The New York Giants were unanimously praised for their 2023 NFL Draft class. The team’s undrafted free agency class, however, mostly flew under the radar despite featuring some promising talent. WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton stands out as the most exciting prospect among the bunch, as listed by Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report.
Giants’ WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton is a UDFA to be excited about
“Signing undrafted free agent Bryce Ford-Wheaton could wind up being a move that impacts the group as well due to his blend of height, weight and speed,” Ballentine writes. “There’s no clear-cut No. 1 wide receiver and the opportunity is there for an undrafted free agent to make a path for himself.”
The undrafted rookie stands in at 6-foot-3, 221-pounds, boasting an insane 4.38s 40-yard dash time. He posted a perfect 10.0 relative athletic score (RAS), comparing athletically to the likes of Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson.
Ford-Wheaton went undrafted despite having a fourth-round draft projection by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. Zierlein described the West Virginia product as a “big, long wideout specializing in downfield jump-ball victories.”‘
The Giants were quick to snatch Ford-Wheaton off the market, signing him despite significant interest from the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles. Ultimately, the rookie picked Big Blue, citing head coach Brian Daboll and fellow West Virginia alumnus David Sills as his motivating factors.
“The determining factor was I had David Sills, one of my old teammates, up there,” Ford-Wheaton said per The Athletic. “He’s done what I’m trying to do right now.”
Ford-Wheaton is not your typical UDFA, nor is he being paid like one. The Giants gave Ford-Wheaton $236K guaranteed on his contract. According to Dan Duggan of The Athletic, “That’s a full season salary on the practice squad ($216K) plus a $20K signing bonus. Clearly someone they want to develop.”
As Ballentine writes, “Ford-Wheaton’s physical tools will give him an advantage over some of the competition.”
The Giants have plenty of undersized, route-running wide receivers on their roster. But they don’t have many big-bodied outside talents to develop. Ford-Wheaton is one of the few depth pieces that the Giants have who could fill that role, creating a path for him to sneak his way onto the final roster at the end of the summer.