Aug 262014
 
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Marcus Harris, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Marcus Harris – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The New York Giants made 15 roster moves on Tuesday in order to each the NFL roster limit of 75 players.

The Giants placed safety Cooper Taylor (foot) and wide receiver Marcus Harris (hip) on season-ending Injured Reserve. Taylor is expected to undergo surgery to repair the sesamoid bone in his foot. Harris will undergo surgery to repair the labrum in his hip. (Oddly, Harris’ injury had previously been described as a shoulder injury).

The Giants waived/injured linebacker Justin Anderson (hamstring) and defensive end Emmanuel Dieke (knee).

Lastly, the Giants waived the following 11 players:

  • WR Travis Harvey
  • TE Xavier Grimble (injury settlement)
  • TE Jerome Cunningham
  • OG John Sullen
  • DT Everett Dawkins
  • LB Spencer Adkins
  • CB Charles James
  • CB Ross Weaver
  • S C.J. Barnett
  • S Kyle Sebetic
  • PK Brandon McManus

(UPDATE: In a late move, the Giants have reportedly traded Brandon McManus to the Denver Broncos for a conditional draft pick, reportedly conditional 7th round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft).

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

The final cuts to the 53-man roster must be made by 4:00PM on Saturday, August 30th, the day after the Giants-Patriots preseason finale.

Jul 222014
 
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Brandon Mosley, New York Giants (December 22, 2013)

Brandon Mosley was carted off in the Giants’ first practice of training camp – © USA TODAY Sports Images

*The Giants confirmed via twitter Brandon Mosley left practice with an upset stomach and the X-ray’s on Jameel McClain’s foot were negative*

The New York Giants’ trainer’s cart racked up some serious mileage Tuesday afternoon.

Heck, it may need an oil change.

In the first of the team’s three contact-less practices the NFL requires before strapping on the pads, three players hopped on the cart for a ride back to the locker room.

It started with guard Brandon Mosley, who left shortly after the team began an 11-on-11 two-minute drill.

Then it was linebacker Jameel McClain. He left during the defense-only portion of practice.

Finally it was tight end Xavier Grimble, who left during 7-on-7’s.

“I think most of them were heat related,” Tom Coughlin said after practice.

“Most” would be referring to Mosley and Grimble, who appeared to be dehydrated. Jameel McClain? That’s another story. During practice, McClain began to complain of a discomfort in his left foot. The linebacker walked off the field and got a short examination from trainers before he headed back to the locker room.

Coughlin didn’t know much about McClain’s injury other than it was in his “metatarsal” and that he headed back in to have it checked out. Coughlin said the team was hoping the injury was nothing more than a “sore foot.”

“He’s the one guy right now that, other than heat, I’d be interested to see what the discussion is inside,” Coughlin said.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (July 22, 2014)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

If the injury is more serious and McClain is forced to miss time, it appears as if Mark Herzlich will be the one taking his place until Jon Beason, or McClain himself, returns. When McClain was removed, Herzlich slid into the middle between Jacquian Williams and Devon Kennard.

When Beason initially was injured during organized team activities, it was Kennard who slid into the middle. Theoretically, New York could elect to go with Kennard in the middle and play Spencer Paysinger and Williams at SAM and WILL.

Prior to exiting with suspected heat-related issues, Mosley had been running exclusively with the first team while John Jerry worked with the two’s. When Mosley left, it was second-round pick Weston Richburg who filled in.

Throughout the practice, Richburg had split time between his natural center position and guard. When Mosley was injured, his time was spent exclusively at guard.

“He has to learn both. That’s what he does,” Coughlin said. “He played a lot of guard today and a lot of center. It wasn’t necessarily designed to be like that when we came out but that’s how it gravitated.”

Jul 072014
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (June 18, 2014)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

With the New York Giants reporting to camp in less than a month, BigBlueInteractive.com is breaking down each of the team’s positional groups from now until July 21.

