The New York Giants have had some success over the years with undrafted tight ends like Jake Ballard, Larry Donnell and Will Tye. Can Matt LaCosse join that group? Let's take a closer look at LaCosse as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2015 Season in Review
LaCosse had a roller-coaster first NFL season. First, he was an undrafted spring sensation with the Giants. Then, at the beginning of training camp he wasn't a Giant at all, being waived/injured. Then, he was briefly a member of the New York Jets. Then, he was out of football altogether, getting waived before the season started. Then, midway through the season he was a Giant again as the team signed him to the practice squad once league rules regarding players waived injured allowed them to do so. Then, he found himself on the active roster for the final two games of the season and ended up catching three passes for 22 yards. He played 22 offensive snaps over those final two games.
2016 Season Outlook
So far, 2016 has been a case of rinse and repeat for LaCosse. He had an impressive spring, but suffered an injury somewhere along the way that kept him out of the mandatory minicamp. If LaCosse wants to avoid a repeat of last season he needs to get healthy for training camp, and stay that way.
The training camp/preseason competition for tight end roster spots promises to be fierce. Best guess is that Will Tye and Will Johnson are definite keepers, provided they are healthy. After that, LaCosse, veteran Larry Donnell, sixth-round pick Jerell Adams and Ryan Malleck, an undrafted free agent, are fighting to make the team. Whether there will be one spot or two available probably depends on whether or not the Giants decide to keep Nikita Whitlock as a pure fullback.
LaCosse has a combination of blocking and receiving skills that could be useful to the Giants. Tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride Jr. has in the past praised his intelligence and ability to handle his assignments.
Provided he is healthy it would seem like there is a good chance LaCosse could find his way onto the roster. If not, well LaCosse has already learned the hard way that you can't win an NFL job if you can't stay healthy enough to practice.