It’s very possible New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has struck gold again in the NFL Draft. Last year, he landed Saquon Barkley, Will Hernandez, Lorenzo Carter, and BJ Hill, all impact players going into their second season with high expectations.
He also snagged undrafted rookies Tae Davis and Grant Haley, two players that will earn starting playing time in 2019. This year, he secured a handful of top talents – DeAndre Baker, Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, but undrafted tight end CJ Conrad might be the biggest surprise.
Coming out of Kentucky with a discovered heart issue at the NFL Combine, Conrad’s stock plummeted before the draft. He fell out of the draft entirely but was picked up by Big Blue after his ailment was proved to be insignificant.
So far, he’s been nothing short of fantastic, hauling in every pass thrown his way. For the first time this spring, two rookies were gifted the chance to play with the first stringers during OTAs. Conrad and wide receiver Darius Slayton were the lucky winners.
Offense only worked with wind at its back and almost all short passes….Jones had only two long throws: both sailed high – he will figure out the wind over time…Star of the day – rookie TE RJ Conrad, who catches eveeything thrown at him. #Giants https://t.co/4Fi3lnP68U
— GiantsWFAN (@giantswfan) June 11, 2019
Coming to the team as a long-shot to make the active roster, Conrad has shown he’s more than capable of competing at the NFL level. Prior to the draft, some analysts believed he was a top seven tight end prospect that would go in the first five rounds – him falling out of the draft benefited the Giants greatly as his skill-set can be diverse with a bit of development.
At 6-4, 248-pounds, Conrad is not only a talented pass-catcher, but he can be a solid blocker on the line of scrimmage as well. The Giants have struggled to find themselves a do-it-all tight end that can operate in every facet of the offense. They’ve been forced to utilize multiple players at the position that have different skills – Evan Engram, Rhett Ellison, and Scott Simonson.
While Conrad has a while to go before he can claim a starting role, he’s certainly on the right path.
Pat Shurmur is charting up CJ Conrad while the Giants do special teams. Conrad has had a fantastic practice from what I could see.
— Patricia Traina (@Patricia_Traina) June 5, 2019