in your mind to try and push to go get him?
A: I’m not going to talk about any of those strategies.
Q: Do you feel that Engram can make an impact in the run game?
Q: How much contact, if any, did you have with him during the pre-draft process?
Q: How surprised were you entering today that this is the way it turned out?
A: Nothing surprises you. You just go in and take it one pick at a time. See who’s on the board, a top guy on the board. You have to be confident. It’s all about doing the work going into the process. Trusting what you do, trusting your work, trusting the group, trusting the room.
Q: Did you like that Foster was there? Were there two or three guys you were looking at that were still available.
A: I think there were a lot of good players still left on the board.
Q: Does Engram have good yards after catch ability?
A: I think he’s a threat after the catch, yes.
Q: Did you see him as the best player available there or was he the best player for the need?
A: I saw him as the best available player.
Q: How much did you look at him before the draft?
A: I spent a lot of time on him. Just like a lot of scouts, other coaches and personnel people. I spent a lot of time.
Q: What was it that stuck out to you when watching him?
A: I think he’s a guy that’s played multiple positions. He has special teams versatility. He has some snap to him, snap to his body as a blocker. He’s willing as a blocker. Again, the speed just jumps off the tape. The yards after a catch just jumps off the tape at you.
Q: How does he fit in with the current set of tight ends you have now?
A: We’re going to put him in the room, teach him the offense and get on down the road. Again, we’re just adding another player to the mix. A good player that has a lot of potential.
Q: In going to Ole Miss, does he know Eli?
A: That’s a better question for Eli.
Q: With the addition of him, Marshall and Ellison, how much versatility does that give you going into next season?
A: We’re very happy with the players we’ve added to the tight end room and very happy with the players we have in the tight end room. It does give us some versatility and some flexibility. We need to get them all together. We haven’t hit the field yet; we need to hit the field.
MEDIA Q&A WITH EVAN ENGRAM:
Q: How does it feel?
A: I can’t put it into words. Honestly, I dreamed of playing for a couple of teams. I had it in my mind and New York was at the top. This is an amazing feeling. I’m so blessed. I can’t even find the words to describe it. I’m just very thankful and blessed to be a part of just this night. I have my family and friends. It’s a real blessing. I feel really blessed.
Q: Were you surprised when you got the call from the Giants?
A: I sat here and I saw it was Miami the pick before and New York just a little bit above it. I was just like, alright let’s see, Miami could call and New York could call. As soon as the Miami pick went in, I got the call. I saw the city under the number and I knew it. I wasn’t expecting it. I felt that it was coming but it was just, I was kind of surprised by it but I felt it in my dreams.
Q: Do you feel you are ready to come in and make an immediate impact?
A: I know I’m ready to come in and make an immediate impact. I know for a fact. I’ve been watching the Giants, they’re on TV all the time. I sit down and watch them, especially this past year. I’ve been really analyzing teams and certain offenses. The Giants have been missing a piece like me. They have a great quarterback and I think Tye, 45, was great for them. I felt that I could be another more dynamic piece at that role. I just always felt that they would look at a guy like me to come in and contribute. I know my skillset. I’m confident in my game and how hard I work. Just the weapons around me, I can’t wait to come in and contribute. Learn from all those guys and take advantage of the opportunity to be a great player for this team.
Q: Being a fellow Ole Miss alum, has Eli Manning reached out to you before or after this process?
A: No, I haven’t talked to him before. He texted me after they announced it and everything. He told me to enjoy the moment and that he’s looking forward to getting to work with me. I just told him thank you. He said he’ll be in contact to catch up in a couple of days. He hit me up after the pick went in.
Q: Have you ever met him?
A: Yes. He’s always around Ole Miss in the offseason. There’s been a couple of times I’ve caught a couple of balls for him. Just servicing him and running some routes that he needed. It kind of manifested in those moments I guess, this moment right here. I can’t wait to play with him, learn from him and just be a great player for this team.
