On Thursday night, the New York Giants reportedly signed 14 undrafted free agents to their roster. A 15th is soon to join the party. These guys will all be on board prior to minicamp and offseason OTA’s, which start up this weekend for rookies and nearer the end of May for everyone else.
The 15-man group is a good one that fills in a bunch of holes for the Giants. Of course, it remains to be seen who, if anyone, out of this batch will actually make New York’s active roster. But bringing them in for the chance is a valuable part of the offseason process. It doesn’t take much research to discover that undrafted players can easily become useful pieces in the NFL and occasionally breakout into stars.
The 15 players breakdown like this:
- two offensive linemen
- four wide receivers
- one fullback and one tight end
- three defensive linemen
- one linebacker
- three secondary players
This cross-section makes sense. The Giants can still use any added help or depth up front on both sides of the ball. At this point in the year, every team can. Finding another play-maker on offense would be nice too. On defense, the secondary is a little bare. The depth there falls short of other positional groups. Hopefully one of these defensive backs becomes a real asset.
Taking a closer look at the players themselves, there are a few who are worth highlighting.
The pair of offensive linemen have already been discussed. Chad Wheeler and Jessamen Dunker both received solid grades prior to the 2017 NFL Draft but slipped through the final rounds because of off-field concerns. If either or both show enough to make the roster, they could be extremely useful.
The big name among the undrafted signees is Florida State receiver Travis Rudolph. Rudolph made a mistake by declaring early for the NFL, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have a chance to make a team. He is small and lacks elite athleticism, which isn’t a good combination. Nevertheless, he had a tremendously impactful three years at FSU and was the team’s go-to option. He knows how to run routes and find open space. It wouldn’t surprise many to see Rudolph make his way onto the active roster with the opportunities NY has at the back of its receiver depth chart.
Defensive tackle Jarron Jones out of Notre Dame is the other big name from this group. Jones has the size and measurements teams covet. He is massive, with long arms. But scouts reportedly worried about his passion for football and laziness, which caused him to slink out of the draft entirely. Those issues obviously remain, but the Giants have nothing on the line if he doesn’t cut it. If he does, though, Jones could be a real player.