Did the Giants find their starting tight end in 4th round rookie Daniel Bellinger?

daniel bellinger, giants

The New York Giants have had a polarizing experience at the tight end position the past five seasons. With Evan Engram featuring as their primary starter, Big Blue has been forced to supplement poor run blocking in hopes of building on Engram‘s offensive capabilities.

However, he dropped the ball far too often to be considered a premium tight end, but still signed a one-year, $9 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars this off-season. Engram would haul in an insane one-handed catch and then drop an easy fastball in the middle of the field, which prompted the Giants to sign Kyle Rudolph last off-season.

Rudolph ended up being a massive mistake coming off Lisfranc surgery. He was barely able to run and was a ghost in the red zone, a category the Giants hoped he would impact positively.

The New York Giants went in a totally new direction at tight end:

Now, management has completely overhauled the tight end group, signing Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins to a contract. However, general manager Joe Schoen didn’t stop there, drafting San Diego State TE Daniel Bellinger in the 4th round of the 2022 NFL draft.

Based on experience, Seals-Jones projects to be the starting tight end to open the year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bellinger was heavily involved and ended up stealing the job at some point during the regular season.

Last year with Washington, Seals-Jones posted 271 receiving yards and two scores over 13 games. Overall, his receiving abilities have been average throughout his career, but Bellinger is a top-flight run-blocking tight end with upside as a pass-catcher.

During his final season with San Diego State, Bellinger hauled in 31 receptions for 353 yards and two touchdowns. One of the most exciting aspects of Bellinger’s game is that he doesn’t drop passes. Over 43 targets, Bellinger didn’t drop a single pass in 2021. He also ranked 7th in yards after the catch with 9.1.

His receiving abilities are incredibly underrated. He’s also an incredibly strong player at the point of attack in the blocking game. This factor should open up lanes for running back Saquon Barkley, especially if he’s lined up alongside fellow rookie, Evan Neal at right tackle.

Looking at Bellinger‘s base skillset, he offers solid straight-line speed, running a 4.63 40-yard dash at the combine. He also ranks in the 99th percentile in hand size at 11 inches. Overall, he’s a physical specimen that could turn into an extremely talented player given the right coaching.

The Giants hired Andy Bischoff, formally of the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans. He will take over for Freddie kitchens as TE coach. Bischoff is known for developing Mark Andrews. His pedigree suggests he can extract the best out of Bellinger.