New York Giants: Two practice squad players that could be called up in 2019

New York Giants, Reggie White Jr.

The New York Giants have been active the last few days trimming the roster down to the required 53-men and bringing in waiver players to fill positions of need.

On Sunday, the Giants put in waiver claims for several players including CB Corn Elder, WR Cody Core, OT Eric Smith, and TE Tomlinson. In the process, they cut receiver Allonzo Russell, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass against the New England Patriots last Thursday.

The Giants made several surprising moves as well, one of which included cutting second-year quarterback Kyle Lauletta over Alex Tanney. One of the more interesting decisions by GM Dave Gettleman and HC Pat Shurmur, Tanney got the nod due to his experience and knowledge of the game. He’s expected to help Daniel Jones in his development.

However, the practice squad was also filled with decent players, and some could have an impact on the 2019 season.

Here are two New York Giants practice squad players that could be pulled up:

1.) WR Reggie White Jr.

Hauling in eight catches for 115 yards over the preseason, White Jr. showed his ability to play at the professional level. The Monmouth product corralled several impressive passes for significant gains and displayed separation from cornerbacks. While he didn’t face off against first-stringers, White could make a small impact during the 2019 season.

The Giants have faced significant injuries and issues with the wide receiver corps this season, making the elevation of White a matter of ‘when.’ Golden Tate’s suspension of four games and Sterling Shepard’s thumb injury will eventually alleviate, but he could fill in as a back-end pass catcher if need be.

Keep an eye on Darius Slayton’s health, because that slot would be the best opportunity for White to slide onto the active roster.

2.) TE CJ Conrad

Conrad is one of the more fascinating players of the preseason, he didn’t leave too much of a mark in the passing game, but he has excellent potential. After clearing waivers, Conrad signed on with the Giants’ practice squad. He has solid blocking abilities and can make a difference in the passing game. He’s a bit slow and unathletic, but his grit and heart make up for it in some facets.

With Scott Simonson out with a high ankle sprain and Evan Engram an injury waiting to happen (knock on wood), Conrad will likely see the field this upcoming season. With more developmental time, I believe Conrad can emerge as the next Rhett Ellison.

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: Rookie receiver Darius Slayton needs to step up

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants are dropping like flies at the wide receiver position. On Monday, WR Amba Etta Tawo has carted off the field with an apparent leg injury. It has since been confirmed that he tore his Achilles tendon.

Etta Tawo was a fan favorite from 2018 and was looking to make his mark on the team once more this season. With pass-catchers dropping, the Giants brought in the speedster to add depth to the unit, but even the depth is prone to the injury bug.

The Giants now have Sterling Shepard (thumb), Golden Tate (potential suspension), Cody Latimer, TJ Jones, Brittan Golden, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, Allonzo Russell, Da’Mari Scott, Alex Wesley, Reggie White Jr., and Darius Slayton.

Slayton, who was selected in the 5th round, has been nursing a hamstring injury the past few weeks, failing to feature against the New York Jets last week and missing out on essential practice time. However, he’s one of the young bright spots on the offense that offers potentials.

The Auburn product’s primary strength is his impressive speed. Entering mini-camp and OTAs, Slayton looked awful; dropping passes left and right. Once he shook off the rookie jitters, though, he became one of two players to earn first-team reps before training camp.

His most recent injury has held him back significantly.

“It stands out,’’ Giants WR coach Tyke Tolbert said. “It’s noticeable all the plays he was making throughout the spring.’’

The Giants desperately need their speedy pass-catcher on the field, especially with all of the recent injuries popping up. He will likely make his preseason debut against the Chicago Bears on Friday, allowing him to showcase his abilities against professional talent.

Expect head coach Pat Shurmur to utilize him as a wide receiver-screen target and quick slant option. Having great speed and agility off the line of scrimmage will make him deadly within 10 yards. His yards after catch will be the fun part to watch.

 

New York Giants: Studs and Duds in Preseason Opener vs. Jets

T.J. Jones, New York Giants

The New York Giants opened up the 2019 campaign with a preseason 31-22 win vs. their cross-town rivals, The New York Jets. Here are the studs and duds for the Giants in their opener.

