New York Giants: Why rookie Daniel Bellinger should start at tight end

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The New York Giants rebuilt their offense this offseason, but they left a glaring weakness. The tight end position was dismantled. Last season’s starter Evan Engram departed in free agency. The two tight ends behind Engram, Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith, were released. There is no clear-cut starting tight end currently on the Giants roster. A couple of veterans could compete for the job, but rookie Daniel Bellinger should be the starter in 2022.

Why Daniel Bellinger should be the Giants’ starting tight end

The New York Giants drafted tight end Daniel Bellinger with the 112th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The fourth-round selection has a chance to start on the Giants’ depth chart. Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins are the two veterans with which Bellinger will be competing. Seals-Jones and Akins may beat Bellinger with experience, however, the Giants would be wise to bet on Bellinger’s potential.

Daniel Bellinger is as sure-handed as they come and appears to be a perfect fit in Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka’s offensive scheme. Bellinger was utilized a lot on screens and short passes during his collegiate career. Over in Kansas City, Mike Kafka and the Chiefs turned Travis Kelce into one of the NFL’s best tight ends using him in a similar fashion to the way San Diego State used Daniel Bellinger.

Bellinger averaged 14.5 yards after the catch per reception, ranking first of the tight ends in the 2022 NFL Draft class (PFF). Daniel Bellinger is also a willing blocker and a secure catcher. He did not drop a single pass in the 2021 season to go along with a 4.2% drop rate for his entire collegiate career.

Bellinger measures in at 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, and moves quickly with the ball in his hands. Bellinger racked up 31 receptions for 357 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2021. Brian Daboll’s offense in Buffalo maximized the potential of a mid-round tight end in Dawson Knox. Maybe Daboll can have a similar effect on Daniel Bellinger’s development.

Giants’ rookie Daniel Bellinger attending TE University, looking to improve his game

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New York Giants rookie tight end Daniel Bellinger is preparing to make an impact in his first year as a professional football player. Drafted in the 4th round, Bellinger brings quality blocking capabilities on day one, but he’s also a solid receiver with plenty of upside.

Bellinger is currently attending TE University, hosted by Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce, San Francisco 49ers tight end, George Kittle, and former Pro Bowler Greg Olsen.

Bellinger will be in the company of extremely talented players from around the NFL, where he can curate a learning experience.

Recently, San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke spoke to the Giants about Bellinger’s impact and what he’s bringing to the NFL level.

“I think No. 1, his toughness,” Head coach of San Diego State Brady Hoke told The Giants Huddle podcast. “We pride ourselves about being tough and physical as a football team on both sides of the ball and the kicking game.”

Bellinger is NFL-ready for the New York Giants:

Last season at the collegiate level, Bellinger enjoyed plenty of experience in a pro-style system that incorporates blocking at multiple levels. In fact, he had the 7th most in line zone snaps of any TE in the country with 229.

With more than capable functional strength at the line of scrimmage, he also has solid straight-line speed, running a 4.63 40-yard dash, ranking in the 82nd percentile. There aren’t that many weaknesses to Bellinger‘s game, meaning he can continue to build on his already established qualities.

“No. 1, it comes down to competitiveness and the competitor running correct routes, your release from the line of scrimmage,” said Hoke. “I think all of those things are things that goes back to Dan and Dan’s No. 1 leadership, his expectations and standards, that he has for himself. I’ve been coaching for a long time, and he’s one of those guys that you wish you had more of them over the years…”

Learning from Kelce, Kittle, and Olsen will only help him adapt to the NFL, a far more physical and technical game. Hopefully, the Giants will see an even better version of Daniel when training camp comes around in late July.

Giants’ rookie TE Daniel Bellinger shines, making push for starting job

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The New York Giants have had a polarizing experience at the tight end position over the past few seasons. Former first-round pick Evan Engram has provided inconsistent hands and spotty blocking during his five-year career with the Giants. However, the team went in a different direction this past off-season, as Engram signed a one-year, $9 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Giants wanted blocking, and they got it:

New general manager Joe Schoen drafted San Diego State TE Daniel Bellinger in the fourth round, providing a great blocking option from the position with upside as a receiver.

Bellinger is already making an impression during mini camp, utilizing his strong hands and blocking pedigree to help carve out a legitimate role for the 2022 season. Last year with San Diego State, Bellinger finished with 353 total yards and two touchdowns. Impressively, he didn’t drop a single pass in 2021 and has a 4.2% drop rate in his entire career. That will be a welcomed statistic for most Giants fans.