Q: All along did you expect to be a first-round pick?
A: I knew I deserved to be and I knew I should be. It’s just what I bring to the table. I’m so dynamic and so confident in myself. I’m not trying to be cocky or anything because that’s 100 percent not it. I’m just really confident in what I can bring to a team. I definitely believe that I should’ve gotten a call in the first round and that someone was getting one of the most dynamic players and best players in the draft. I knew that I should be and I was just praying that I was. I came back for my senior year and that was one of my goals to solidify a first round pick. God has led me through all of this and to hear that tonight with the New York Giants, I knew that it was going to happen, I knew it should happen and I’m blessed that it did.
Q: Do you feel you can be effective in the slot or at wide receiver?
A: Yes. I feel like I can be a threat anywhere. I definitely have a lot to learn. Being out wide, I didn’t do it as much in college so I’m definitely ready to learn more about that, but in the slot, attached, in the backfield I feel like I can be a threat anywhere. I can’t wait to just get in there, learn, work and earn my way up into the offense and into making plays. Yes, I know I think I can be a threat anywhere around the ball.
Q: Do you create mismatch problems for the defense?
A: Yes, I guess from a coach’s standpoint, they love to move me around to make those mismatches. I know that my coaches at Ole Miss did and I kind of get excited when I see some big linebacker that is trying to man me up or some big safeties with bad hips – I just get excited when I see those guys trying to man me up. I do feel like I am a mismatch problem and I guess I am a huge plus for an offensive coordinator to have.
Q: You played in the SEC, which is regarded by many as the best conference in the country. How do you think playing in the conference prepared you for the NFL?
A: Man, look at the numbers that the SEC puts into the league. We are playing the best players in the country every week and just game planning for that, practicing for that and competing with that, it definitely helps us translate to the NFL. Just look at the numbers and it proves it. So just playing the likes of LSU and the Bama’s and the Arkansas’ and Auburn’s and Georgia’s and there are just so many athletes and so many talents make their way to the league from those schools – it definitely gives me an advantage going into the league and playing some more against some of the best athletes in the world.
Q: Where are you right now and who are you watching the draft with?
A: I am in my hometown, Powder Springs, Georgia, with all of my best friends, my family, people who have helped me get to this point, and it was tough because I got invited to the draft and I was torn because I wasn’t sure if I was going first round and that was the only way I wanted to go, so I decided to stay home. I couldn’t be more excited just being around my people and where everything started, it is just a huge moment. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change one thing.
Q: You have gotten some comparisons to Jordan Reed of Washington. How does that make you feel?
A: I have been looking up to him for so long. He was such a huge talent at Florida that I didn’t think got used enough, so when he got to Washington and got used to his abilities, he has been doing such great things in the league. So just watching him and studying him and I would love to work with him some day because he is such a threat, so savvy with his routes and so precise and he gets physical after the catch. Being compared to that is what I want. I want to be better than him, but that is going to be a tough task. But being compared to him and being able to bring to the table what he does for a team like the Giants is a blessing.
Q: How much contact did you have with the Giants during the pre-draft process?
A: Honestly, not that much. I talked to them at the Senior Bowl briefly; I talked with them at the Combine. I didn’t have any visits with them; no workouts and it just really came out of nowhere. I kind of felt myself being a threat there and being a possibility there, but it really came out of nowhere. I didn’t talk to them as much, but I kind of felt that they had their eye on me, so I guess it worked out.
GIANTS PICKING UP OPTION ON ODELL BECKHAM, JR… The NFL Network is reporting that the New York Giants will pick up the fifth-year option on wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.’s rookie contract. That means that Beckham will not become a free agent until after the 2018 NFL season. Beckham will earn $1,839,027 in salary in 2017 ($3,311,063 overall cap hit, including prorated signing bonus), but will now see his salary spike to about $8,000,000 in 2018.