Stud: Daniel Jones

A debut that couldn’t have gone any better. I know it’s only preseason and he played against half the Jets first-team but Dave Gettleman must be smiling somewhere. Jones went a perfect 5/5 for 67 yards and a touchdown on his first and only series. His first touchdown pass was a perfectly dropped ball into the arms of Bennie Fowler in the back right corner of the end-zone. While it would have been nice to see Jones get more action, it was a great first game to build on for the highly debated draft pick.

Dud: Eli Manning

The offense heard boo’s on their first series of the preseason but that’s New York for you. It’s hard to judge Eli when he only threw the ball once but the offense just looked electric under Jones. One series won’t change him being the starter but if this becomes a pattern, uh oh.

Stud: Russell Shepard

Giants needed receivers to step up and Shepard answered the bell. The veteran took a slant from Alex Tanney 51 yards to the house. It was exactly what Pat Shurmur was hoping to see from a rattled wide receiver room. The receiving core isn’t a two-man show of Sterling Shepard and ex-Giant OBJ anymore, it’s going to be a committee.

Dud: Julian Love

The rookie DB had a tough first series; failing to communicate with Jabrill Peppers one play then getting caught in a pick play resulting in a touchdown. However, later on, he seemed to get more in a rhythm adjusting to the faster speed of the NFL. A Learning curve is going to be expected for this secondary considering Jenkins is the only returning starter.

Dud: Paul Perkins

This was Perkins opportunity to make Giants fans remember his promising rookie year but a fumble before halftime, struggling to run the ball, and add in a drop to the disappointing return. It’s surprising to see after an encouraging training camp but they play 4 preseason games for a reason.

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Stud: Alex Tanney

Tanney’s day was impressive further solidifying himself a spot on this roster. He completed 14/19 for 190 yards and 1 touchdown. He had unleashed a laser on a slant to Russell Shepard for a 51-yard touchdown and dropped a beautiful 40-yard pass to Alonzo Russell. The veteran is in the lead for the third and final QB spot behind Manning and Jones.

Stud: Alonzo Russell

Training camp stands out Alonzo Russell had a great release on a 39-yard completion from Tanney. He had another great route getting behind the Jets backups early in the third quarter what would have been a walk-in touchdown but Tanney decided to pick up the first down with his legs.

Stud: T.J. Jones

With opportunities open on the depth chart, T.J. Jones made a name for himself reeling in 6 receptions for 72 yards and an impressive one-handed back shoulder touchdown grab from Lauletta.

Other Game Notes:

-Corey Ballentine continues to impress as he made an incredible interception showing off his athleticism. He also looked like a natural returning the football. His first return was a botched catch in the end-zone as he took the touchback but followed it up with a 40-yard return on a kickoff. Ballentine returned kicks regularly at Washburn University. His stock continues to rise.

-Reggie White Jr. also contributed toward a great day for Giants wide receivers: 6 receptions for 40 yards.

-Ryan Connelly was all over the field. Bettcher loves the kid to begin with. Look for increased reps for the rookie linebacker out of Wisconsin.

-Long Island local and undrafted rookie Jake Carlock made a fantastic play batting down Jets QB Davis Webb’s pass and returning it for a 59-yard touchdown.

New York Giants: Corey Coleman tears ACL in first training camp practice

New York Giants, Corey Coleman

Prior to New York Giants No. 1 receiver Sterling Shepard fracturing his thumb midway through the first training camp practice, it was thought that Corey Coleman and Cody Latimer were battling it out for the No. 3 spot on the team.

However, it has been revealed that Coleman tore his ACL as well, sending two promising pass catchers for the Giants to the sidelines. Sterling will likely return before the start of the regular season but Coleman will miss the entire 2019 season.

After making comments of breaking out, head coach Pat Shurmur must be disappointed:

“We are going to see the best of [Coleman],” head coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s the first one to tell you when he came in the league, he had a lot to learn. Now he’s got an opportunity to maybe be a front-line player.”

This injury dampens the mood for a receiving corps that’s extremely thin behind Shepard and Golden Tate. They do have Latimer still available, but it seems rookie Darius Slayton may get more reps after the injury to Corey.

On the bright side, Shepard will not require surgery and will be watched on a week-by-week basis. Unfortunately for both pass catchers, but the better of the two will be okay, so it seems.