Saturday at the Combine marks the first time the "real athletes" (no slights to any linemen who happen to be reading this... You've got well over 100 pounds on me and are probably faster) take the practice field at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Wide receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks take the field for workouts.
While the focus of the Giants' offseason thus far has been the defense, the performance of the Giants' offense during Odell Beckham Jr.'s suspension shows that they can't turn away weapons if the players present value.
Players To Watch
Braxton Miller (WR, Ohio State) -- Miller was the offensive star of the Senior Bowl, but the first year receiver still has a lot to prove. Particularly that he can run an NFL route tree and catch the ball cleanly while doing so. There's no doubt that he is a special athlete, his questions have to do with his position switch.
Michael Tomas (WR, Ohio State) -- Another Buckeye worth watching, Thomas looks to be a big possession receiver at the next level. He was a solid route runner who used his body well to make contested catches. He has traits the Giants have been attracted to in receivers and looks like a good No. 2 option.
De'Runnya Wilson (WR, Mississippi State) -- Wilson is one of the biggest receivers in this draft class at 6'5", 224 pounds, and projects as one of the better short-yardage and end zone weapons in the draft. He can help his stock tremendously if he proves to be more athletic than he was perceived to be in college.
Sterling Shepard (WR, Oklahoma) -- Shepard might be a "little" receiver, but he is a big play waiting to happen. Shepard's size, speed, and quickness make him a nightmare for defenses to deal with. He has the speed to take the top off of a defense and the quickness to create separation out of his routes. Shepard is the kind of receiver that is starting to take over the NFL, like Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, and Tyler Lockett.
Jerell Adams (TE, South Carolina) - Since Ben McAdoo remade the Giants' offense, they have shifted from favoring "classic" in-line tight ends. Instead, they have used more of an "H-Back" that can line up in-line as a tight end, in the slot as a receiver, or in the backfield as a fullback. Adams is a long, rangy tight end who can be that more athletic "move" or hybrid tight end.
On Field Drills
The Gauntlet -- This is another one of those silly drills that can reveal some interesting things about a prospect. They will never again have to run a line while a half-dozen quarterbacks throw balls at them. However, the gauntlet shows scouts which receivers have quick hands, attack the ball and pluck it out of the air, have the coordination to run a line while having to constantly adjust their upper body, and which ones don't let the occasional get in their heads. The worst gauntlet drills are done by players who can't (quickly) move on after a drop.
Over The Shoulder Catch -- This drill determines which, and how well, receivers can track the ball in the air, adjust to it, and catch it cleanly. The receivers who can run down a ball and make the deep catch -- or bail out a quarterback's errant throw -- are prized in the NFL.
The Toe Tap -- In the college game, a single toe was all you needed to secure a catch in the field of play. This drill forces the now former college receivers to prove that they can make a sideline catch in the NFL. It exposes hand-eye coordination, the ability to pluck the ball out of the air, and the body control to make the catch in-bounds.
Route Tree -- Why did Odell Beckham take the NFL by storm? Well, part of it has to do with his competitiveness and electric athleticism. But another part of it is that he came into the league an advanced route runner who already had a rapport with Eli Manning. Receivers that can grasp route concepts and run a full route tree come into the league with an advantage.