Beckham is one of the game’s best players and had another stellar season in his third year, starting all 16 regular-season games and finishing with 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns. In his first three seasons, Beckham has accrued 288 catches for 4,122 yards and 35 touchdowns in 43 regular-season games. Beckham’s accolades already include Pro Football Writers of America “Rookie of the Year” (2014), second-team All-Pro (2015, 2016), and Pro Bowl (2014, 2015, 2016). All of this despite constant double teams by opposing defenses.
The @Giants are picking up Odell Beckham Jr's fifth-year option. I'd guess announcement before start of draft Thursday. Deadline is May 3.
GENERAL MANAGER JERRY REESE’S PRE-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese held his annual pre-draft press conference on Thursday. The following is the transcript from the event (video is also available courtesy of Giants.com):
Reese: Good afternoon. It is draft time again. The scouts are very excited about their game day. Marc Ross and Chris Mara and all of our scouts, Kevin Abrams, all those guys are in our draft room trying to finalize our draft board and get ready for the big day. So I am ready for any questions that you guys might have.
Q: Who have you decided on?
A: We decided that we are going to take our pick at 23.
Q: Has what you have done in free agency given you some flexibility with what you can do in the draft?
A: Well, you always take that into consideration with what you have on your roster right now, but going into the draft, like I say every year, we just go in there trying to pick the best players available when we are on the clock and we will continue to use that pattern.
Q: I don’t think you have ever traded in the first round. Is there a reason for that and what is your philosophy?
A: If we have an opportunity to trade in the first round, we will do that. But right now, we will just kind of let the board fall like it does and if we feel like we want to move up to get somebody, then we will move. It costs to move up, though. If you are going to move up, then you are going to give up a lot of draft picks to move up. Even if you move up just a couple of spots, you have to give up some draft picks to do that and we like taking our picks, but if there is somebody up there that we love and we think we can move up to get, then we will keep those options open.
Q: Do you still feel like you need some help on the offensive line, whether that is early or late in the draft?
A: We feel like we can use help anywhere, at any position. We just want to create a lot of competition at every position going into the training camp, so we are going to try and upgrade at every position like we always do and offensive line is definitely a spot that we would like to upgrade as well.
Q: When you go back and look at where things stood at the combine to now, has there been that much movement as far as guys surprising you?
A: Our scouts are on top of all of these guys. At the combine, a lot of people are just now learning about these guys, but our scouts already know these people, so we don’t have a lot of surprises. Every now and then you have a couple surprises, a guy could jump up quickly out of nowhere and you have to do some extra work on him, but for the most part we don’t have a lot of surprises going into the draft.
Q: How much do you weigh what they did in college versus this three to four month process?
A: Yeah, we try to put it all together. We look at what the players do on the field. We grade the players on the field. The gymnastics stuff that they do during the combine is part of the equation, but we look at these guys as football players first and we just go on our experience as scouts and try to look at the player more than what the gymnastic numbers say. But that is part of the equation as well.
Q: D.J. Fluker is a guy who came in with 1st round pedigree. Is he someone that you think still has that potential?
A: Well, we hope so. D.J. is going to come in and battle for a position just like everyone else on the squad and hopefully the change of address and just a new scene for him will re-energize him and I know he wants to prove that he is still a number one type talent and we are looking forward to giving him the opportunity.
Q: Do you see him as better at guard or tackle?
A: Yeah, coming out, we thought he could play both. We thought that he had some versatility. We thought he could play tackle, we thought he could play guard. I think he is going to get an opportunity. I am not the coach, Coach McAdoo will make the decision of where he plays, but we think he has some versatility to play guard or tackle.
Q: At the end of last season, you spoke about considering a position change for Ereck Flowers. At this point, do you see him as the left tackle?
A: Again, it is spring and it is a long time before we play. In the spring we will experiment with different lineups and situations with our offensive line, so it is a long way to go. That is to be determined later by Ben and the coaching staff, but we will tinker with a lot of things in the spring.