FIND A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL BREAKDOWNS HERE

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN: Tight Ends

2013 YEAR IN REVIEW: During the 2013 offseason, the New York Giants decided not to pay big bucks in order to retain Martellus Bennett who signed with the Chicago Bears. To replace Bennett, the Giants signed free agent Brandon Myers from the Oakland Raiders. The undersized, slow, and not overly athletic Myers was a significant step down as a blocker and receiver. He finished 2013 with 47 catches for 522 yards and four touchdowns. The #2 tight end was again the hard-working, but physically unimpressive, Bear Pascoe, who had a grand total of 12 catches for 81 yards and no touchdowns. Much was expected of the physically-talented duo of Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell. Neither developed and long-time tight end coach Mike Pope was fired at the end of the season. Robinson, who was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft, was only active for two games as a rookie. He missed virtually all of the 2013 season with a foot injury he suffered in the preseason. When he did return in Week 16, he immediately sprained his knee. In two seasons, Robinson has played in three games and he has no career receptions. Donnell went undrafted and unsigned in 2011. The Giants signed him as a street free agent in March 2012 and Donnell spent 2012 on the team’s Practice Squad. Donnell made the 53-man roster in 2013 and was active for all 16 games, starting one contest. He finished the season with only three catches for 31 yards.

Xavier Grimble, USC Trojans (November 3, 2012)

Xavier Grimble – © USA TODAY Sports Images

ADDITIONS/SUBTRACTIONS: The Giants had no interest in bringing back Brandon Myers (now with Tampa Bay) and Bear Pascoe (now with Atlanta). Robinson and Donnell return. Publicly, the Giants said they wanted to add a tight end in the draft but there were only so many tight ends who they liked and they regarded Weston Richburg a better value in the second round. In the offseason, the Giants added free agent journeymen Daniel Fells (who has spent time with six other teams but didn’t play in 2013) and Kellen Davis (two other teams; 50 catches in six seasons), as well as undrafted rookie free agent Xavier Grimble (USC).

TRAINING CAMP STORY LINES: Is there a legitimate starting-caliber tight end currently on this roster? If so, who is it? The pressure is on new tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride, Jr., who failed as a wide receivers coach in 2012-13 and whose last and only previous tight end coaching experience was with Georgetown University in 2006. Can he help do what Mike Pope was unable to do and that is get Robinson and Donnell to play better?

General Manager Jerry Reese hasn’t given up on the two youngsters. “We expect those two young guys (Robinson and Donnell) to come on, and they can be dynamic if we can get them going,” said Reese in June.

“I think we have a nice group there,” said new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo about the five tight ends currently on the roster. “We have big men in the room, I like the way they think about the game, I like the way they’re moving around on the field. When we get the pads on that’s when we’ll really know where we are.”

ON THE BUBBLE: Everyone. Anyone can become the starter and anyone can be cut.

Adrien Robinson, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Adrien Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

FROM THE POSITIONAL COACH: Kevin Gilbride, Jr. on Adrien Robinson:  “He’s working incredibly hard to learn. That’s something that, going in, just knowing him as a personality not as someone I’ve taught before, I didn’t know. He’s in there, he’s taking copious notes, he’s answering questions very well. What we need to do is we need to get him to be able to transition that onto the field. He’s made strides, there’s no doubt that he’s made strides but there needs to be a lot more. The more in detail we get with him, sometimes he loses some of the basics as far as the techniques are concerned and we’ve got to get some carry-over with it.”

PREDICTIONS:

Eric Kennedy – There isn’t anyone on this roster who currently will scare an opposing defense. But is there even another Jake Ballard type here?

Adrien Robinson has been a major disappointment, but some of that was outside of his control. A very green rookie on college team that rarely threw the football to the tight end, he was forced to miss OTAs his rookie season because of an NFL requirement prohibiting players from universities using trimesters from participating in those activities. Mike Pope said that really set him back. He flashed some last offseason before being sidelined for the entire season with injuries. But both Robinson and Donnell do have intriguing physical tools. They are both big, athletic, and can catch the football. If they have the necessary toughness and desire, and if they can be coached up with the proper technique (all big “ifs”), at the very least, they should become good blockers. Don’t discount Larry Donnell. He could really surprise.

Connor Hughes - Baring an injury, Adrien Robinson is set to have a big, big season in 2014. From what we’ve seen in the early goings from the Giants offense, the days of the tight end being a “safety valve” are far in the past. New coordinator Ben McAdoo wants to use them often and as a focal point of the offense, not an after thought. With that being said, Robinson’s skill set is one I believe perfectly suits what the team is attempting to accomplish. Robinson has size (6-4), speed and the athletic ability to stretch the field. Countless times throughout the Giants’ offseason conditioning program, the tight end flashed what he can do…he just needs to stay healthy. If he can’t? Larry Donnell will be waiting in the wings.

FINAL DEPTH CHART:

Eric KennedyAdrien Robinson (1), Larry Donnell (2), and Xavier Grimble (3), Kellen Davis (Cut), Daniel Fells (Cut)

Connor Hughes – Adrien Robinson (1), Larry Donnell (2), Kellen Davis (3), Xavier Grimble (PS), Daniel Fells (Cut)

Jun 162014
 
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Larry Donnell, New York Giants (September 15, 2013)

Larry Donnell – © USA TODAY Sports Images

For the first time this season, we introduce the Big Blue Breakdown. Throughout the course of the year, BBI’s Connor Hughes will be joined by Art Stapleton, Jordan Raanan, Patricia Traina and others tackling the hottest topics surrounding the New York Giants.

BBI is dedicated to giving you the best coverage of the Giants on the web. What better way to do that than bringing some of the team’s best beat writers together in one spot? With OTAs officially wrapped up, we asked the round table how they felt the Giants stand at the tight end position.

Have something you want discussed? Email your open-ended question to Connor Hughes (Connor_Hughes@bigblueinteractive.com) and it could be featured on the next Big Blue Breakdown.

QUESTION: While hyped quite a bit as a “position of need,” the Giants have done very little to address the tight end position. With a new offensive coordinator that appears to like to feature the position, do you believe the Giants made the correct decision not drafting or signing a tight end? Why?

CONNOR HUGHES/ Big Blue Interactive

Adrien Robinson, New York Giants (July 27, 2013)

Adrien Robinson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

The tight end position in the Giants’ offense is the great unknown. Since Jim Fassel was shown the door so many years ago, the TE for Big Blue has been little more than a safety valve for quarterback Eli Manning. There was no need for a Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Grahahm or even Jeremy Shockey, just someone who could block, had average hands and could get to position ‘A’ on field.

With new coordinator Ben McAdoo calling plays for the first time, it’s still up in the air to this point on how the Giants plan to use the tight end. Will it be a focal point of the offense? Will it be a blocker? If the goal is to utilize the position, I hardly feel confident in those presently on the roster.

Adrien Robinson has flashed, Larry Donnell too, but neither strike “fear” into the heart of a defender. Could Robinson develop? Sure. Could he end of getting injured again? Sure. Personally, I was and still am a fan of bringing Jermichael Finley in for at least a visit. After all, what do you have to lose?

ART STAPLETON/The Record

The tight end situation is a bit more complicated than just projecting the depth chart for 2014 and feeling good about where the Giants are at the position. The bottom line: tight end will not be what sinks this offense in 2014.

If two of the group including Robinson, Donnell, Davis, Fells or yes, Grimble, can be serviceable, the rebuilding done elsewhere on the offense (OL, WR with Beckham Jr., RB) should make up the slack. If not, they’ll mix and match with TEs to get the job done. I truly believe they would have upgraded TE with a draft pick – perhaps the second round – if things had played out differently.

When assessing center and TE, though, it’s pretty clear center is of greater importance – so instead of going with, say, Jace Amaro or Troy Niklas in that spot, they went with Weston Richburg, to whom I believe they are committed for the future. Once the Giants got into the fourth round and beyond, they’d decided to stick with the fourth-round pick that has already been in the building (Adrien Robinson) instead of drafting someone for the sake of having a new face. Under these circumstances, I think the Giants have done the right thing at tight end.

There are no quick fixes that have presented themselves at the position. We know the issues surrounding Jermichael Finley and Dustin Keller. Just look at the $ Finley will get from his insurance policy if he never plays again and realize he’ll likely be looking for more than a minimum-type deal. TE remains a position of need, but the impact has been overrated compared to upgrades that were needed elsewhere.

PATRICIA TRAINA/ Inside Football & Bleacher Report

Xavier Grimble, USC Trojans (September 21, 2013)

Xavier Grimble – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Obviously, time will tell if the decision to pass on a tight end was the right one to make, but I can certainly understand their thought process.

Let me start first with the veteran free agent part. Other than Dennis Pitta (Ravens) and Jimmy Graham (Saints), both of whom were never realistic possibilities in free agency, who from the 2014 group of veteran free agents was really worth a look?

As for the tight ends already on the roster, particularly Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell, the Giants know what they have in both of those guys, having seen them in practices. Yes, Robinson hasn’t shown much, but I’ll point out that last summer in camp, he was making progress to the point where he was supposed to have a big role in that final preseason game which of course had to be scrapped when he suffered the foot injury. Donnell? People forget that he missed all of last spring due to a broken foot, a factor that he recently told me put him way behind the curve.

Yes there is the classroom work, but as Tom Coughlin has said in the past (many times), you have to go out and practice what you’re learning in the classroom. So now you have two young tight ends with impressive physical tools and who now have a chance to learn a new offense from scratch. Both say they have a better understanding of what needs to be done as far as the little things (watching film, taking better care of their bodies, etc.) and who are HEALTHY.

In some ways, it’s like having rookies on the squad, except Donnell and Robinson have gone through NFL seasons and have a better idea of what to expect at this level.

Last point (apologies for the lengthy response, by the way). I researched just how frequently the tight ends have been used in the Packers’ offense over the last two seasons, using data from Pro Football Reference.

Last year, the Packers tight ends combined for 57 out of the 366 passes completed or 15.5%. In 2012, they combined for 76 receptions out of the 374 pass completions or 20.3 percent.

These stats suggest that the Packers tight ends haven’t been as predominantly featured in the passing game as some might believe. I suspect that with the Giants, McAdoo is going to place a heavier emphasis on getting the ball to the receivers in the passing game.

Obviously, injuries can alter those plans, but as I noted before the draft whenever I was asked about the possibility of them drafting tight end Eric Ebron, the last time the Giants had a tight end lead the team in receptions was Jeremy Shockey in 2006, when he had three more receptions (66) than Plaxico Burress (63) did.

By the way, that season, despite being the team leader in receptions, Shockey finished with 623 yards and was second in receiving touchdowns with seven (behind team leader Plaxico Burress who finished with 63 catches for 988 yards and 10 touchdowns.

JORDAN RAANAN/ NJ.com 

If it were me, I’d have done anything possible to try and get a dynamic receiving tight end on this roster. Who cares if they can block? Does anyone care that Jimmy Graham can’t block? With the way the rules are nowadays, linebackers and safeties have no chance against big, athletic TEs. They are bigger weapons than ever. Three TEs finished in the Top 10 in TD receptions last season. Six finished with over 70 receptions. This Giants offense needs that type of weapon. They don’t have anything close right now. Maybe next year.

Jun 092014
 
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Jameel McClain, New York Giants (June 5, 2014)

Jameel McClain – Photo by Connor Hughes

New York Giants Complete Seventh OTA Practice: The New York Giants held their seventh of 10 Organized Team Activity (OTA) practices on Monday. No live contact is allowed in OTA practices, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The media was not allowed to view Monday’s practice, but the Giants released the following details through their website, Giants.com, from Dan Salomone:

  • Working inside due to rain, the defense looked sharp. There were no interceptions, but there were tipped passes at the line and tight coverage.
  • QB Ryan Nassib threw a touchdown pass to WR Julian Talley in the corner of the end zone from inside the 5-yard line. WR Rueben Randle made two tough catches, including a sideline grab from QB Eli Manning during the two-minute drill.
  • RB Kendall Gaskins received a lot touches in practice. Running backs Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams saw a lot of action catching passes out of the backfield.
  • WR Jerrel Jernigan saw reps as both a receiver and punt returner.
  • PK Josh Brown manned a new special teams drill where he bounced a miniature soccer ball at the goal line. After it shot up in the air, another player would have to tip it back before it went into the end zone to mimic downing a punt.
  • Former Giants S Deon Grant and RB Brandon Jacobs watched practice.

Dan Salomone of Giants.com also singled out the following:

  • WR Rueben Randle: Randle made a pair of exceptional plays. The first was a laser of a pass from Eli Manning to Randle, who was surrounded by defensive backs and managed to control the ball. The second was a sideline catch as Randle fell out of bounds during the two-minute drill.
  • WR Julian Talley: Talley made an impressive catch in the corner of the end zone from QB Ryan Nassib. Talley won the jump ball over defensive back Kyle Sebetic and appeared to get both feet inside the back left-hand corner of the end zone.
  • Defense: The defense as a unit stood out. Whether it was DT  Markus Kuhn sniffing out a shovel pass or CB Walter Thurmond III making plays in the secondary, the offense couldn’t get much going on Monday.

Photos from today’s OTA are also available from Giants.com.

