There appears to be at least one opening for a reserve defensive lineman on the New York Giants' roster. Can undrafted free agent defensive tackle Greg Milhouse, the first player from Campbell to sign with an NFL team, fill it? Let's take a closer look as we continue or player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2015 Season in Review
Milhouse recorded 49 total tackles with 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks this season, posting at least one tackle for loss in 10 of 11 games. Milhouse was a first-team Pioneer Football League selection two years in a row. He became the first player from Campbell ever signed to an NFL contract. The school has only been playing football for eight years, and two Camels signed with NFL teams this offseason. The other, long-snapper Daniel Dillon, signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Milhouse ranks among Campbell's career top 10 in sacks (7.5, seventh) and tackles for loss (17.5, fifth) after just two seasons, transferring from Appalachian State.
Campbell coach Mike Minter explained the unique circumstances that led Milhouse to chose the Giants as an undrafted free agent:
"I thought he'd go between the fifth and seventh,'' he said. "But the thing with free agents is they can choose where they want to go. Greg had a relationship with the scout for the Giants. They went to church together when Greg was in middle school and high school. It's amazing how that came full circle. Greg had a lot of teams talking to him, but he decided to go with the Giants because he had a long-time friend there he can trust.''
2016 Season Outlook
"I'm just excited. It's a dream come true. I'm ready to get to work and continue to prove myself. I've definitely got a big chip on my shoulder and I'm just ready to get to work." -- Milhouse, speaking to the Campbell web site
Here is the NFL.com scouting report on MIlhouse:
Athletic interior defender with combination of power and athleticism. While his level of competition certainly won't prepare him for life in the NFL, Milhouse's disruptive pass rush traits should be intriguing for teams who like upfield, athletic three-techniques.
In his 2016 NFL Draft Guide, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports had this to say about Milhouse:
Milhouse has cat-like quickness for his size and uses his initial momentum to drive interior blockers backwards towards the quarterback. He needs to develop his hand technique and ball awareness, but his skill-set is draftable -- faces a steep learning curve, but can provide quality depth to a three-technique rotation in a four-man front.
With Damon Harrison now at the nose tackle in the Giants' 4-3 defense, Johnathan Hankins will slide over and spend most of his time at the 3-tech. The Giants also have 2014 third-round pick Jay Bromley as a backup 3-tech. So, where does that leave Milhouse? Well, perhaps still with a decent shot at finding his way onto the 53-man roster, or at least the practice squad.
Beyond Harrison, Hankins and Bromley there is room for one or perhaps two defensive tackles at the bottom of the roster. Milhouse is in a group of players including Montori Hughes, Louis Nix and Marvin Lewis competing for a spot. His advantage in that competition is that Hughes, Nix and Lewis are all nose tackle types, while the 6-foot-1, 295-pound Milhouse is more of a pass rusher.
In terms of what we saw during spring workouts, there is little to go on. Judging line play during non-contact practices in shorts and t-shirts is virtually impossible. We will have to wait until there are padded training camp practice and real preseason games to see if Milhouse can make a real push for a roster spot. Last season Giants tight end Will Tye became the first player from Stony Brook to make it into the NFL. Can Milhouse do that for Campbell? He is a player to keep an eye on.