Q: Despite always looking for the best available player, when you look at last season, there clearly has to be some areas that you need more help.
A: Of course. You are always trying to tie best player available with what our needs are.
Q: Do you ever do that?
A: We do it a lot. Sometimes it falls that way as this is the best player available and also ties into value and need as well. We try to tie them both together, but we are not going to reach for guys just because we think it is a need position for us.
Q: Does that tie into the cost of moving up?
A: Yeah, all of it ties into the cost of moving up.
Q: You have been in a lot of drafts. Last year there were two guys that you liked a lot that teams traded up in front of you to get. Does that make you more aggressive this year so that that won’t happen again?
A: We liked all the players that got picked in front of us last year. You are saying there were two guys, but there were a lot of guys we liked in front of us. So are you going to move up every time just because you like somebody? You pick where you are for a reason. We are at 23. We had a decent season, so we are picking farther back in the draft. If you don’t play well, then you pick up front. But again, if there is someone up there that we love, that we have to have and we are dying for and we are willing to give up our draft picks to move up to get him, then we are open to doing that.
Q: Does it get muddy when you are looking at guys who are potential late 1st round and early second round picks?
A: You never know. You never know how the players are going to come off of the board. You look at this draft and you have five or six blue chip players and then you have the second level of your first round guys and you never know how they are going to come off. Some people may see them a little different than how we like them. When you are picking later in the draft, you just kind of have to sit and wait and let somebody just start to fall and you are like, ‘Let’s move up and get this guy if we really love him that much.’ But again, if you do that, then you are going to give up draft picks and we don’t like to do that.
Q: Do you have 23 names in your first row?
A: We have 32 names in the first row. That is why we call them rows. They are not all first round picks, but they are in the first row.
Q: How many players have a draftable grade on your board?
A: I am not going to talk about how many players have draftable grades, guys.
Q: Do you consider the depth chart as one of the tools in your decision-making?
A: We are just picking the best players available. We have players on our board, we have all of our players on our team currently on the board as well to see how they fit, but we are just trying to pick the best player available when we are on the clock.
Q: With Johnathan Hankins going to the Colts, how do you rate defensive tackle in terms of depth and potential need?
A: We think that, obviously, Snacks is a good player there. We have Bromley, we have Robert (Thomas), so we have a couple more guys that we expect to step up and help fill that void and obviously we will continue to look at free agency and we will look in the draft to see if we can add some depth to that position too.
Q: Were you surprised that Hankins left?
A: No, I am never surprised about anything during free agency. Money talks and we are happy for Hank. We are big Hank fans around here and we wish him well.
Q: In 2007, your draft led to a Super Bowl title. Do you look at this year’s crop and this draft in general as something that can be a key component in building a championship team this year?
A: We hope so. We hope that the kids that we draft in this draft will help supplement the needs that we have on the roster and hopefully we can get some players in here out of this draft that can help us get over the top.
Q: You said at the end of the year that Eli was on the back nine of his career. How did you go about looking at quarterbacks this year? Was it any different from the past?
A: Not really. We evaluate everybody the same every year, regardless of what we are looking for and what we think we need and where we think the depth should come from. We are giving everybody a fair assessment as we go through all the players and we grade everyone the same, whether you are from a big school, a small school, if you are short or if you are tall, it doesn’t matter. We give everyone the same degree of consideration.
Q: Did you find yourself looking more at quarterbacks this year?
A: Myself personally? I probably looked at more quarterbacks this time then I did at other times, but there are only so many guys that you can look at. You can ask Marc Ross about anybody from any school and he can tell you in two seconds because he sees all the players and evaluates all of them. Obviously it is hard for me to evaluate every single player.
Q: When you are looking for the successor for Eli, is Geno (Smith) a candidate?
