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Team-by-Team Draft Review: NY Giants

GeremyDavis

Coming off a poor 6-10 season in 2014, the New York Giants entered the off-season with a lot of needs and holes to fill in free agency and the NFL Draft. During free agency the Giants prioritized going for very few big names and focused their attention on adding depth to their offense, defense and special teams. With the signings of Shane Vereen, Dwayne Harris, J.T. Thomas, Jonathan Casillas and Kendrick Ellis, the Giants looked to the draft to fill in their remaining glaring needs along the offensive line, defensive line and secondary. With their first three picks, they hit on each of those needs drafting Eric Flowers (an offensive tackle from Miami), Landon Collins (a safety from Alabama) and Owa Odighizuwa (a defensive end from UCLA).

While none of those players will directly impact your fantasy football roster from an offensive skill position side, Flowers should help solidify the offensive line, which will improve both the run and pass game. The Giants did draft one offensive skill player in the sixth round and signed two of them as undrafted free agents.

Let’s take a closer look at each one of them and analyze if any of them can have fantasy implications in the future.

Geremy Davis, WR (Round 6, Pick 186 overall)

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Davis has good size at 6’2’’ and 216 pounds. He played four years at UConn and was their top receiver the previous two years. In 2013, he caught 71 passes for 1,085 yards, but saw his stats drop this year to 44 receptions for only 521 yards. The decrease in production mostly can be contributed to a poor offense and, in particular, the quarterback play. In addition to good size, Davis has excellent hands as he did not drop a single pass this season. He also possesses good strength and physicality which can be seen when fighting for the ball in the air. Davis performed well at the combine and his pro day, showing a lot of athleticism for a man his size. His testing numbers gave him a very high SPARQ score, which is a metric designed by Zach Whitman that tests a player’s athleticism compared to his peers.

While he ran an excellent 40-yard dash time of 4.47 at his pro day, that type of speed was not nearly as evident on his film and highlights. In addition, he has difficulty changing direction and getting in and out of his breaks quickly, which limits how much separation he can create consistently. The Giants staff seems to envision him as a possession receiver and compared him to Jason Avant. They believe he can be an excellent special team’s player and therefore the chances of him making the roster this season as the fifth or sixth wide receiver are high.

In terms of fantasy, he is a player to monitor as the Giants depth chart at wide receiver is a little misleading and there is a chance for him to move further up by next season. While Odell Beckham Jr. is locked in as their number one receiver, Victor Cruz is coming off a serious injury and there are questions as to whether he will ever regain the skills he once had. In addition, Cruz is due a lot of money next offseason and if he does not regain his health completely, the Giants may move on from him next offseason. After Cruz, the next man up is Rueben Randle, who has been inconsistent during his tenure in New York, and is a free agent following the season. After those two the depth chart is wide open, with only Dwayne Harris locked into a roster spot, after they gave him a substantial contract this offseason to upgrade their return game. Davis will be competing with players like Preston Parker, Corey Washington and Marcus Harris, all of whom are unproven.

Akeem Hunt, RB (Undrafted Free Agent)

Hunt went undrafted out of Purdue, where he put up excellent numbers during his senior season. At 5’10”, 183 pounds, Hunt can best be classified at a position of “offensive weapon,” as he played running back, slot receiver, was used on jet sweeps, and as a returner during his time in college. This past season he rushed for 949 yards, caught 48 passes for another 293 yards, and had a combined eight touchdowns. He had an outstanding pro day prior to the draft where he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.36 seconds, had a 37 inch vertical jump, over a 10 foot broad jump and put up excellent times in both the short shuttle and three cone drills. Many draft analysts thought he had a good chance to be a late round selection with those athletic numbers and his versatility to be used in so many ways. Hunt has a chance to make the Giants roster if they keep four running backs this upcoming season, with only Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams, and Vereen locked into roster spots. Hunt will compete with Orleans Darkwa for that final spot on the depth chart. Long term, the Giants running back position is really a question mark, based on Jennings’ age and health, Williams lacking the ability to play on all three downs, and whether Vereen can be more than a pass receiving, change of pace back. With the new Ben McAdoo offense entering year two, the Giants may envision a role in the future, utilizing Hunt in a variety of ways like he was used in college.

Matt LaCosse, TE (Undrafted Free Agent)

LaCosse went undrafted out of Illinois, but at 6’6’’ and 250 pounds, is an intriguing prospect for the Giants. In college, he was not a focal point of the pass offense, catching only 20 and 14 passes the past two seasons. He was predominantly used as a blocking tight end but possesses some interesting athletic measurements for a man his size. At his pro day he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.64 seconds, had a 30 inch vertical jump and did the short shuttle in 4.6 seconds. All of those numbers were impressive for a man of his size. While he did not show much receiving skill in college, some draft analysts believe he has the size and speed to be a threat down the middle of the field and can develop into a better NFL player than college player. While it is a long shot for any undrafted free agent to make a team and become fantasy relevant, he landed in an ideal landing spot. The Giants depth chart has little after Larry Donnell, with only Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson on the roster. Fells is an aging veteran, signed to only a one year deal and Robinson is entering the final year of his contract, and has been a major disappointment for the Giants since they selected him in the 2012 draft. LaCosse has a chance to make the roster and potentially move up the depth chart by next season. The Giants over the years have displayed a track record of finding tight ends late in the draft or as undrafted free agents, from Kevin Boss, to Jake Ballard, and even current starter, Donnell was an undrafted free agent.

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