The remaining New York Giants OTA practices are this week on June 10, 12, and 13. Thursday’s practice will be open to the media. The offseason program will culminate on June 17-19 with a mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

Giants.com Player Q&As: Video clips of Giants.com Q&A sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  •  WR Rueben Randle (Video)
  • TE Xavier Grimble (Video)
  • S Quintin Demps (Video)

Article on the 2014 New York Giants: Giants newcomers forge team ties by Paul Schwarz of The New York Post

Article on WR Marcus Harris: Giants roster battles: Marcus Harris in the wide receiver mix by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on TE Adrien Robinson: Breaking down Adrien Robinson’s chances by Dan Graziano of ESPN.com

Giants.com Videos from New York Giants OTA Practices:

Jun 022014
 
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Will Hill, New York Giants (December 2, 2013)

Will Hill – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants Waive Safety Will Hill: In a move that was not terribly surprising, the New York Giants have waived safety Will Hill, one of the team’s best defensive players.

In April 2014, it was revealed that Hill had failed another drug test for substances of abuse (illegal drugs) and would be suspended for the third time in three seasons by the NFL. Hill appealed that ruling, but lost his appeal last Friday. The NFL announced on Friday that Hill would be suspended for the first six games of the 2014 NFL regular season.

As reported on Saturday, Hill had told friends that he was a victim of second-hand marijuana smoke and therefore innocent.

Hill was originally suspended for four games of the 2012 season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances (reportedly Adderall). Hill was suspended for four games a second time in 2013, this time for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse (reportedly marijuana).

In December 2013, Hill was arrested for being delinquent on child support payments. At the time of that arrest, the police reported that they detected the smell of marijuana in his vehicle, but no drug-related charges were filed.

When he came off of the second drug suspension, Hill played in the remaining 12 games of the 2013 season. Hill started one game at strong safety and became the new starter at free safety in the last nine games. He impressed with his play, finishing with 77 tackles, 2 pass defenses, 2 interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and 2 forced fumbles. Hill was a top-ranked athlete coming out of high school in New Jersey, but off-the-field issues caused him to be undrafted and unsigned after his junior season at the University of Florida in 2011.

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

Article on the New York Giants and the 2014 NFL Salary Cap: It’s June, the Giants have money … now what? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on RB David Wilson: David Wilson hopes Wednesday’s MRI will clear him for football activities by Tom Rock of Newsday

Article on TE Xavier Grimble: Giants hope for secret weapon in undrafted tight end Grimble by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on RT Justin Pugh: Pugh gained from rookie lessons by Ken Mandel of the Bucks County Courier Times

May 282014
 
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Tom Coughlin, New York Giants (June 11, 2013)

Tom Coughlin – © USA TODAY Sports Images

New York Giants OTA Practices Begin Today: The third and final phase the New York Giants offseason workout program begins today with the start of the Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts. From today until June 13, the Giants will conduct 10 OTA practices. No live contact is allowed, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

The media, including BigBlueInteractive.com, will be granted access to Thursday’s practice.

New York Giants OTA practices:

  • May 28-30
  • June 2-3
  • June 5
  • June 9-10
  • June 12-13

The offseason program will culminate on June 17-19 with a mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

Article on the New York Giants New Offense: Ron Jaworski on Eli Manning in new Giants offense: ‘It’s going to take some time’ by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Articles on the New York Giants OTA Practices:

Article on TE Xavier Grimble: Xavier Grimble: Film breakdown of ex-USC and current Giants rookie tight end by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on WR Odell Beckham: Odell Beckham’s ‘fiancée’ was an elaborate Internet hoax by Zach Braziller of The New York Post

May 262014
 
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Video – CBS Sports: Ten Draftees Under Pressure (Pat Kirwan on Jay Bromley)

New York Giants OTA Practices Begin This Week: The third and final phase the New York Giants offseason workout program begins this week with the start of the Organized Team Activity (OTA) workouts on Wednesday. From May 28 to June 13, the Giants will conduct 10 OTA practices. No live contact is allowed, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are permitted.

New York Giants OTA practices:

  • May 28-30
  • June 2-3
  • June 5
  • June 9-10
  • June 12-13

The offseason program will culminate on June 17-19 with a mandatory, full-team mini-camp.

Mark Herzlich, New York Giants (May 21, 2014)

Mark Herzlich – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Article on the New York Giants Offseason: 5 best moves by the Giants this offseason by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Tight Ends: Xavier Grimble plans to tighten up his end game by Greg Logan of Newsday

Article on DE Damontre Moore: Giants: With second job, Damontre Moore shows he’s ready to lead by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on DT Jay Bromley: Giants’ pick Bromley found success, hope after dark past by Paul Schwartz of The New York Post

Article on LB Mark Herzlich: Giants’ Mark Herzlich has ‘What It Takes’ to beat cancer by Mark Herzlich for The New York Post

May 222014
 
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Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame Fighting Irish (October 26, 2013)

Bennett Jackson – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Article on the New York Giants Recent Media Day: 5 takeaways from Giants rookies/select vets: Jerrel Jernigan faces tough road by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on the New York Giants Running Backs: Will the Giants use Andre Williams in ‘three-headed monster’ approach? by Conor Orr of The Star-Ledger

Article on WR Odell Beckham: Giants WR Odell Beckham a victim of a hoax? by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Articles on TE Xavier Grimble:

Article on LB Devon Kennard: Devon Kennard: Analyzing the Giants linebacker and fifth-round pick on tape by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie hopes to stay with NY Giants for a while by Ebenezer Samuel of The New York Daily News

Article on CB Bennett Jackson: Bennett Jackson: Analyzing the Notre Dame cornerback and Giants draft pick on tape by Jordan Raanan of NJ.com

Article on S Antrel Rolle: Antrel Rolle named to NFL’s Top 100 Players by Dan Salomone of Giants.com

May 212014
 
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Xavier Grimble, USC Trojans (November 3, 2012)

Xavier Grimble – © USA TODAY Sports Images

It’s a highlight that has long been shown to tight end hopefuls, and Xavier Grimble is no exception.

Phil Simms drops back and fires a pass over the middle to Mark Bavaro who proceeds to carry five defenders an additional 12 yards. It’s a play Grimble has watched over, and over, and over again.

“I always like to look at the guys who were great before and look at what they did,” Grimble said. “Mold yourself after that.”

If Grimble, who will wear No. 89, develops himself into anything that even slightly resembles Bavaro, New York may have struck gold in the undrafted 21-year-old out of USC.

“It’s kind of like you’re living your dream,” Grimble said. “Finally when you have the chance to actually go out and be a part of such a great organization, it just motivates you that much more to work harder.”

New York signed Grimble after the tight end went undrafted in the 2014 NFL Draft. Prior to the draft, some scouts viewed Grimble as a player with All-Pro potential.

With the tight end position wide open, it’s not too hard to fathom Grimble lining up for New York when the team opens the season versus Detroit. The Nevada native has the perfect size (6-5, 250 pounds) to be a prototypical tight end in the NFL and little competition. Adrien Robinson, Daniel Fells, Kellen Davis and Larry Donnell are the lone other occupants in the meeting room. The four combined for six receptions last year.

What Grimble lacks is experience. After being considered a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and the best tight end in the nation following his graduation from Bishop Gorman High School, that potential was never truly lived up to.

Xavier Grimble, USC Trojans (September 21, 2013)

Xavier Grimble – © USA TODAY Sports Images

Grimble was redshirted his freshman year before catching 15 passes for 144 yards and four scores in 2011, and 29 for 316 yards and five touchdowns in 2012. But last year, those numbers dropped. Grimble dealt with a nagging shoulder injury all year and managed just 25 receptions for 271 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite this, Grimble still declared for the NFL Draft.

“I made the decision completely by myself,” Grimble said. “I think it was a good decision.”

Entering the pre-draft process, Grimble was viewed as a player who could go as high as the third round, but saw that stock drop significantly at USC’s Pro Day. With scouts in attendance, Grimble ran a 4.98 and 5.02 in the 40-yard dash, jumped just a 30.5” vertical and 9’2” broad and bench-pressed 250 pounds only 16 times. He missed the NFL Scouting Combine with a calf strain.

“I didn’t have the greatest workout I wanted to have at USC,” Grimble said. “But my ultimate goal was always to play in the NFL and I had a shot so I’m about to take it.”

Grimble wasn’t drafted, but received phone calls from the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders and Atlanta Falcons. He chose the Giants due in part to the team’s eagerness to get in contact.

“They were the first team to call,” Grimble said. “I felt like they showed the most interest. I felt like they were genuine, the Giants are a great organization. I heard nothing but good things about it. It was kind of a no-brainer really.”

Grimble still believes he can live up to the All-Pro standards that were once commonly associated with his name.

“I have no doubt,” Grimble said. “If I put the time in, put the work in, you never know what the future holds. I’m going to work extremely hard. This is the NFL, this is the last shot so this is a great opportunity to try to attack that goal.

“That’s where I want to be, so hopefully the work takes me there.”

Giants.com Video of May 20, 2014 Media Q&A With Xavier Grimble