A: Well, Geno is on the roster and is going to have a fair share to compete just like everyone else. He is excited about being here and we are excited to have him and he is going to come in and compete just like everybody else, so we will see where that goes.
Q: Have you decided if you are going to exercise the fifth-year option on Odell?
A: We are going to discuss that when the time gets closer. We will keep all of our options open with respect to that.
Q: You had some critical comments about him at the end of the season. How do you think he has responded to that?
A: You guys called it critical. I don’t think it was critical. I think some of you guys framed it as critical, but I didn’t see it that way.
Q: Critiqued maybe. How do you think he responded to the general message?
A: Again, I think he is a guy that hears what we are saying and like John (Mara) said, ‘We are not worried about Odell.’ He is a young kid, he is growing up every day and we think that he is going to continue being a tremendous football player and a tremendous representative of our organization here.
Q: At the owners meeting, Ben McAdoo said that Geno compares favorably to the quarterbacks in this class. Does that change what you guys might do next week at quarterback?
Q: How do you personally evaluate this team’s draft performance over the last three or four years?
A: It is not my job to do that. You guys can do that. We go in every year and do our best to draft the best players available and try to develop the kids that we get on the roster, so if you win, it is a good draft and if you don’t win, then it is a bad draft. You guys can evaluate that. I am not here to talk about how we are evaluating what the drafts are.
Q: If you take a quarterback next week, I am sure that you hope he doesn’t play soon, but how do you weigh taking a pick higher in the draft that is going to be a developmental guy?
A: Again, you just take the best player available and however he fits on roster – if you take a quarterback high, if you take him in the seventh round, wherever you take him, you hope that everything falls right for them. If they have to play, you hope it is the right time for them to play. But if you are worrying about when is he going to play, when is he not going play, you might miss out on the right player. You just have to take the best player available.
Q: Isn’t quarterback different though?
A: Yeah, but again, everyone has to get picked somewhere. Last year Prescott got picked and people didn’t regard him highly and he played tremendous. He was at the right place at the right time, got the right opportunity and he did a very nice job for them.
Q: Would you rule out drafting a first round quarterback?
A: We will keep all of our options open.
Q: If you draft a quarterback this year, do you think they will need two or three years to sit and develop behind Eli?
A: Again, who knows what will happen. If you draft a quarterback in the first or second round, if Eli gets hurt and we don’t have a quarterback that is ready to go and you have a quarterback on the roster, you have to get them ready to play. That is the coaches’ job to do that, it is our job to have somebody waiting in the wings to play, so you just never know. We think that Eli has some good years left to play for us and we are trying to put good people around him as well and hopefully the offense can pick up the pace more than last year.
Q: Do you agree with the consensus that the quarterbacks in this class all could use time to sit and develop?
A: That is what you say every year. It is hard to bring guys right out of college, and to play up here is such a different game and the college game is a lot different now, so it is hard for guys to just jump in and play up here right away. But we have seen guys do it, but I think you have to limit what they do and you can’t give them everything at the beginning.
Q: As you personally look at this draft of quarterbacks, where is your determining factor on if a certain player can be your guy for the future?
A: Well, again, we look at what their skillset is and we look at what we like to do and see how many guys have that skillset and what part of the draft can they be possible picks for us if we decide to pick one.
Q: What is Ben’s involvement in the draft process?
A: Just like always, all of our coaches are part of the process and everyone has an opinion on who we take, so he is a big part of it, like every coach has been here.
Q: But you have the final decision?
A: It is our decision. If it doesn’t work out, then it is my decision.
Q: Have you ever looked back at a draft pick and admitted to no one but yourself that you made a mistake?
A: Plenty of times. You don’t get all of them right. I don’t think anyone is batting 1.000 picking players. But yeah, plenty of times.
Q: How do you factor age into drafting players?
A: That is not a big issue for us. If a guy is 24 or 25, that is still super young.
Q: How has the role of the tight end changed since this team picked one in the first round with Shockey?
