Oct 262022
 
Nick Gates, New York Giants (October 18, 2020)

Nick Gates – © USA TODAY Sports

NICK GATES ADDED TO 53-MAN ROSTER…
The New York Giants have added offensive lineman Nick Gates to the 53-man roster from the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. Gates had returned to practice three weeks ago and Wednesday was the deadline for the team to decide to either activate him off of the PUP or keep him on the injury list for the rest of the season.

“We’ll put him out there,” said Head Coach Brian Daboll before Wednesday’s practice. “I think he’s improved every day since he’s been out there. He looks ready to go. We’ll see where that takes him. Just keep competing; whenever his number’s called, be ready… We’ve repped him at both (guard and center)… He can play all spots, but we’ve really worked him more at center and guard getting back here. I know he played tackle.”

The Giants placed Gates on Injured Reserve in September 2021 with a serious fracture to his lower left leg that he suffered in Week 2 after being shifted to left guard. The severity of the injury required seven surgeries and placed his career in jeopardy.

“It’s impressive,” said Daboll. “I mean, so many surgeries and so much rehab. You saw him when I first got here. Just a testament to the young man. It takes a lot of perseverance to go through what he’s been through and to be out here. Impressive young man.”

The Giants signed Gates as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He missed all of 2018 with a foot injury that caused him to be placed on Injured Reserve before the season started. In 2019, Gates was active for all 16 games with three starts (two starts at right tackle and one start at right guard). The Giants moved Gates to center in 2020. He started all 16 games and played well at the new position.

ELERSON SMITH, RODARIUS WILLIAMS, AND MATT PEART RETURN TO PRACTICE…
Outside linebacker Elerson Smith (foot), cornerback Rodarius Williams (knee), and offensive tackle Matt Peart (knee), all of whom are on Injured Reserve, have returned to practice. All three will have up to three weeks to practice with the team without counting against the 53-man roster. Once that timeframe ends, individually they must either be added to the roster or remain on Injured Reserve for the rest of the season.

Smith suffered an unspecified foot injury in training camp and was placed on Injured Reserve at the end of August. Williams tore an ACL in one of his knees in October 2021. Peart tore his left ACL in late December 2021.

GIANTS RE-SIGN DRE MILLER…
The Giants have re-signed tight end Dre Miller to the Practice Squad. The Giants originally signed Miller as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. He was placed on Injured Reserve in August 2022 with a broken forearm that he suffered in training camp and later waived with an injury settlement. Miller was a big receiver in college with good overall athletic ability. The Giants converted him to tight end, where he was impressing and receiving first-team snaps before he was injured.

DANIEL JONES NAMED “NFC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK”…
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has been named the “NFC Offensive Player of the Week” for his Week 7 performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars. In that game, Jones completed 19-of-30 passes for 202 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions. He also ran the ball 11 times for 107 yards and one touchdown. Jones led the Giants to victory from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie for the fifth time this season.

This is the third time Jones has been selected “NFC Offensive Player of the Week.” He won the award once in 2019 and again in 2021.

OCTOBER 26, 2022 NEW YORK GIANTS INJURY REPORT…
WR Kenny Golladay (knee), WR Kadarius Toney (hamstring), TE Daniel Bellinger (eye), RT Evan Neal (knee), LG Ben Bredeson (knee), OLB Oshane Ximines (quad), and CB Cor’Dale Flott (calf) did not practice on Wednesday.

OL Tyre Phillips (toe), DL Leonard Williams (elbow), and S Jason Pinnock (foot) were limited in practice.

HEAD COACH BRIAN DABOLL…
The transcript of Brian Daboll’s press conference on Wednesday is available in The Corner Forum while the video is available on YouTube.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

  • QB Daniel Jones (Video)
  • NT Dexter Lawrence (Video)

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants practice on Thursday afternoon (12:45-2:45PM). The coordinators and select players will also address the media.

Sep 052022
 
Fabian Moreau, Atlanta Falcons (October 24, 2021)

Fabian Moreau – © USA TODAY Sports

MIKE KAFKA TO CALL PLAYS FOR GIANTS…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll revealed on Monday that Offensive Coordinator Mike Kafka will be the team’s offensive play-caller. “I have a lot of confidence in Mike,” said Daboll. “We’ll stay with how we did things in the preseason.”

NEW YORK GIANTS CONTINUE TO TWEAK THE ROSTER…
The New York Giants waived RB Sandro Platzgummer on Monday. The team also signed CB Fabian Moreau to the Practice Squad and terminated the Practice Squad contract of CB Harrison Hand.

The 6’0”, 198-pound Platzgummer was originally allocated to the Giants in April 2020 as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, which also allowed him to remain on the team’s Practice Squad in 2020 and 2021 without counting towards the Practice Squad limit.

The 28-year old, 6’0”, 204-pound Moreau was originally drafted in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He has spent time with Washington (2017-2020), Atlanta Falcons (2021), and Houston Texans (2022). The Texans released him in August. Moreau has played in 76 regular-season games with 34 starts. In 2021, he started all 16 games for the Falcons and finished the season with 61 tackles, 11 pass defenses, and one fumble recovery.

The Giants claimed Hand off of waivers from the Minnesota Vikings in late August 2022. The 5’11’, 197-pound Hand was originally drafted in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Vikings.

The Giants also waived TE Andre Miller off of Injured Reserve with an injury settlement. The Giants placed Miller on Injured Reserve in August 2022 with a broken forearm that he suffered in training camp. The Giants signed Miller as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. Miller was a receiver in college and the Giants converted him to tight end.

SEPTEMBER 5, 2022 BRIAN DABOLL PRESS CONFERENCE…
New York Giants Head Coach Brian Daboll addressed the media on Monday to discuss the upcoming game against the Tennessee Titans and the overall state of his team (VIDEO):

Q: A couple things. I was wondering first if you could shed some light since we haven’t talked to you on the decision to let go of (Inside Linebacker) Blake Martinez. Is it that he hasn’t looked the same since injury? It doesn’t look like it was salary related. So, why let go of Blake? Because it seems like obviously his resume would suggest he’s one of your better inside linebackers.

A: I appreciate the question. All I’ll say is every decision that we make regarding releasing a player is always a difficult decision. Just like all our guys, I’d say good luck to Blake and the rest of the guys that we released; and we’re looking forward to getting ready on our preparations for Tennessee.

Q: And then two injury things. How confident are you that (Quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) will be available to you on Sunday if needed, and where do you stand at left guard?

A: We have a week here to move guys in and out and let those guys compete; and as far as Tyrod, he’s good to go.

Q: (General Manager) Joe Schoen mentioned this the other day about the overemphasis on the first week as far as 0 and 1, you’re the worst team ever; 1 and 0, you’re going to the Super Bowl. As a head coach for the first time, how do you – obviously going in to be 1 and 0, no question about it. All your sights are set on this game. But how do you kind of take an immediate picture ‘We need to win this game’ versus ‘This is not going to define us’?

A: I really go back to how we do things during the week more than the final outcome: our process, our preparation, the guys staying after to throw and to catch, the meetings that the secondary has or the defensive line has to study their opponents. Those are the things that we can control, and going out there each day at practice and trying to execute the plays that we put in and improve them on a day-to-day basis.

Q: Do you find in your history being a coordinator and assistant for all these years that after the first week, you get a sense a team is riding high or riding low depending on that outcome?

A: No. You just try to stay consistent. I remember last year when I was at Buffalo, we had a rough first game. And there are seasons where we won the first game and seasons where we lost the first game. Every game is important. Everybody is excited about opening day. It’s a cool game. There’s a lot of unknowns. And you’re figuring out what your team is. You’re trying to figure out what the team that you’re playing is. Because again, you can do all the offseason studies that you want to until you’re playing in a game and figuring it out on a fly. I think that the most important thing for us.

Q: Two quick ones on Blake Martinez. One, do you think that releasing him makes your team better?

A: Again, I’ll just say the same thing that I said before. I’m not going to get into why release, why we didn’t release, where he’s at. That’s how we’re going to handle our stuff here in terms of our releases. Wish Blake the best and looking forward to moving on to this week.

Q: Just quick follow (up) on him, too, and you might have the same answer. But what changed between Tuesday, cut down day when he stayed on the team, and Thursday when you released him?

A: I’d say the same answer I gave you.

Q: When you talked before about offseason studies and things like that, coaches have injuries all the time. How much does it throw you out of whack when a guy like (Titans Outside Linebacker Harold) Landry in practice blows out his ACL? And I assume you prepared for him all offseason. How much does that change your plan?

A: Well, first of all, my condolences to him. He’s a fantastic player, and you never want to see any player get injured. He brought a lot to their defense and really was a dynamic player. And again, every team has backups. And those backups are fully capable. We respect every player we have to play against. We’ll take a look at the other players that are behind him. And again, we don’t exactly know what’s going to happen – whether (Defensive Lineman Denico Autry) Autry’s going to move over there. Whatever it may be, the first game you have to rely on your rules and the things that you did through training camp. And that’s where our focus will be.

Q: I’ll give a crack to this Blake Martinez question thing. What did you like, and what do you see from the young guys that are still there at that position? And how much did their development and what they gave you this summer – did that weigh into what you did with Blake?

A: Well, I’ll just speak on the guys that are here. I think those guys made strides each and every day. They’ve made plays throughout the preseason, and we have a lot of confidence in those players.

Q: Second question I have is you brought in a couple of guys, veterans, on the practice squad – (Safety) Tony (Jefferson) and (Defensive Back Fabian) Moreau, who have some starting experience, a lot of experience. Tony does, with this defense. How quickly do you expect them to be able to contribute on Sundays and maybe even this coming Sunday?

A: We’ll give them as much as they can handle. I know the coaches will be meeting with those guys extra. And we’ll make decisions with players that are on the practice squad toward the end of the week here. But again, some of them have experience in the system and some haven’t. But they’ve played a lot of football, so we’re excited to have both those guys.

Q: I have two quick ones for you, if I may. Have you decided if (Offensive Coordinator) Mike (Kafka) is going to be the play caller moving forward, or is that still up for debate?

A: I talked to Mike over the weekend. We were working yesterday; talked to him today. I have a lot of confidence in Mike. We’ll stay with how we did things in the preseason.

Q: And the second question I’m kind of curious about: The schedule this week is a little unusual. Usually, it’s Monday then off Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I’m just wondering what went into the change up for this particular week.

A: I’ve been part of a team that has done it this way the last few years. So, it wasn’t unusual for me. I think today you get a good introduction. You go hard these next couple days. You get time to regroup and reevaluate where you’re at on Thursday and have a normal Friday.

Q: Two things. One, I know we’ll get a better sense when we’re out there tomorrow, but do you have any update on where (Outside Linebacker) Kayvon (Thibodeaux) and (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) are? And do you think there’s a chance that they’ll be on the practice field tomorrow?

A: I’ll say they’re day-to-day just like last week. They’re getting better, and we’ll reevaluate it tonight.

Q: And the second one is – you mentioned earlier there are so many unknowns going into Week 1. But at least your opponent is an established opponent, whereas I’m sure they’re going to be digging into a lot of Buffalo (Bills) tape and Kansas City (Chiefs) tape and maybe what (Defensive Coordinator) Wink (Martindale) did in Baltimore (with the Ravens). How aware are you guys of that fact? Do you try to take advantage a little bit of the unknown, of they don’t know what you’re going to actually look like when you get out there on the field? Can that help in Week 1 for a new staff and a new team?

A: Obviously they’re established. (Titans Head) Coach (Mike Vrabel) Vrabel’s had a winning program since he’s been there – been to the playoffs the last three years, won the AFC last year. Again, every year is such a new year really regardless of a new staff or not a new staff. That’s why your fundamentals and your rules – those have to be, you have to be really good with those things early on in the year, not just Week 1, but Week 2, Week 3. Because each team evolves every year based on their personnel. They have new personal. We have new personnel. So, I’d say it’s a normal get ready for Week 1 even though we’re a new staff. I don’t want to speak on how they’re doing it. They’ve been real successful with how they’ve done things.

Q: With Blake, he was going to be your starting middle linebacker. I’m curious: How big a challenge does that become to have to fill that 10 days before the season and make that change? And who are your options? Like, who do you look at as your top options to sort of fill that void?

A: The guys we have on the roster, we have confidence in. Those spots are interchangeable, the inside linebacker spots. Again, whether it be (Inside Linebacker) Tae (Crowder), (Inside Linebacker Micah) McFadden, (Inside Linebacker Austin) Calitro, we have confidence in the guys that are on our roster.

Q: And I know (a previous question) kind of touched on it there, but are Thibodeaux and/or Azeez out on the field at all? What have they been doing?

A: Yeah, they’re rehabbing. They’re day-to-day, and we’ll just take it that way. We’ll talk to our training staff tonight and see where they’re at for tomorrow.

Q: Do you think they have a shot for Week 1?

A: Day-to-day.

THE PLAYERS SPEAK…
Transcripts and video clips of the media sessions with the following players are available in The Corner Forum and on YouTube:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
The Giants return to practice on Tuesday afternoon (12:30-2:30PM). Head Coach Brian Daboll and select players will also address the media.

Aug 232022
 
Nick Gates, New York Giants (September 21, 2021)

Nick Gates – © USA TODAY Sports

In order to to reduce their roster to the mandatory 80-player limit on Tuesday, the New York Giants made the following roster moves:

Linebacker Darrian Beavers (torn left ACL), tight end Andre Miller (broken forearm), and tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (toe) were placed on season-ending Injured Reserve.

Center Nick Gates (fractured lower left leg) and offensive tackle Matt Peart (ACL) were placed on the Reserve/Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) List. They cannot return to the active roster until after the fourth regular-season game. Both Gates and Peart had been on the Active/PUP List since the start of training camp, along with wide receiver Sterling Shepard (Achilles). Shepard remains on the Active/PUP List and could still be on the final 53-man roster at the start of the season.

The Giants drafted Beavers in the 6th round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He was impressing as an all-around defender and receiving first-team snaps before he was injured.

The Giants signed Miller as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2022 NFL Draft. The Giants converted Miller from wide receiver to tight end, where he was impressing and receiving first-team snaps before he was injured.

The Giants signed Seals-Jones in March 2022 as an unrestricted free agent from the Washington Commanders. The 6’5”, 243-pound Seals-Jones was originally signed as an undrafted rookie free agent by Arizona Cardinals after the 2017 NFL Draft. He has spent time with the Cardinals (2017-2018), Cleveland Browns (2019), Kansas City Chiefs (2020), and Washington Football Team (2021). Seals-Jones has played in 54 regular-season games with 15 starts, accruing 90 catches for 1,044 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Last year for Washington, Jones started six games and caught 30 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns.

The Giants placed Gates on Injured Reserve in September 2021 with a serious fracture to his lower left leg that he suffered in Week 2 after being shifted to left guard. The Giants signed Gates as an undrafted rookie free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. He missed all of 2018 with a foot injury that caused him to be placed on Injured Reserve before the season started. In 2019, Gates was active for all 16 games with three starts (two starts at right tackle and one start at right guard). In 2020, despite having no prior experience at playing the position, and after a rough start, Gates not only solidified the center position for the Giants but rapidly became the team’s best lineman. Gates started all 16 games at center. 

2021 was a very disappointing season for Peart. The Giants selected Peart in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. As a rookie, Peart played in 11 games with one start at left tackle. He did play in 15 percent of all offensive snaps, receiving some quality playing time. Heading into training camp in 2021, it was anticipated that Peart would be the opening-day starter at right tackle. However, he was beat out by Nate Solder. Peart ended up playing in 15 games with five starts in 2021 (three at left tackle, two at right tackle) and was up-and-down in his play. The offensive line coach publicly questioned his toughness during the middle of the season. Peart tore the ACL in his left knee in late December, ending his season and putting into doubt his availability for the 2022 season.

May 132022
 
Austin Allen, Nebraska Cornhuskers (November 26, 2021)

Austin Allen – © USA TODAY Sports

GIANTS SIGN 11 UNDRAFTED ROOKIE FREE AGENTS…
The New York Giants have officially confirmed that they have signed 11 undrafted rookie free agents:

  • FB Jeremiah Hall, 6’2’’, 248lbs, 4.96, University of Oklahoma (Video)
    Built more like an H-Back or fullback than tight end, Hall was used in the slot, inline, and out of the backfield in college. Hall is a good receiver who runs tough after the catch. Good blocker.
  • TE Andre Miller, 6’3’’, 220lbs, 4.54, University of Maine (Video)
    Miller was a big receiver in college with good overall athletic ability. The Giants intend to convert him to tight end.
  • TE Austin Allen, 6’9’’, 255lbs, 4.83, University of Nebraska (Video)
    Allen is a tall, narrow tight end with a big catch radius and sure hands. He gives an effort in the blocking department, but is more of a position blocker given his frame.
  • OG Josh Rivas, 6’6’’, 317lbs, 5.32, Kansas State University (Video)
    Rivas is a big lineman with decent athleticism for his size. He needs a lot of technique work.
  • DL Christopher Hinton, 6’4’’, 310lbs, 5.28, University of Michigan (Video)
    Hinton lacks ideal size and athleticism, but he is a tough, strong run defender. He plays with leverage and holds his ground. Hinton does not offer much as a pass rusher. Reliable and he plays hard.
  • DL Jabari Ellis, 6’3’’, 278lbs, 4.77, University of South Carolina (Video)
    Ellis was a team captain who played six seasons in college.
  • DL Antonio Valentino, 6’3’’, 312lbs, 5.27, University of Florida (Video)
    Valentino is a big, strong, hard-working lineman who lacks ideal athletic ability and quickness.
  • CB Darren Evans, 6’3’’, 174lbs, 4.53, LSU (Video)
    Evans is a tall, thin corner who has decent overall athleticism. He is aggressive against the run. Evans needs to make more plays on the ball.
  • CB Zyon Gilbert, 6’1’’, 182lbs, 4.42, Florida Atlantic University (Video)
    Gilbert played both safety and cornerback in college. He combines good size and overall athleticism and speed. Gilbert is aggressive against the run, but he needs work in coverage in terms of his anticipation skills and technique.
  • S Yusuf Corker, 6’0’’, 197lbs, 4.53, Kentucky, University of Kentucky (Video)
    A physical, aggressive, and instinctive safety, Corker makes plays on the ball both as a run and pass defender. A bit stiff, he lacks ideal speed and change-of-direction skills. He needs to become a more consistent tackler.
  • S Trenton Thompson, 6’2’’, 200lbs, 4.58, San Diego State University (Video)
    Despite playing six years in college, Thompson only became a full-time starter in his final season. He has good size, but lacks ideal speed. Instinctive, he does play faster than he times. Big hitter. Thompson is a good special teams player.
Apr 282022
 

New York Giants 2022 NFL Draft Review

Round Pick in Round Overall Selection Player Selected Video
1 5 5 Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux (Video)
1 7 7 OT Evan Neal (Video)
2 11 43 WR Wan’Dale Robinson (Video)
3 3 67 OG/OT Joshua Ezeudu (Video)
3 17 81 CB Cor’Dale Flott (Video)
4 7 112 TE Daniel Bellinger (Video)
4 9 114 S Dane Belton (Video)
5 3 146 LB Micah McFadden (Video)
5 4 147 DL D.J. Davidson (Video)
5 30 173 OG Marcus McKethan (Video)
6 3 182 LB Darrian Beavers (Video)

2022 Draft Pick Scouting Reports

1st Round – Edge Kayvon Thibodeaux, 6’4”, 254lbs, 4.58, University of Oregon

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Junior entry from South Central Los Angeles. Three-year starter that came out of school as a topflight, 5-star recruit and delivered. Earned 1st Team All-Pac 12 honors all three years, won the 2020 Morris Trophy, and landed on both the 2020 and 2021 All American squads. Thibodeaux has a long, explosive frame that can bend in and out of small creases with tremendous power and strength. His lockout game combined with a strong initial burst consistently gives him initial positional advantages on blockers. Sometimes, that alone is good enough as he can work through the shoulder of a blocker with consistent ease whether he is rushing the passer or defending the run. He is equally productive against both. Where Thibodeaux struggles, however, is when he is matched up against pro-caliber size and power when it comes to secondary rush moves. He needs to show more technique refinement and continue to try and strengthen his base, which plays small and gets too narrow at times. His lack of body control will cause issues as well when it comes to reaction-based action. His tool set is top shelf, but he is far from a finished product and will need to fix a lot prior to being labeled a dependable player.

*I am going to try and not make this too long because the Thibodeaux fans get really offended, really easily. First off: I have 800+ grades on my master sheet along with another 400+ “training camp body” labels. Thibdodeaux is in the top 15. So yes, I do like him, and I do project him to be a very good football player in the NFL. A starter with high, sky-high, upside. There is some Harold Landry in his game. That said, I do not see him being the All-Pro or even perennial Pro Bowl type. When it comes to the “effort” shortcomings, this is NOT a guy that walks up and down the field. He does NOT play with the “I don’t care” label. There is more to effort than sheer hustle, however.

My issues with Thibodeaux revolve around what he did against his best competition. If he lost initially, if he got locked onto, I did not see the secondary moves. I didn’t see the secondary wiggle to try and re-gain a position. The contrast between him and the other top 5 edge guys in the class in that department is obvious. He also had too many dumb penalties. When it isn’t easy for him (he matched up against some awful OTs), he got frustrated and immature. He didn’t pin his ears back and elevate his game. To me, that is effort and mental toughness that just isn’t there. It is a crucial, borderline vital trait to playing the edge.

That is where I left it with him. And then hearing how he talks about himself and a contract. I have a saying “…he works at his craft like he is above it all already…” simply rubs me the wrong way. Enough that I would be too nervous to use #5 or #7 on him with the other guys available. That is all.

Joe Schoen’s Take:We’re ecstatic with the two players we got, obviously getting Kayvon Thibodeaux, a really good pass rusher at five, we are excited about that. Thought of getting him there with Azeez (Ojulari) on the other side and the pass rush is important to us, so two young pass rushers on the team now that we are definitely excited about…He’s a very outgoing individual. He’s got a lot of personality. I’m sure you guys will enjoy your time with him meeting him, but a really good kid, likable kid, works hard…Also with Kayvon, he had a serious ankle injury. And a lot of people, with his draft status and draft stock, could have hung it up and said, we’ll call it a season and I’m not going to play anymore. He fought back. And we talked to several people at the school, and he worked his way back and practiced, and a lot of people — he didn’t necessarily need to do that.” (Full Transcript)

Brian Daboll’s Take:Kayvon is quick off the ball. I think he has a wide variety of pass rush moves, but he can also set an edge for us on our defense, and it’s no secret we play multiple schemes with Wink as our defensive coordinator, and we envision Kayvon being able to do a lot of different things for us. He’s going to have to come in here and earn it, but a productive player the time he’s been at Oregon.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Kayvon Thibodeaux: (Full Transcript)


1st Round – OT Evan Neal, 6’7”, 337lbs, 5.04, University of Alabama

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Junior entry from Okeechobee, Florida. Three-year starter at three different positions (LG, RT, LT). A 2019 Freshman All American that ended his career as a 2nd Team All American and 1st Team All SEC honoree. Neal, a team captain, is lauded by both the on-field coaches and support staff inside the walls. His attention to detail, intelligence, and work ethic have helped him deliver on his 5-star recruit profile out of high school. The fact he started right away as a true freshman for Nick Saban along the offensive line, a rarity, and progressed each season of his 3-year career while playing 3 different positions speaks volumes about his mental game. The obvious with Neal is the elite physical tools. His size is second to none, his power comes easy and natural, and the explosion within his blocking can put him in a rare tier of offensive line prospects. He did struggle with consistency throughout his career, as he showed low body awareness in several situations. He often oversets, leading to balance and control issues. Defenders were able to shake him off too many times. Neal’s upside is as high as it gets but the constant new-position he dealt with every year may have thrown off some important development. That versatility may help his outlook to some teams but once he is drafted, his true value will come when he settles into a position. Neal can eventually be one of the best linemen in the game.

*Prior to the start of the year, I had nearly no-doubt Neal was going to finish in the 90+ tier. But this is where you have to toss pre-conceived notions out the window when watching the tape. The truth is, Neal did not take a step forward. There are shortcomings within his skill set that arose weekly. The positive? These are all very correctable issues, and we see them corrected all the time. He has some of the same issues that Tristan Wirfs did coming out of Iowa in 2020. Wirfs was my OT1 in that class with a similar grade and is now an All-Pro. Neal can get on that path just as quickly, but I think he needs to settle into a position and remain there for a couple years. That hasn’t been the case since he was a high schooler. NYG would be an ideal destination for him. Insert him into the RT spot week 1 and they could have a top tier OT pair within a year or two. I would be excited to get this kid in blue.

Joe Schoen’s Take:Evan Neal, again, I’m sure it will come up, but starting off we’ll be putting him at right tackle. Obviously, we really like his versatility, 40 career starts in three different spots in the SEC, only missed one game in his career with COVID. So both 21 years old, young players, both still have upside to develop.” (Full Transcript)

Brian Daboll’s Take:Evan has played multiple positions. He’s long — it takes a guy the long route to go to the quarterback. He’s got long arms. He’s a big, massive man, played multiple positions, had a lot of people down at Alabama that I trust and had a lot confidence in him and had a lot of good things to say about him and along with (offensive line coaches) Bobby Johnson and Tony Sparano, the guys that have looked at him, we thought very highly of him.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Evan Neal: (Full Transcript)


2nd Round – Wan’Dale Robinson, 5’8”, 178lbs, 4.38, University of Kentucky

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Junior entry from Frankfort, KY. Spent two seasons at Nebraska before transferring to Kentucky for the 2021 season. Honorable Mention All-Big 10 in both 2019 and 2020, second team All-SEC in 2021. Robinson has been a hybrid receiver/running back from the start of his career and will give an NFL offense the opportunity to create a big-time playmaker out of him. He has the well-balanced athletic ability and overall skill set to do multiple things, align from different spots, and create on his own. He is much more than an undersized, underneath threat that can occasionally take a jet sweep. He has had a lot of success in the deep passing game and plays with the kind of competitive fire that an at least somewhat make up for the lack of ideal size. Because he has lined up all over the offense, Robinson is a little rough around the edges when it comes release and route nuances, but all can be corrected in time. He is a big play threat every time he gets on the field no matter where he lines up.

*Robinson is a guy I have a feeling about. The quickness and burst he has the instant he touches the ball is exactly what gets overlooked by many when looking at measurables. He has the knack to find creases immediately. He is also one tough, strong dude that understands he can use the diminutive frame to his advantage, as a weapon. He is a gadget player, not someone that is always on the field. An argument can be made that only an established offense should be using a pick on a guy like this. I would not agree. Robinson is someone that can make things happen on his own. He can create big plays from nothing and that is what a growing offense needs. Robinson will make grown men hold their breath every time he gets the ball. The way Daboll used Isaiah McKenzie in Buffalo is a nice template: 77 catches – 27 rushes – 21 punt returns – 29 kick returns since 2019. I see Robinson being a better version of that. Keep an eye here.

Joe Schoen’s Take:Good football player we’ve had our eye on, generator with the ball in his hands, very good run after the catch, very good route runner, can separate. And for what we are going to do offensively, we thought he would be a very good fit for us…He’s a generator when the ball is in his hands. He can run after a catch. He can separate from DBs, he gets open. He played some running back at Nebraska (before he transferred). That’s a versatile piece you can use in your offense. If you look at some of the other guys, how you can use them, and if you look at Daboll’s past or you look at Kafka’s past in terms of the creativeness in their offense and the weapons they can utilize, I think you can kind of see what the vision may look like.(Full Transcript)

Brian Daboll’s Take:Versatile, got quickness, explosiveness, he’s tough even for a smaller guy. Been a very productive player really going back to high school when he played there in Kentucky. So a guy we’re anxious to get our hands on and work with and implement into our scheme…I think he can play inside, and I think he’s strong enough and fast enough, even though he’s a smaller, shorter guy, that he can contribute outside, too…What we’re trying to do is put as many generating pieces out there to create pace and stretch the field, whether it be vertical or horizontally, and this is another good guy that has ability to run after catch, which is an important aspect of it.(Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Wan’Dale Robinson: (Full Transcript)


3rd Round – OG/OT Joshua Ezeudu, 6’4”, 308lbs, 5.19, University of North Carolina

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Fourth-year junior entry from Lawrenceville, GA. Three-year starter that earned Honorable Mention All-ACC honors in 2021, second-team in 2020. Because of injuries and inconsistent play throughout the entire line, Ezeudu was moved around often. Throughout his career he played every spot along the line with some of his best tape coming from his snaps at left tackle. His top position will be inside at guard but that kind of versatility can boost his stock a bit. Ezeudu excels with his hands and displays quick feet, always a good place to start. The natural top-end athletic ability is limited, however, and it shows up when he needs to adjust laterally. His knee bend is inconsistent and there is a recoil in his reaction-times because of it. If he can improve some lower body techniques, there are some quality traits to work with.

*When looking to add offensive linemen early day three, I love the idea of getting a guy that has credible experience and ability at multiple spots. There is no question Ezeudu projects best to guard, but I do think he could be a swing tackle if needed. So many teams have depth issues there. You see a guy or two go down with an injury and all of the sudden the entire offense needs to change. Ezeudu looks pro ready on most levels. His movement just seems a step too slow right now but I think he is better than over half the backups in the league right now. Throw in the versatility and I think it is a brilliant pick if he can be had in the right slot.

Joe Schoen’s Take:So Josh Ezeudu out of North Carolina, a player we liked obviously. History of playing multiple spots on the offensive line. He’s got guard-tackle flex. Again, we’ll bring him in, I’m not sure, not going to say exactly where we’re going to start him, but we like the versatility that he can play guard, he can play tackle, compete to start probably inside, with outside flex…Impressive (at switching spots). He’s impressive. It’s rare. I was fortunate enough to see him play live twice this year, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. He’s a big man, and it’s impressive. Again, he could play multiple spots not only on a week-to-week basis but within a game, within drives. So it’s very impressive, and he’s an outstanding kid. You guys will like getting to know him.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Joshua Ezeudu: (Full Transcript)


3rd Round – Cor’Dale Flott, 6’0”, 175lbs, 4.40, LSU

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Junior entry from Saraland, AL. Two-year starter that saw time outside and at nickel. Cousin to fellow draft prospect Velus Jones, a wide receiver from Tennessee. Flott is a smooth mover that gets in and out of his breaks with no wasted motion. He plays faster than he times because of it. He lacks a physical presence on contact and there is not much of a frame to build on. Because of that, Flott will need to be near-flawless when it comes to route anticipation and reaction. He will likely project as a backup nickel that can see the field in deeper sub packages. He has some safety type traits against the pass only as well. He may be a guy without a true position and I’m not sure I see a ton of special teams upside.

Joe Schoen’s Take:Cor’Dale Flott is a guy we liked out of LSU, athletic kid, versatility, play inside, outside. Both kids we spent a lot of time with throughout the spring, and we’re happy to have them…I think position one, ideally, he’s inside, but he can play inside and outside. He has height, and he does have length. And again, the kid is 20 years old. I believe he turns 21 in August or September…So still young, still developing. Three-year guy at LSU that played in a really talented backfield and a good conference. We’re excited. He’s got really good movement skills to play inside, but with the size and length, can play outside as well.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Cor’Dale Flott: (Full Transcript)


4th Round – TE Daniel Bellinger, 6’5”, 253lbs, 4.63, San Diego State University

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Senior entry from Las Vegas, NV. Three-year starter than earned Honorable Mention All-Mountain West honors in 2020. Bellinger has the tool set and ability to play the traditional Y tight end spot. While his skill set is more receiver-friendly, he does show enough upside and ability to create impact as a blocker. He plays a twitchy, sudden game and understands his role well. Bellinger may not have the man-strength quite yet to have a big role, but he should fill the back end of a depth chart early on. He is a plus-athlete with some sneaky upside to him when it comes to getting open and making things happen after the catch.

*It would not surprise me one bit to see Bellinger sneak into the end of round two. The triangle numbers are really solid, and he didn’t drop a single ball over his last two seasons. I just wish he got more looks in the passing game at San Diego State. He will likely be a year two guy at earliest because he had a hard time with defensive linemen in the Mountain West. I think NFL guys will eat him early on.

Joe Schoen’s Take:Daniel Bellinger was our first pick today, tight end out of San Diego State. A guy that we liked, size, speed, athleticism, should be able to help us on special teams, was in Senior Bowl, was at his pro day, too, and a guy we’ve liked throughout the process.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Daniel Bellinger: (Full Transcript)


4th Round – S Dane Belton, 6’1”, 205lbs, 4.43, University of Iowa

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Junior entry from Tampa, FL. Two-year starter that earned All Big-10 honors in both 2020 and 2021, first team in 2021. Belton played a hybrid safety/linebacker role that saw him involved in the box more often than not. He has a sturdy, strong frame with plus-power and straight line speed. He factors well in pursuit sideline to sideline and had a high success rate as a tackler. Belton started to turn a corner as a junior in coverage. He showed quality ball skills and plus-body control out of his breaks. He shows minimal wasted motion once he made up his mind. He can get into trouble when trying to forecast routes and throws, as he seems a step behind mentally and shows tightness in his hips laterally. He projects as a nickel or dime safety that can creep up toward the line and he will be a weapon on special teams.

Joe Schoen’s Take:Dane Belton, another guy we liked, the versatility in the player, he’s got ball skills, he can play from depth and down in the box, can pay nickel.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Dane Belton: (Full Transcript)


5th Round – LB Micah McFadden, 6’1”, 240lbs, 4.75, Indiana University

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Senior entry from Tampa, FL. Three-year starter that earned honorable mention All-Big 10 honors in 2019, first team in 2020, second team in 2021. Also a third team All-American in 2019. McFadden is a well-put together, quick and sudden linebacker that flies all over the field and brings a high success rate as a tackler. He can defend the inside run with stout power and will get to the sideline against the outside running game. He excels in pursuit. McFadden does have the occasional lapse in concentration and will over-pursue his intentions, leaving him vulnerable and top heavy. He does not factor well in man coverage, as his hip tightness and eager mentality can be easy to toy with. He projects as a solid special teamer that could develop into a rotational inside linebacker in a 3-4 front.

Joe Schoen’s Take:Micah McFadden from Indiana, another guy with very good size, speed. He was a captain, he’s athletic. I think he’ll help us out. He can play inside, outside, and he’s a good blitzer as well. Again, another versatile piece.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Micah McFadden: (Full Transcript)


5th Round – DL D.J. Davidson, 6’3”, 327lbs, 5.20, Arizona State University

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Fifth year senior from Mesa, AZ. Took an additional year off between high school and college. Three-year starter that earned second team All-Pac 12 honors in 2021. Davidson will best project to a zero-tech in a 3-4 front. There, his natural power and ability to two-gap will be used most effectively. In an even front, he will not offer much as a pass rusher, but he could fit into a situational role as well. Davidson can play with quick feet in addition to a hard-to-move presence against the run. He has a natural sense to feel blocks and flow to the ball. He needs to work on lower body bend and techniques so his pad level can be better. The lack of leverage wins will eat him up at the next level. Davidson needs to fully buy into fixing his body and skill set for a couple years before he can be trusted.

Joe Schoen’s Take:D.J. Davidson, see him more as a nose, out of Arizona State, be a good depth player that has some upside. We are excited about working with him inside, again, trying to add some depth up front there.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with D.J. Davidson: (Full Transcript)


5th Round – OG Marcus McKethan, 6’6”. 340lbs, 5.31, University of North Carolina

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Fifth year senior from Barnwell, SC. Three-year starter that has the body of a tackle but played right guard all three seasons. Two-time Honorable Mention All-ACC. McKethan looks like a tackle prototype with elite girth and length from head to toe. His power and lockout game are enough to stop professional defenders in their tracks right away. The issue with him revolves around reaction time and bend. He does not keep the feet active post-engagement and he will always struggle to win the leverage battle. McKethan is a project that a team will want to develop in undrafted free agency most likely, as the holes in his game are both hard to fix and far away from being pro-ready.

Joe Schoen’s Take:Marcus McKethan, another guy obviously we spent some time with, the North Carolina kids. Huge human being. Very good size, length. Again, some versatility, he’s played tackle and he’s played guard. Again, going to add depth and competition to the roster. We’ll probably start him at guard, but he does have tackle flex.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Marcus McKethan: To be provided. (Full Transcript)


6th Round – LB Darrian Beavers, 6’4”, 237lbs, 4.85, University of Cincinnati

Sy’56’s Scouting Report: Fifth year senior from Cincinnati, OH. Spent 2017 and 2018 at Connecticut before transferring to Cincinnati. Four-year starter between the two programs. Second team All-AAC in 2020, first team in 2021. Was also a Butkus Award Finalist in his final season. Beavers brings a unique tool set to the table and it was used all over the front seven in college. He primarily lined up off the ball, but he saw over 250 snaps along the edge on-line over his three years at Cincinnati. The heaviness in his hands and overall ability to play both stout and fast should get the attention of versatile defensive schemes. He does not play very sudden and there are too many inconsistencies with his tackling and aggression in space. There won’t be a fit for him in every scheme but at the same time, he can bring versatility to a multiple-front defense that others cannot.

*I have in my notes from the 2021 season that Beavers “…looks like an old school Steeler or Patriot…” Some make the mistake that Baltimore (Martindale/Ryan) went after the same personnel. I don’t agree. Martindale wants a bit more speed and twitch in his linebackers and even though Beavers tested OK with times, he doesn’t always play fast. I will say this though: He is an alpha. Beavers is a mean, powerful dude and he did line up all over the front seven. That said, he was not a very successful outside rusher.

Joe Schoen’s Take:Darrian Beavers is another guy that we really liked, versatile piece, he played inside and he played outside. I was at his pro day. He did some stuff as an outside rusher and that looks like something that may be part of the package. Like his versatility to be inside, outside, and play on special teams.” (Full Transcript)

Media Q&A with Darrian Beavers: (Full Transcript)


Rookie Free Agent Scouting Reports

RB Jashaun Corbin, 6’0’’, 221lbs, 4.58, Florida State University (Video)
Corbin is is a north/south runner who does his best work between the tackles. He is a patient runner with good vision. He has some shiftiness to his game and can run through tackles. Corbin also can catch the ball out of the backfield, but he needs work in pass protection.

FB Jeremiah Hall, 6’2’’, 248lbs, 4.96, University of Oklahoma (Video)
Built more like an H-Back or fullback than tight end, Hall was used in the slot, inline, and out of the backfield in college. Hall is a good receiver who runs tough after the catch. Good blocker.

TE Andre Miller, 6’3’’, 220lbs, 4.54, University of Maine (Video)
Miller was a big receiver in college with good overall athletic ability. The Giants intend to convert him to tight end.

TE Austin Allen, 6’9’’, 255lbs, 4.83, University of Nebraska (Video)
Allen is a tall, narrow tight end with a big catch radius and sure hands. He gives an effort in the blocking department, but is more of a position blocker given his frame.

OG Josh Rivas, 6’6’’, 317lbs, 5.32, Kansas State University (Video)
Rivas is a big lineman with decent athleticism for his size. He needs a lot of technique work.

DE Ryder Anderson, 6’6’’, 4.92, 266lbs, Indiana University
Anderson has good size, strength, and length. He can control the point-of-attack against the run, but lacks ideal quickness to be factor rushing the passer.

DL Christopher Hinton, 6’4’’, 310lbs, 5.28, University of Michigan (Video)
Hinton lacks ideal size and athleticism, but he is a tough, strong run defender. He plays with leverage and holds his ground. Hinton does not offer much as a pass rusher. Reliable and he plays hard.

DL Jabari Ellis, 6’3’’, 278lbs, 4.77, University of South Carolina (Video)
Ellis was a team captain who played six seasons in college.

DL Antonio Valentino, 6’3’’, 312lbs, 5.27, University of Florida (Video)
Valentino is a big, strong, hard-working lineman who lacks ideal athletic ability and quickness.

OLB Tomon Fox, 6’3’’, 260lbs, 4.79, University of North Carolina (Video)
Fox lacks ideal athleticism, but he is instinctive, productive, and plays hard.

CB Darren Evans, 6’3’’, 174lbs, 4.53, LSU (Video)
Evans is a tall, thin corner who has decent overall athleticism. He is aggressive against the run. Evans needs to make more plays on the ball.

CB Zyon Gilbert, 6’1’’, 182lbs, 4.42, Florida Atlantic University (Video)
Gilbert played both safety and cornerback in college. He combines good size and overall athleticism and speed. Gilbert is aggressive against the run, but he needs work in coverage in terms of his anticipation skills and technique.

S Yusuf Corker, 6’0’’, 197lbs, 4.53, Kentucky, University of Kentucky (Video)
A physical, aggressive, and instinctive safety, Corker makes plays on the ball both as a run and pass defender. A bit stiff, he lacks ideal speed and change-of-direction skills. He needs to become a more consistent tackler.

S Trenton Thompson, 6’2’’, 200lbs, 4.58, San Diego State University (Video)
Despite playing six years in college, Thompson only became a full-time starter in his final season. He has good size, but lacks ideal speed. Instinctive, he does play faster than he times. Big hitter. Thompson is a good special teams player.

S Jordan Mosley, 6’1’’, 210lbs, 4.69, University of Maryland (Video)
Mosley has good size, but lacks ideal overall athleticism, speed, and agility. An instinctive player, Mosley is also a good tackler.