Going to a big-time college is not a requirement to partake in the NFL draft, and while the New York Giants looked to some bigger schools to draft top-tier talent, they did snag a few unknowns as undrafted free agents. Simon Fraser University offered Rysen John, who waited patiently for his name to be called as he played Uno with his family several weeks ago. The draft came and went, without Rysen being snagged off the board. However, he wasn’t too surprised and was preparing for a team to call based on his incredible frame.
At 6-foot-7 and 237 pounds, John logged 861 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019. That is not to mention his 4.60 40-yard dash at his private pro day. His rare combination of size, speed, and athleticism makes him a promising prospect for the Giants.
However, the Giants didn’t sign John to be a traditional wide receiver, they want to test him at tight end due to his frame.
“They looked at my film and saw my body type and they all agreed that they would try me as a tight end,” John said, via Newsday. “But I was willing to do it . . . It’s gonna be a little bit different, but it if makes me more involved in the offense and makes me more of a weapon, that’s fine with me.”
Being 6-foot-7 gives John a significant advantage heading into the NFL.
“It made me the tallest guy on the team and usually on the field, so I had a sense of confidence every time I was out there,” John said. “That helped me out a little bit. But being big on the field and using my body any way I can to my advantage against any matchup, that’s really where it helps. I am a problem and I try to be a matchup nightmare any time my name does get called.”
The New York Giants could use more depth of the tight end position, which has changed over the course of this offseason with retirement of Rhett Ellison and Kaden Smith expected to take a more significant role. Despite John’s contract, he has a long way before he is cemented on the active roster let alone the practice squad. Projected as a pass-catching tight end at the NFL level, if he can develop into a solid blocker with his size, he could be extremely valuable for Big Blue in the future. New offensive coordinator Jason Garrett loves to play in the 12 personnel, which heavily features tight ends, making it one of the more important positions on the team.
With Evan Engram atop the tight end depth chart, Levine Toilolo and Kaden Smith are right behind him. He will have to battle it out for a back-end roster spot, but even if he lands on the practice squad with his lack of TE knowledge, he will have the time to refine his abilities and hopefully emerge as a potential starter moving forward.