A: I think it is whatever your offensive coordinator is, what your head coach’s philosophy is, and I think that is what determines what your tight end role is. You look at different teams and tight ends are a big part of what they do and you look at us and we haven’t been a two tight end kind of offense under Ben. But we do feel like a tight end could come in and help us. We brought (Rhett) Ellison in to be part of that equation of helping the run game, and I think he is a very capable receiving as well, so there are some good tight ends in the draft, we believe. I like a lot of different positions, but it just depends on what the offensive coordinator thinks and how much he wants to use a tight end.
Q: Have you not used that aspect of Ben’s offense because of the personnel here?
A: You can ask Ben about that. I think that the best coaches make an adjustment to really what your personnel is and I think that is part of being a coach. You don’t always have the perfect pieces to what you want and you have to make the adjustment and I think the best coaches do that.
Q: What is the challenge in evaluating players that are multi-dimensional? Guys like Jabrill Peppers and Christian McCaffery.
A: Well, it is not the challenge, I think that when you get a player that has a skillset like McCaffery and maybe Peppers, these guys do a lot of different things for their team and you can save yourself a roster spot more than anything else. If you get a guy like that, then maybe you don’t have to go out and get a return specialist or…obviously both those guys would be tremendous on special teams, so they can do a lot of things. But to their defense a little bit, I think they get hurt a little bit because they play so many different positions and people say, ‘Well, what does this guy do?’ I think that maybe devalues them a little bit. But we like guys with a lot of versatility and those are two good players.
Q: The mock drafts say that the Giants have to take an offensive lineman at 23. To that, you would say?
A: I would say that we are going to pick the best player available.
THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:
GIANTS SIGNING PLAYERS TO RESERVE/FUTURE CONTRACTS…
According to NJ.com, the New York Giants have signed the following players to reserve/future contracts for 2017:
QB Keith Wenning
RB Jacob Huesman
WR Darius Powe
OT Jon Halapio
DE Stansly Maponga
DE Jordan Williams
CB Michael Hunter
CB Donte Deayon
S Ryan Murphy
These nine players were either on the team’s Practice Squad or Practice Squad/Injured Reserve (Deayon) at the end of the season.
The Giants did not score at least 20 points in any of their last six games (including five in the regular season), their longest such streak since September 22-October 26, 1980. They did not reach the 30-point mark in any of their 17 games.
The Giants are 0-18 in postseason games in which they allow more than 21 points.
QB Eli Manning played in his 12th career postseason game, the second-highest total in Giants history. LB Lawrence Taylor played in 15 playoff games.
JANUARY 6, 2017 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (core muscle) has officially been ruled out of Sunday’s playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. Defensive end Owa Odighizuwa (hamstring) is “doubtful.”
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins (back), cornerback Coty Sensabaugh (ankle), safety Nat Berhe (concussion), right tackle Bobby Hart (forearm), and tight end Jerell Adams (shoulder) are “probable” for the game.
MARSHALL NEWHOUSE TO START AT RIGHT TACKLE?… ESPN is reporting that Marshall Newhouse will likely start at right tackle against Green Bay on Sunday. Bobby Hart had started 13 games in a row at right tackle until a forearm injury sidelined him in the regular-season finale against the Redskins. Hart is now officially listed as “probable” for the playoff game but apparently has lost his starting job to Newhouse.
SIX GIANTS VOTED ALL-PRO…
The following New York Giants have been voted to the Associated Press All-Pro team:
DT Damon Harrison (1st team)
S Landon Collins (1st team)
WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (2nd team)
DE Olivier Vernon (2nd team)
CB Janoris Jenkins (2nd team)
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (2nd team)
Harrison and Collins are the Giants’ first AP All-Pro first-team selections since defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul in 2011.
HEAD COACH BEN MCADOO…
Transcripts of media sessions with Ben McAdoo are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com: