After missing out on the top tight end prospects in the 3rd round, the New York Giants finally addressed the position with San Diego State TE Daniel Bellinger.
Bellinger is an intriguing prospect at 6’5″ and 253 pounds, running a 4.63 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. That ranks in the 82nd percentile, but a more exciting attribute is his 11-inch hands, which rank in the 99th percentile at the tight end position.
Last season, the San Diego State stand-out contributed 353 yards, and two touchdown passes over 43 targets. Bellinger featured in 127 slot snaps and 505 in-line snaps, utilizing his massive frame as a dominant run blocker. While there’s a lot left to untap regarding Bellinger as a pass-catcher, he can make an impact immediately in the running game, moving defenders at the point of attack.
One statistic that Giants fans will love is that he didn’t drop a single pass last year and hosts a 4.2% drop rate in his entire career. After watching Evan Engram drop routine passes over the past five seasons, the Giants finally moved on to a more reliable player in that category.
Bellinger is known predominantly for his short route concepts, mainly featuring as a security blanket underneath in the Aztec’s offense. However, he has the speed and athleticism to get downfield quickly, an area he will attack more frequently at the NFL level. I imagine the Giants will try to expand upon those skills with TE coach Andy Bischoff coming over from Baltimore.
Some may have preferred the Giants target a tight end earlier, but they walked away with a vastly underrated player who could develop into a tremendous contributor in the future.