Ex-Giant Matt McCants playing well for Raiders

Matt McCants - Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants cut McCants, a 2012 sixth-round draft pick, before the start of this season.

When the Oakland Raiders signed Matt McCants I have to admit to wondering why. What did the Raiders see in the Giants' 2012 sixth-round pick that New York quite obviously did not see?

The Giants, after all, had banished McCants to the practice in 2012 and cut him outright after the 2013 preseason. Drafted 201st overall as a tackle project the Giants had seemingly soured on McCants as an outside player, experimenting with him at center and guard during training camp and the preseason.

Those experiments failed as McCants gave up three sacks during the preseason, leading the Giants to send him packing when they made final roster cuts. The Raiders snapped him up quickly, signing him on Sept. 2.

McCants was originally signed to the Raiders' practice squad, but quickly ended up on the 53-man roster and has played in seven of the team's eight games. He has spent all of his time at right tackle, starting three games, and has played well. In 221 snaps he has allowed no sacks or hits on Oakland quarterbacks, and has given up just three pressures. His overall grade from Pro Football Focus is +5.6. For comparison, no current Giants' offensive lineman has a PFF grade that is in the plus column.

Here is a little bit about McCants' emergence from a recent post by Silver and Black Pride:

It is all the more impressive for McCants considered he was signed to the Raiders practice squad September 2, called up to the active roster five days later, and was starting less than a month into the season. It wasn't the Raiders plan, nor his, but injuries to Jared Veldheer, Menelik Watson, and Tony Pashos put the Raiders in desperate need of his services.

"It's what I signed up for, you know," said McCants. "It's the NFL. It's an opportunity to go out and play one of the best games in the world at the most elite level so I'm truly blessed. I don't take it for granted at all."

McCants suffered a toe injury during Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and his status for Sunday won't be known until later in the week.

It might be easy to second-guess the Giants considering how well he has played with Oakland, but McCants didn't give the Giants any indication he could be this kind of player. Your thoughts on McCants, Giants' fans?

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