Will Beatty is gone for the first half of the season, perhaps longer. Justin Pugh has been moved inside to guard. That means the New York Giants have new starting offensive tackles in rookie Ereck Flowers and veteran Marshall Newhouse. They are also looking for capable backups.
"Perhaps somebody that we didn't really count on originally, because of the number of reps they are going to get, will benefit from that," head coach Tom Coughlin said recently.
Could Sean Donnelly, an undrafted free agent from Tulane who was one of the players signed as a priority free agent before the Giants rookie mini-camp, be such a player? Let's look at Donnelly as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2014 Season in Review
Donnelly started all 12 games at right tackle for the Green Wave in 2014. The Pelham, N.Y. native started 13 games at right tackle in 2013. In his career at Tulane, Donnelly started 36 of the 42 games he played in.
2015 Season Outlook
Donnelly signed with the Giants as a priority free agent. Tulane offensive line coach John McDonell said Donnelly is "the perfect guy that you would want to have at that position as a developmental lineman."
"I really believe that Sean is a great candidate to make a team and put him on the practice squad. I don't think you're seeing the finished product of Sean Donnelly," McDonell said. "I still think he can improve his game. I think you can mold him into a real solid player.
"Give him a couple of years there and then you might have a guy. He can be a player for you."
McDonell said that the 6-foot-7, 333-pound Donnelly has "obviously got NFL size. He's a big man." McDonell also said that Donnelly made tremendous strides physically during his time at Tulane, lowering his body fat from 30 percent to 19 percent.
"He really worked hard at making himself a better football player. He always was a big guy, but he got himself into the weight room, he studied the game of football and he made himself into a productive football player. I'm very proud of that," McDonell said. "If you saw where he came from as far as his weight room and his body composition you would be very, very impressed. He really worked at it."
Donnelly, a Pelham, N.Y. native, apparently had inquiries from a dozen or more NFL teams before choosing the Giants.
Donnelly is in a group of unproven players that includes Emmett Cleary and Michael Bamiro, both of whom have knocked around NFL practice squads the past couple of seasons, who are fighting to get the attention of the coaching staff and earn a backup role or a spot on the team's practice squad.
"Sometimes it works out better when you're a free agent, and I think deep in his heart he couldn't be happier with going to the Giants," McDonell said. "It's a great fit for him."
Per Jordan Ranaan of NJ Advance Media, Donnelly received the biggest signing bonus ($15K) of any of the team's UDFA signees and was guaranteed $15K on top of that.
McDonell said he believes Donnelly's best NFL position would be as a right tackle, with the ability to fill in on the left side. Perhaps Donnelly's 2015 ceiling is as a practice squad player who works to get stronger and could contribute down the line.