Can wide receiver Anthony Dable, ancient for an NFL rookie at 27 and never having played the sport outside of France or Germany, make it in the NFL? The New York Giants, turning over every stone to find talent after three straight losing seasons, are giving Dable that opportunity.
Let's take a closer look at Dable as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp later this summer.
2015 Season in Review
Dable played the last two season in Germany. He was a member of the German Football League's Braunschweig New Yorker Lions in 2015. He caught 145 passes for nearly 2,500 yards and 32 touchdowns the past two seasons but those numbers are really irrelevant. The video below shows that the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Dable was really a man amongst boys, an unstoppable force playing against that level of competition.
2016 Season Outlook
Throughout the offseason I have been asked a number of times about Dable's prospects. I really don't knwo what to say. How do we make even an educated guess about Dable at this point? It's really impossible to do that. There is really nothing to compare him to, and only a couple of quick on-field glimpses to give us any information.
Dable is huge, the biggest wide receiver on the roster. Can he take advantage of that size playing against bigger, better, more accomplished defenders than he has ever faced? Dable dropped back-to-back passes during a recent minicamp and watching him run routes you can see that perhaps his footwork isn't as clean as his more experienced teammates. But, that size! If he shows the ability to learn the playbook, clean up his footwork and make contested catches against NFL-caliber corners maybe he will have a chance. The fact that he is the biggest receiver on the roster is the biggest thing he has going for him as he tries to make the jump to the NFL.
Here is a quote from Dable that appeared in American Football International:
" ... I've learned from going from one level to another, the difference is... people are going to catch every ball. People are going to make less mistakes, that is what being a pro is about. Once you have the physical side of it, you need to have less mental errors, less drops, don't miss a block, or misread a defense. That is really the difference.
"So that is what I need to do. To learn my playbook, learn more alignment, run my routes, don't drop the ball, and make plays."
If you're expecting Dable to step in and star right away opposite Odell Beckham Jr., you are probably going to be disappointed. Right now we don't even know if he make the transition to the NFL well enough to earn a roster spot or a place on the practice squad.
Dable's fascinating route to the NFL, though, promises to be one of the intriguing stories of training camp.