When asked about a specific skill set, Ballinger harped on his ability to block well.

“I like being able to block somebody,” Bellinger said, per Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com. “I feel like that‘s football. It’s how I grew up, with a mindset that, hitting somebody is football. So blocking somebody is football. I love blocking.”

At 6’5″ and 253 pounds, Bellinger has great size at the position and phenomenal straight-line speed. At the NFL Combine, he ranked in the 82nd percentile in the 40-yard dash, earning a 4.63 second time. He also has some of the biggest hands in the position, ranking in the 99th percentile with 11-inch hands.

New tight ends coach Andy Bischoff has raved about Bellinger’s skill set, indicating he has all the tools to become a great player in the NFL.

“He’s one of those rare guys today that can really do it all,” Giants tight ends coach Andy Bischoff said of Bellinger. “He can block, he can protect and what we want him to do is get open against man coverage. He can do all those things.”

Bischoff has an impressive history of developing tight ends. Notably, he helped groom Mark Andrews into one of the best players at the position. Bellinger and Andrews have an eerily similar frame, which is something the Giants can work with this off-season and into the 2022 campaign.

Considering Big Blue signed Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins to one-year contracts, they are better off developing Bellinger as a rookie than placing him behind several journeymen options. Nonetheless, the depth chart is far from settled, but Bellinger’s positive impression is already indicating a bright future.

Two Giants Mid-Round Rookies projected as Day One Starters

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Entering the 2022 offseason, the New York Giants lacked depth and talent on their roster. New general manager Joe Schoen had the tall task of managing the Giants’ tight salary cap while acquiring talent. It seems he has done just that, especially with his first draft class as the team’s GM. Schoen and the Giants had the luxury of two top-ten draft selections in the first round of this year’s draft. New York was nearly guaranteed to walk away with two day-one starters in the first round. But the draft does not end after round one, and hitting on mid-round draft picks was crucial for the Giants. So far, it looks so good, as two mid-round rookies are being projected as surprising day-one starters: tight end Daniel Bellinger and defensive back Dane Belton.

The Giants revamped their roster this offseason, releasing and letting go of starting players on both sides of the ball. New York let starting tight end Evan Engram walk in free agency while cutting both of his backups in Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith. This left a major need at the tight end position for the Giants this offseason, and it looks like they filled that need in the fourth round of this year’s draft. The Giants drafted tight end Daniel Bellinger out of Sand Diego State with the 112th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. It is unusual to find a starter that late in the draft, but after 10 days of OTAs, it appears Bellinger is in line to roll out with the first team.

Dane Belton, rookie safety out of Iowa, also seems like he could be starting in September. The Giants drafted Belton two picks after Bellinger at 114 overall. Like Daniel Bellinger, Dane Belton is also turning heads as a potential starter during OTAs. It would be extraordinary if Joe Schoen did indeed manage to land two starters in the fourth round of this year’s draft.

Daniel Bellinger and Dane Belton practicing with the first team

An interesting storyline developing at Giants’ OTAs is the emergence of the team’s two fourth-round draft picks. According to Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com, Dane Belton and Daniel Bellinger “have already emerged as possible Day 1 starters.”

Daniel Bellinger could be the Giants’ starting tight end this season

Daniel bellinger has been taking practice reps with the first team despite other veteran tight ends being healthy and competing for the position:

Thursday, Bellinger got the majority of the reps with the first-team offense ahead of veterans Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins, and he’s been a favorite target of Jones’ throughout OTAs. Where some rookies have been getting first-team reps in part because of injuries to others — including Belton — both Seals-Jones and Akins are healthy and practicing. – Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com

Dane Belton taking first team reps at Giants OTAs

Dane Belton is a versatile player with the ability to line up at multiple defensive positions. He has done exactly that at OTAs, surprisingly receiving reps with the first team in practice.

Belton’s first-team reps on Thursday were a bit more of a surprise — though understandable considering his versatility and the absence of some defensive backs. Cornerbacks Aaron Robinson and Holmes, plus safety Jarren Williams didn’t participate.

But projected safety starters Xavier McKinney and Julian Love did — and Belton was out there anyway. Belton lined up as a third safety for much of the afternoon, and even was out there when Love or McKinney would sub out too. McKinney is locked in as a starter, but Love has mostly been a backup in his career anyway and this coaching staff didn’t draft him — they picked Belton. – Zack Rosenblatt of NJ.com

Should Daniel Bellinger and Dane Belton start for the Giants as rookies?

