The New York Giants have not done nearly enough things right in the past few seasons. One thing they seem to be able to do, however, is to unearth useful tight ends from unlikely places. Let's focus on the tight end position as we continue our look back at 2015 and ahead to what the Giants need to do to bolster their roster in 2016.
2015 in review
The Giants began the 2015 season with a former undrafted free agent filling the role of a productive pass-catching tight end. They ended the season the same way. They just didn't begin and end the season with the same player in that spot.
Larry Donnell had 63 receptions in 2014. A neck injury, however, limited him to eight games last season and opened the door for Will Tye. The former Stony Brook Seawolf burst through the door with 42 receptions in 13 games, seven starts. He may well have also shut that door behind him and ended Donnell's time as a Giant. Tye was recently named to all-rookie teams by both the Pro Football Writers of America and by Gil Brandt of NFL.com.
The Giants did, however, miss the veteran presence and the blocking of Daniel Fells, who suffered a serious MRSA infection and likely saw his career end after just two games.
Is tight end a position of need?
Well, yes. But also, no. Tye looks like a player who could develop into an upper-echelon pass-catching tight end. Thirteen games and seven starts, though, isn't a big enough sample size to write that in stone. Matt LaCosse, another undrafted free agent from Illinois, impressed last spring, returned to the team after being waived injured and saw action in the final couple of games. He could be part of the 2016 group at that position.
The Giants could use a solid blocker at the position. Dwayne Allen of the Indianapolis Colts will be a free agent and is a player thought to be a fit to slide into the Fells role. With all the obvious needs the Giants have in other places it would be surprising to see them use a high draft pick on a tight end, but like everything else you never know what might happen.