New York Giants: Josiah Tauaefa is Moving on Up

Josiah Tauaefa, New York Giants

With the sad news of hearing New York Giants rookie linebacker who has shown so much potential, Ryan Connelly tore his ACL in the New York Giants game against the Washington Redskins in Week 4 on September 29th.  After getting his second career interception and recording his first career sack against Washington Redskins quarterback Case Keenum, Connelly was ruled out for the game and the rest of the 2019 season.

The New York Giants knew they were lacking at the linebacker position, with the loss of Connelly.  On October 1st, the New York Giants made some roster moves and moved linebacker Josiah Tauaefa up from the practice squad, signing him to the 53 man roster.

Tauaefa, a rookie free agent showed off his skills during the Giant’s preseason games.  He battled each and every game he played as if it was the real season.  Tauaefa went out there and gave it his all, leading the New York Giants with 16 tackles, one sack, and a fumble recovery.  His efforts have earned him a very well-deserved place on the Pro Football Focus’ list of Top 25 Rookies.

Tauaefa also showed off his athleticism and skills while playing college football at the University of Texas at San Antonio, recording a career total of 257 tackles, 11.5 sacks, and one interception.

With stats like these and a demeanor like his, Tauaefa will surely give hope to the New York Giants defense and will continue to shine.  He is ever so thankful, grateful and appreciative of every opportunity he is given and it shows, as he goes out there with such momentum on every play.

Tauaefa has the vigor and wide-range of skills to be everything the New York Giants need and more.  He gives the defense hope!

New York Giants: What does Josiah Tauaefa offer the defense in place of Ryan Connelly?

Josiah Tauaefa, New York Giants

The New York Giants defense took a significant hit with the loss of Ryan Connelly due to a torn ACL in his right knee. Replacing him will be incredibly tricky and realistically impossible, but as they say, “next man up!”

That fortune next man is Josiah Tauaefa, an undrafted player out of the University of Texas at San Antonio. While the school isn’t well known and doesn’t produce many starting-caliber players in the NFL, Tauaefa has the tenacity and heart to carve out a role. It’s never ideal to have to replace an injured starter, but it gives an opportunity to a player that could rise to the occasion.

The question is: What are the New York Giants getting in Josiah Tauaefa?

Let’s first take a look at some film to see what he’s capable of.

One thing to note about Tauaefa is that he’s a capable blitzer and can evade blocks with his shiftiness. The linebacker isn’t the strongest player, but his speed and relentlessness to get to the ball compensate to a degree. On this play, he shoots the A-Gap, swimming the running back and gets into the backfield in a jiffy. This attests to his speed, something all good linebackers have. My primary concern will ultimately come down to his efficiency in the run game, as his lack of size could show up in that facet.

Tauaefa has solid vision, as you can see in this clip. He identifies the play at the line of scrimmage and reacts well to an option play from the quarterback. That’s the instinctual reaction timing a good linebacker should have. Ultimately, Tauaefa has the attributes to be a solid contributor, but there’s a reason he was on the practice squad. In an ideal world, the Giants will not have to utilize his services, and if they do, they should be prepared to give up some big runs against better running backs.

Aside from Tauaefa, Big Blue has Alec Ogletree, Tae Davis, and David Mayo on the roster to supplement the loss of Connelly. None of the three players mentioned have the instinctual skills Connelly does, and that will hurt the efficiency of the defense. In fact, after Ogletree went down with a pulled hamstring, the defense went on to play six quarters without allowing a touchdown.

 

New York Giants Drop Two, Gain Golden Tate And Josiah Tauaefa

New York Giants, Golden Tate

The New York Giants have one major roster change coming for their game against the Vikings – wide receiver Golden Tate, who was suspended for the first weeks of the season thanks to what appears to be an accidental PED violation, is making his return and finally giving the Giants a more complete set of receivers. It’s something that, thanks to Tate’s suspension and Sterling Shepard’s early season concussion troubles, the team hasn’t had since they made the decision to ship Odell Beckham Jr. off to Cleveland.

However, the addition isn’t without its losses – with Tate back in the mix there’s some other players that the Giants just don’t need as much, and a couple of those players were released to make room for Tate and one other addition, linebacker Josiah Tauaefa, a practice squad player meant to help fill the gap left by Ryan Connelly after the Wisconsin rookie was taken out for the entire season by an ACL injury.

The two cuts are other wide receivers, Bennie Fowler and T.J. Jones. While both players performed alright in the preseason neither one made enough of a mark to stay on the roster now that Tate is back, which seems to be the motivating factor for their release.

Connelly isn’t the only injury at the linebacker position and due to the very thin nature of the spot. Tauaefa represents a more important addition to the team which for now, is good enough to get him promoted off the practice squad.

The game against Minnesota will be the first one featuring Golden Tate and Daniel Jones playing at the same time for the Giants, which is certainly intriguing. One can hope that with a pair of additions, the team can continue to win even with the absence of their top offensive player, Saquon Barkley, for the upcoming weeks.

New York Giants News, 9/1 – Giants will regret releasing these two players

T.J. Jones, New York Giants

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

Saturday marked the deadline to cut NFL rosters down to 53-men, and the Giants were forced to make several tough decisions that could be detrimental to the team during the regular season.

While plenty of valueless players were cut, some were surprises and were thought to be potential contributors this upcoming season.

Here are two players they could regret cutting:

1.) WR T.J. Jones

Catching 12 receptions for 146-yards and two scores this preseason gave Jones the film to justify a roster spot for the regular season. He showed his ability to make difficult catches and play from the slot in addition to wideout. With the Giants having a thin wide receiver corps, there was an opportunity for a pass-catcher to join the unit, especially with Golden Tate missing the first four games of the season.

Jones being cut could hurt down the line, but it all depends on the health of the unit.

2.) LB Josiah Tauaefa

The undrafted linebacker out of Texas-San Antonio earned one of the best grades of the preseason, according to PFF.

Undrafted free agent Josiah Tauaefa has been a pleasant surprise for the New York Giants so far this preseason. Tauaefa has seen most of his preseason time in coverage where he has recorded four coverage stops, but he has also excelled in his limited action against the run and in the pass-rush. The former UTSA product was a legitimate threat as a blitzer in college, as he finished his three-year college career with 63 pressures and a 94.0 pass-rush grade his final season.

His play-making ability and speed in the middle of the field made him attractive, but he was not capable of being a starter during his rookie season.

Keeping him on the roster as a developmental player would have been the ideal scenario. If the Giants can sign him to the practice squad, they will have the opportunity to help him grow, but the effectiveness he showed this preseason shouldn’t be overlooked.

Nonetheless–

Paul Schwartz (NY Post) – Breaking down Giants after roster cut-down day

John Fennelly (Giants Wire) – Players Giants should monitor during 53-man roster cuts
Stephen Smith (NFL Spin Zone) – New York Giants: Ranking 3 toughest non-NFC East games
Anthony Rivardo (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: Should the Giants trade for Kiko Alonso?
Alexander Wilson (Empire Sports Media) – New York Giants: Who is the most underrated player on the team?

New York Giants: 3 players that could somehow survive the roster cut

New York Giants, Paul Perkins

The New York Giants and head coach Pat Shurmur have plenty of difficult decisions to make on Saturday before the roster cut deadline. At 4 PM, the roster must be cut down to the final 53-men.

There are a plethora of players fighting for their lives to ensure they earn a spot on the active team, and some of them will be left without a job and looking to latch on elsewhere.

Three New York Giants players that could survive the deadline:

1.) RB Paul Perkins

Fourth-year running back Paul Perkins is fighting to earn another chance with the Giants. Having been injured all of last season, he certainly doesn’t hold any advantage or leverage.

Perkins was thought to be the future for the Giants at running back after he rushed for 456 yards and average 4.1 yards per carry during his rookie season. His elusiveness and ability to make tacklers miss in open space provided optimism for the team moving forward.

The 24-year-old is coming off a season where he tore his pectoral muscle lifting weights. This opened the door for general manager Dave Gettleman to draft Saquon Barkley and inject him into an offense that badly needed a star running back. However, Perkins can still be of use in a limited fashion. While he’s not the most productive runner in the “I” formation, he’s a solid back in regards to running back screens and pitch plays. He is currently battling it out with Rod Smith for the reserve back spot behind Barkley and Wayne Gallman.

Acting as a glorified scar-back, Perkins can still be of use. Smith has had serious fumbling issues this off-season and is losing ground with every passing day. The final preseason game against the New England Patriots will be very telling of what is to come on Saturday.

2.) LB Josiah Tauaefa

The undrafted linebacker out of Texas-San Antonio has been a revelation for the Giants defense this preseason. While his name hasn’t been called frequently, that is likely because he has featured towards the end of games when the second and third stringers have already taken over.

PFF graded him with an 86 .8 rating, the seventh-highest grade for rookies so far. He has earned 12 total tackles, one sack, and a special teams tackle throughout the preseason.

Looking a lot like Troy Polamalu (physically), Josiah seems to have a chip on his shoulder and is fighting for an opportunity to play with the Giants. While it is unlikely he earns a roster spot, he could be a practice squad body for the time being.

He has made waves and should earn more reps in the final preseason game against New England. Again, his performance will be very telling and give the Giants brass a better understanding of what he has to offer during the 2019 season.

3.) WR Reggie White Jr.

If Reggie White Junior manages to earn a spot on the 53-man roster, there is one specific play that could have earned him the role. The Monmouth product has above average ball skills, and he has shown that during the preseason with 100-yards receiving over six receptions.

Daunting the No.13 jersey, formerly owned by Odell Beckham Jr., White Jr. has high expectations for himself and what he can accomplish with the Giants moving forward. In addition to his past catching skills, he has also made an impact on the special-teams unit, providing a fundamental block that sprung Brittan Golden on a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown.

“I loved the catch, don’t get me wrong,” White told NorthJersey.com. “But that block on the punt return, that’s the kind of play I know I need to make in order to make the team. I have to show that I can be valuable in everything I do, and that was a lot of fun, getting to celebrate in the end zone with Golden and everything, all about team right there. That’s a memory I won’t forget, and I think it shows I’m willing to do whatever it takes.”

Overall, the Giants are thin at wide receiver and being that White Jr. has shown plenty in terms of value this preseason, he deserves to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. However, the final preseason game should give him the push he needs to get over the hump if the Giants brass aren’t entirely sold on his abilities.

New York Giants: Surprise undrafted defender could replace BJ Goodson

Josiah Tauaefa, New York Giants

While most are focused on New York Giants rookie passer Daniel Jones, most are forgetting about the reserve players fighting for a roster spot. The spotlight will focus in on one specific athlete in this article, an undrafted one that has been one of the highest-rated defenders this preseason period.

Linebacker Josiah Tauaefa of Texas-San Antonio is the undrafted surprise that has made waves with his performance during the preseason. While his name is seldom called during practice, he’s quietly left his mark. PFF gave him an 86.8 grade, the seventh-highest graded rookie so far.

PFF stated:

Undrafted free agent Josiah Tauaefa has been a pleasant surprise for the New York Giants so far this preseason. Tauaefa has seen most of his preseason time in coverage where he has recorded four coverage stops, but he has also excelled in his limited action against the run and in the pass-rush. The former UTSA product was a legitimate threat as a blitzer in college, as he finished his three-year college career with 63 pressures and a 94.0 pass-rush grade his final season.

His 12 total tackles, sack, and special teams tackle have earned him praise from the coaching staff and fans that have a keen eye for undrafted free agents looking to make a run at a roster spot.

Could New York Giants rookie Josiah Tauaefa replace BJ Goodson at linebacker?

The three-year veteran is in line to earn a roster spot solely due to his experience and familiarity with defensive coordinator James Bettcher. Tauaefa has made a case for himself to steal his role, but he’s more likely to end up on the practice squad than on the active roster.

Playing against second and third-string players only provide so much information to keep players on the roster after cuts. The most exciting aspect of Josiah is his physicality and desire to hit with power and precision.

Check out this his lone sack:

He’s certainly a player to keep an eye on during Thursday’s game against the New England Patriots. It will be his final opportunity to prove his worth in front of the coaching staff.