It is unusual to see fourth-round draft picks enter the NFL as day-one starters, but it is not impossible. Daniel Bellinger and Dane Belton are talented players and they both play positions where the Giants lack depth.

Daniel Bellinger could be the Giants’ starting tight end this season. The San Diego State product is as sure-handed as they come and appears to be a perfect fit in Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka’s offensive scheme. Bellinger averaged 14.5 yards after the catch per reception, which ranked first of the prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft class (PFF). Daniel Bellinger is also a willing blocker and a secure catcher. He had 0 dropped passes in the 2021 season to go along with a 4.2% drop rate for his entire collegiate career.

Dane Belton is a superior athlete. His relative athletic score (RAS) was an elite 9.41 after an impressive day of athletic testing at the Scouting Combine. Belton ran a 4.43s 40-yard dash with a blazing-fast 1.49s 10-yard split. The versatile defensive back has the straight-line speed to make the break on passes and make plays. Making plays is what Dane Belton was all about during his collegiate career. He totaled 5 interceptions and 7 passes defended in 2021. The Giants may have found a gem in Dane Belton.

Did the Giants find their starting tight end in 4th round rookie Daniel Bellinger?

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The New York Giants have had a polarizing experience at the tight end position the past five seasons. With Evan Engram featuring as their primary starter, Big Blue has been forced to supplement poor run blocking in hopes of building on Engram‘s offensive capabilities.

However, he dropped the ball far too often to be considered a premium tight end, but still signed a one-year, $9 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars this off-season. Engram would haul in an insane one-handed catch and then drop an easy fastball in the middle of the field, which prompted the Giants to sign Kyle Rudolph last off-season.

Rudolph ended up being a massive mistake coming off Lisfranc surgery. He was barely able to run and was a ghost in the red zone, a category the Giants hoped he would impact positively.

The New York Giants went in a totally new direction at tight end:

Now, management has completely overhauled the tight end group, signing Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins to a contract. However, general manager Joe Schoen didn’t stop there, drafting San Diego State TE Daniel Bellinger in the 4th round of the 2022 NFL draft.

Based on experience, Seals-Jones projects to be the starting tight end to open the year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bellinger was heavily involved and ended up stealing the job at some point during the regular season.

Last year with Washington, Seals-Jones posted 271 receiving yards and two scores over 13 games. Overall, his receiving abilities have been average throughout his career, but Bellinger is a top-flight run-blocking tight end with upside as a pass-catcher.

During his final season with San Diego State, Bellinger hauled in 31 receptions for 353 yards and two touchdowns. One of the most exciting aspects of Bellinger’s game is that he doesn’t drop passes. Over 43 targets, Bellinger didn’t drop a single pass in 2021. He also ranked 7th in yards after the catch with 9.1.

His receiving abilities are incredibly underrated. He’s also an incredibly strong player at the point of attack in the blocking game. This factor should open up lanes for running back Saquon Barkley, especially if he’s lined up alongside fellow rookie, Evan Neal at right tackle.

Looking at Bellinger‘s base skillset, he offers solid straight-line speed, running a 4.63 40-yard dash at the combine. He also ranks in the 99th percentile in hand size at 11 inches. Overall, he’s a physical specimen that could turn into an extremely talented player given the right coaching.

The Giants hired Andy Bischoff, formally of the Baltimore Ravens and Houston Texans. He will take over for Freddie kitchens as TE coach. Bischoff is known for developing Mark Andrews. His pedigree suggests he can extract the best out of Bellinger.

Rookie tight end turning heads at Giants OTAs

daniel bellinger, giants

The New York Giants are practicing at OTA’s this week. There have been some standout rookies and not just the team’s two hyped-up first-round picks. Late-round guys are already turning heads this summer. Take, for example, fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger. The tight end out of San Diego State has already captured attention after just a few practices.

With the 112th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the New York Giants drafted tight end, Daniel Bellinger. This fourth-round pick was acquired in last year’s blockbuster trade-down with the Chicago Bears. The Giants drafted a versatile tight end with a well-rounded skillset in Bellinger. They had a significant need at tight end after seeing their top three on the roster depart this offseason. Evan Engram left in free agency while Kyle Rudolph and Kaden Smith were both released. Daniel Bellinger has an opportunity to make an instant impact as a potential starter in his rookie season.

