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Giants UDFAs: Get to know newest players ahead of rookie mini-camp

Will any of these players earn roster spots in 2018?

NCAA Football: Indiana at Penn State
Grant Haley (15) breaks up a pass.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

With rookie mini-camp looming on Friday and Saturday, the New York Giants have yet to release an official list of undrafted free agent signings. A variety of outlets, however, have reported on a number of players expected to be in attendance. Below, brief scouting reports on the players who have been connected to the Giants.

It is possible, of course, that since the Giants have not made an official announcement some of these players may not actually participate in the mini-camp.

Sean Chandler, S, Temple

Started 48 of the 49 games he played in for the Owls. Played cornerback his first two seasons at Temple and moved to free safety his final two seasons. Had 10 interceptions during his career. Averaged 11.2 yards on 25 career punt returns.

The NFL Draft Report says:

With the current trend for using safeties in the NFL, Chandler fits right into that scheme, as he’s played slot cornerback, strong safety with in-the-box success and free safety, where he used his speed to cover the deep areas in the zone.

Chandler fills hard and has developed into a very good open field tackler. ... He has experience on the perimeter, as an eighth-member in the box, a match-up cover corner in the slot, and a more traditional safety in the deep one-half of the field. He also has the size, speed and tackling skills to play a big role on special teams as a returner.

The Giants have only five true safeties on their current roster. Thus, it would seem Chandler should get a good look this spring and summer.

Davon Grayson, WR, East Carolina

Caught 59 passes for 886 yards and 6 touchdowns, averaging just over 15 yards per catch last season. Caught 135 passes over four full seasons. His college career was interrupted by knee and back injuries. His freshman year was 2013.

The NFL Draft Report calls him “a big play receiver.”

Grant Haley, CB, Penn State

The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Haley was a three-year starter for the Nittany Lions.

The NFL Draft Report says Haley “displays safety-like run coverage skills and very good quickness for his position.” says:

“Slot corner who plays with good anticipation from zone and who has adequate athletic ability and foot quickness to compete in man coverage. Haley’s lack of size and inconsistency as a tackler will be a concern for teams. Haley has enough twitch and cover talent to offer up competition at the slot and his four years of experience on Penn State’s special teams units could help his cause.”

The Giants signed a number of veteran corners in free agency, but didn’t add anyone during the draft. Now, toss Haley into the mix.

Aaron Davis, CB, Georgia

The 5-foot-111/2, 194-pound Davis was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs.

In his 2018 NFL Draft Guide, Dane Brugler of NFL Draft Scout wrote:

Known for his intelligence (4.5 GPA in high school, graduated with bachelor degree in 2016), Davis plays with solid awareness, keeping one eye on the route and the other on the backfield. He is well-built, but his tight transition and footwork issues lead to savvy receivers separating out of breaks. Overall, Davis has NFL size and smarts, but looks like a cornerback/safety tweener who might be without a true position.

Nick Gates, OL, Nebraska

A 6-53/4, 307-pound lineman who might be better off moving inside to guard at the NFL level.

The NFL Draft Report says:

Although Gates has some athletic traits, he struggled mightily against top-tier pass rush competition with his shaky performances against Derek Barnett (Tennessee), Nick Bosa (Ohio State) and Shaka Toney (Penn State) standing out on film. Gates gets himself in trouble when he allows rushers to initiate the action, leading to bear hugs and off-balance reactions in space. While the negative plays stand out, so does his physical grit and hockey tough attitude to bury defenders and compete through the whistle.

Brugler says “Gates needs technique and strength work before he is ready for NFL snaps, but he shows the body control and nasty attitude of a developmental guard prospect.”

If he shows enough, perhaps Gates could be ticketed for the practice squad.

Tae Davis, LB, Chattanooga

A 6-foot, 220-pound combo outside linebacker/strong safety. Played linebacker as a senior after three seasons as a safety. Had a career-high 74 tackles last season.

The NFL Draft Report says:

Davis is an instinctive player who is rarely caught out of position. It is his ability to quickly react to the run or pass that might see him use his power and size better as a strong safety/Cover-2 line-backer at the next level. He just has a good understanding for the game, evident by his ability to hold opposing receivers to just 3.29 yards per pass attempt (59 targeted passes) as a senior.

Linebackers who can cover always have a chance. Let’s see if Davis can make an impression.

Evan Brown, C, SMU

A 6-21/4, 302-pound interior lineman who has experience at both center and guard. The NFL Draft Report also believes Brown can play left tackle in an emergency.

The NFL Draft Report says Brown is “an aggressive and competitive blocker who goes from snap to whistle. He has a good frame and playing strength to pin and seal the defender on in-line run blocks. He flashes good short-area and position-block quickness. He is very effective on pulls, as he gets out of his stance and on the move fast.”

Brugler writes that he has “scary strength” and “blocks pissed off.”

With Weston Richburg having moved on in free agency, the Giants have Brett Jones starting at center. The current backups are John Greco and Jon Halapio, neither of whom is a natural center. Could Brown carve out a roster spot?

Rutgers v Penn State
Tyrell Chavis (56)
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Tyrell Chavis, DT, Penn State

A 6-33/4, 305 interior defensive lineman who had 3 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss last season. There is some thought that Chavis could be used as an offensive guard in the NFL.

Jawill Davis, WR, Bethune Cookman

A 6-foot-3/4-inch, 191-pound receiver considered by The NFL Draft Report to be a “savvy route runner. Davis had 39 catches in 10 games, scoring 3 touchdowns and averaging 13.2 yards per catch.

The NFL Draft Report says:

The thing about Davis is that he is a savvy route runner who knows how to create, knows how to stick, leverage, elude and make square cuts working over the middle. There is little gather at the top and it is rare to see him have issues in and out of his break point, thanks to loose hips and a low pad level.

Davis runs tight up field routes and has good stop-&-go action working underneath. He does a good job of eating up the defender’s cushion and is very capable of sinking and planting coming out of his breaks. The thing you notice on game film is that Davis had a penchant for adjusting on his route so the quarterback did not have to throw a perfect pass every time.

Stephen Baggett, TE, East Carolina

A 6-51/4, 251-pound blocking tight end who caught only 23 passes in four seasons at East Carolina.

Dajuan Drennon, DE, North Carolina State

A 6-21/2, 243-pound edge rusher who produced only 5.5 sacks in four seasons.

If this from The NFL Draft Report proves accurate, perhaps Drennon could be a worthy developmental edge rusher:

Last season, Drennon showed that he could be a good edge rusher with the acceleration needed to zero in on the passer. He has the up field speed and can bend the corner to beat the offensive tackle, using an assortment of moves to counter back inside if the blocker over-plays him outside. He has the athleticism needed to change direction well and has the lateral range to give a good chase in backside pursuit, but lacks good speed to generate a long pursuit.

Thomas Sirk QB, Duke

Played at East Carolina last season as a graduate transfer. He played in 11 games, starting the first seven, and completed 132-of-238 passes (55.46 percent) for 1,655 yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Was really more runner than passer, carrying 274 times as a collegian for 1,206 yards (4.4 yards per carry) with 19 touchdowns. While listed as a quarterback, it is possible that the Giants will be looking at the 6-33/4, 234-pounder as a tight end/H-Back.

Rob Martin, RB, Rutgers

The 5-11, 210-pound Martin started only nine of the 46 games he appeared in, yet finished 10th in Rutgers history with 2,256 yards rushing, carrying the ball 448 times (5.04 yards per carry) with 18 touchdowns. He also caught 20 passes for 135 yards (6.75 yards per catch).