Some believed that Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad was one of the top seven tight ends in the NFL Draft, expected to be taken in the first five rounds. However, the New York Giants grabbed him as an undrafted free agent later in the process and may have gained a steal at a position where they have plenty of depth.
The Giants feature Evan Engram, a primary pass-catching tight end, Rhett Ellison, a premium blocker, and Scott Simonson, a dual option that can equally block and catch passes. A solid blend of alternatives opens up the offense for quarterback Eli Manning and head coach Pat Shurmur. Ellison and Simonson played integral roles in 2018 helping Saquon Barkley break 2,000 all-purpose yards.
Why did CJ Conrad fall out of the draft?
During the NFL Combine Conrad was diagnosed with a heart ailment during his pre-combine medical examines. This reality hurt his stock significantly, but it didn’t take him out of contention for the NFL and he’s preparing to show why he’s more than capable of success.
Conrad sacrificed plenty of personal gain by playing with a young Wildcats offensive line last season. Although, he caught 30 passes for 318 yards and three scores. He will act as a developmental prospect for the Giants early on in his career, but there’s hope he can blossom into something more. He has a solid frame to aid his growth – 6’4″, 248-pounds.
How will the New York Giants utilize Conrad?
Being an elite blocker should earn him some minimal playing time to get a sense of where he’s at in terms of production and value on the field as a rookie. With three solid players in line before him, there’s little evidence that points towards playing time, but I imagine Shurmur will want to see all of his rookies play in limited roles at the very least.
In addition to his tangible traits, Conrad is also a leader and positive voice in the locker room. He’s extremely intelligent and will bring that new sense of success-driven culture the Giants are so keen on adopting. An instinctual player with heightened athleticism and a knack for being a good all-around person, the perfect fit for the Giants.