The offseason is beginning to heat up and excitement about what the New York Giants will do to improve is of top priority to Big Blue fans everywhere.
In this week’s mailbag, we address exactly that with a great question inquiring about the Giants’ tight end situation and how they will fill the void left by the departure of Brandon Myers.
Going off your article from earlier today about the possibility of the Giants not finding their new tight end in free agency or it at least not being Jermichael Finley, who would you say are good possibilities to be that guy?
– Rich (Point Pleasant, NJ)
As I noted in today’s article, Finley’s neck injury—which he is still recovering from and has yet to be cleared for contact—could scare the Giants off. Understandably so, they are already dealing with David Wilson’s neck injury, and investing in a talent like Finley may not be worth the risk if there’s a possibility problems could arise or, even worse, he may never see the field.
If that’s the case, the Giants may not find their tight end in free agency. Or, at least, not at the top-end of the crop available. Top guys like Dennis Pitta, Jimmy Graham and Garrett Graham should all wind up back with their respective teams one way or another. Meanwhile, upper-tier guys like Scott Chandler and Brandon Pettigrew don’t appear to be good fits at this point in their careers.
The Ravens’ Ed Dickson might be an intriguing option. However, he has never been the go-to guy and hasn’t done enough to prove he can be that guy. His 2011 season was huge—he caught 54 passes for 528 yards and five touchdowns. Perhaps that’s something that catches the Giants’ eye.
Really though, I see them finding their new tight end through this year’s draft class. Lucky for them, this year’s class is stacked with talent at the position.
An early option would be North Carolina’s Eric Ebron. Popularly mocked to the Giants at No. 12, the athletic tight end appears to be an ideal fit in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense. Ebron is a special breed of player that only comes around every so often and if the Giants have the chance, they would be wise to pick him up.
Don’t believe me, just check out what CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler had to say about Ebron is his pro comparison to the San Francisco 49ers’ Vernon Davis:
COMPARES TO: Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers – Freaky athletic specimens, both Ebron and Davis move like wide receivers, but have the size and length of tight ends to create mismatches in coverage.
The Giants already have Victor Cruz, who is a threat to turn nothing into something on every down. They have Rueben Randle, who is quickly becoming one of the better receivers in the league with solid hands and a knack for finding an open space down the field. And then there’s David Wilson—should he be healthy—whose electrifying abilities invoke fear in opposing defenses purely because of how shifty he can be with the football in his hands.
Could you imagine adding a player of Ebron’s caliber, boasting the potential of a Vernon Davis? It would certainly make Eli Manning’s life easier.
Does he need to improve as a blocker? Absolutely. But there’s plenty of time for that. He’s not a complete liability like Brandon Myers was this past season, so he would be an instant upgrade.
Want some other guys to check out? I like Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz. He reminds me a lot of Super Bowl-winning tight ends Kevin Boss and Jake Ballard, and he is projected to go in the middle rounds of the draft.
Notre Dame has become a bit of a tight end factory in recent years, so Troy Niklas is another to keep an eye on. As for someone with undrafted free agent potential, North Carolina State’s Asa Watson is a guy I would like to see more of due to his size (6-foot-4, 235 pounds) and athleticism.
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