The New York Giants have a long way to go before they have a competent scheme, starting with building around the quarterback position and solving the offensive line through the draft. However, one position that needs to be addressed this off-season is tight end, with Evan Engram hitting free agency and Kyle Rudolph expected to be cut.
Releasing Rudolph would save the Giants $5 million, making him a prime candidate. That money would cover a significant amount of the Giants’ draft picks salaries, but with two first-round picks, Big Blue could look to trade back and lessen the 2022 cap hit from their top selections.
This year’s tight end class is interesting, not featuring a player like Kyle Pitts but a few high upside talents who could develop nicely at the NFL level. One prospect who would fit perfectly with the Giants is Jeremy Ruckert out of Ohio State.
Per The Draft Network, Ruckert is a legitimate threat as a receiver but was never given a big role in the passing game:
Ohio State tight end Jeremy Ruckert projects as a viable threat in an NFL passing game. Ruckert’s development as the primary tight end for the Buckeyes has spanned over several seasons—he’s been an enticing complementary piece of the puzzle but never someone who was asked to serve in a starring role as a pass-catcher.
In 2021, Ruckert finished with 309 yards and three scores, nothing to write home about but film to digest. The Giants have been one of the worst teams in football regarding red-zone efficiency. Jason Garrett’s unit produced touchdowns on just 44.74% of their trips to the red-zone last season, good for worst in the NFL. Ruckert would help smooth over that number, providing Daniel Jones a big target with some of the best hands at the position in the draft class.
In addition to Jeremy’s receiving qualities, he’s also a willing blocker who goes 100% on every play. With a non-stop motor, solid hands, and plenty of upside, new TE coach Andy Bischoff would have the perfect prospect to mold. He has similar traits to Marc Andrews entering the NFL, and Bischoff played an instrumental role in developing Andrews into one of the league’s best TEs.
Ruckert and Andrews have almost identical frames, making the two extremely comparable as prospects. Of course, there’s no guarantee Ruckert will become as lethal. Nonetheless, Ruckert’s frame and reliable hands would be a blessing after years of Engram’s inconsistencies and failure to take his game to the next level. Whether that be a result of poor coaching, scheme, or athletic limitations, going back to the Kevin Boss, Jake Ballard type of tight end would do the Giants well in the future.