The NFL is often called a copycat league. Someone comes up with an idea — a play, a scheme, a formation, a style — that works and other teams try to implement their own versions.
Thus, the success of the New Orleans Saints in taking an athletic college quarterback, Taysom Hill, and turning him into a multi-faceted offensive weapon who can be used running, receiving and throwing is something other teams would like to duplicate.
The New York Giants, with undrafted former Syracuse quarterback Eric Dungey in the hybrid role, are one of the teams trying to find their own version of Hill. Let’s look closer at Dungey as we continue profiling the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp.
How he got here
In a year considered to be a down one for the overall quarterback class, Dungey was not one of the 11 quarterbacks deemed draft-worthy by NFL teams. The Giants, though, wanted Dungey badly enough that head coach Pat Shurmur got on the phone to try and entice him to choose the Giants.
“He was a key guy, a guy that we targeted,” Shurmur said.
“We were kind of all over the board probably until Tuesday late afternoon," Tim Dungey [Eric’s fagther] said. “Shurmur called Eric, and they had a long conversation and he made Eric feel pretty good.
“There are no guarantees, drafted or not. You have to go earn it.”
For what it’s worth, here is a statistical comparison of the college careers of Dungey and Hill.
So, now the question is can Dungey make the transition?
“He is a very accomplished quarterback and made a lot of plays with his feet,” Shurmur said. “We will see. I think he is a good football player. Usually there is a place on the field for good football players. We will see what happens.”
At just 220 pounds and never having blocked before, a traditional tight end role is likely out of the question for Dungey.
To be honest, it’s probably unrealistic to expect Dungey to push for a spot on the 53-man roster initially. Hill took a full year in New Orleans to learn the role, and was an impact player in his second season.
Perhaps that should be the template for Dungey. If he shows promise in the hybrid role, a practice squad spot in 2019 would seem logical as he learns the finer points of what the Giants are asking him to do.