What Daniel Bellinger is bringing to the Giants

Daniel Bellinger reportedly made the “play of the day” in Monday’s practice with a spectacular touchdown catch. This is not out of the norm for the rookie. He had a wide frame and secure hands which allow him to go over the top of defensive backs in the end zone:

Bellinger averaged 14.5 yards after the catch per reception, which ranked first of the prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft class (PFF). Daniel Bellinger is also a willing blocker and a secure catcher. He had 0 dropped passes in the 2021 season to go along with a 4.2% drop rate for his entire collegiate career. Bellinger was utilized a lot on screens and short passes during his collegiate career. Over in Kansas City, new Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and the Chiefs turned Travis Kelce into one of the NFL’s best tight ends using him in a similar fashion to the way San Diego State used Daniel Bellinger.

Daniel Bellinger is an athletic tight end with a well-rounded skillset. He is 6-foot-6, 255 pounds, and moves quickly with the ball in his hands. Bellinger racked up 31 receptions for 357 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2021. The Giants needed to find themselves a new tight end, and it seems like Joe Schoen delivered with the draft pick of Daniel Bellinger in round four.

Why rookie Daniel Bellinger could be the Giants’ starting tight end in 2022

daniel bellinger, san diego state, giants

The New York Giants addressed all of their major needs in the 2022 NFL Draft. With their first two picks, the Giants addressed their two biggest needs in offensive tackle and pass-rusher. But in the middle and late rounds of the draft, the Giants were strategic with their draft picks. One position that the Giants needed to gain talent at was tight end. The Giants might have found their starting tight end for the upcoming 2022 season in fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger.

Why Daniel Bellinger could start for the Giants

The Giants drafted tight end Daniel Bellinger with the 112th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. This was the fourth-round pick that the Giants received in their 2021 trade-down with the Chicago Bears. The Giants selected the San Diego State tight end with this pick, potentially yielding a starter in the fourth round.

Daniel Bellinger could be the Giants’ starting tight end this season. The San Diego State product is as sure-handed as they come and appears to be a perfect fit in Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka’s offensive scheme. Bellinger was utilized a lot on screens and short passes during his collegiate career. Over in Kansas City, Mike Kafka and the Chiefs turned Travis Kelce into one of the NFL’s best tight ends using him in a similar fashion to the way San Diego State used Daniel Bellinger.

Bellinger averaged 14.5 yards after the catch per reception, which ranked first of the prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft class (PFF). Daniel Bellinger is also a willing blocker and a secure catcher. He had 0 dropped passes in the 2021 season to go along with a 4.2% drop rate for his entire collegiate career.

Daniel Bellinger is an athletic tight end with a well-rounded skillset. He is 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, and moves quickly with the ball in his hands. Bellinger racked up 31 receptions for 357 yards and 2 touchdowns in 2021. The Giants needed to find themselves a new tight end, and it seems like Joe Schoen delivered with the draft pick of Daniel Bellinger in round four.

New York Giants land TE Daniel Bellinger from San Diego State, what does he bring?

daniel bellinger, giants

After missing out on the top tight end prospects in the 3rd round, the New York Giants finally addressed the position with San Diego State TE Daniel Bellinger.

Bellinger is an intriguing prospect at 6’5″ and 253 pounds, running a 4.63 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. That ranks in the 82nd percentile, but a more exciting attribute is his 11-inch hands, which rank in the 99th percentile at the tight end position.

Last season, the San Diego State stand-out contributed 353 yards, and two touchdown passes over 43 targets. Bellinger featured in 127 slot snaps and 505 in-line snaps, utilizing his massive frame as a dominant run blocker. While there’s a lot left to untap regarding Bellinger as a pass-catcher, he can make an impact immediately in the running game, moving defenders at the point of attack.

One statistic that Giants fans will love is that he didn’t drop a single pass last year and hosts a 4.2% drop rate in his entire career. After watching Evan Engram drop routine passes over the past five seasons, the Giants finally moved on to a more reliable player in that category.

Bellinger is known predominantly for his short route concepts, mainly featuring as a security blanket underneath in the Aztec’s offense. However, he has the speed and athleticism to get downfield quickly, an area he will attack more frequently at the NFL level. I imagine the Giants will try to expand upon those skills with TE coach Andy Bischoff coming over from Baltimore.

Some may have preferred the Giants target a tight end earlier, but they walked away with a vastly underrated player who could develop into a tremendous contributor in the future.