A season ago Nick Gates was an undrafted rookie out of Nebraska thought to have a chance to stick with the New York Giants as a developmental guard prospect. A foot injury derailed him and he spent the season on injured reserve.
Gates is back for another shot with the Giants. Let’s take a look at him as we continue our look at the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.
How he got here
A collegiate tackle, the Giants signed him and attempted to convert him to guard. Here are a couple of pre-2018 Draft scouting reports:
Gates appears taller than his listed height due to his high-cut frame, but his lack of length gets him in trouble when he faces it across from him. Gates can dazzle with his ability to weave back and forth with easy redirection in his pass mirroring, but he has a poor anchor and a soft edge and doesn't hold up consistently enough to make a living outside. A move inside to guard is likely, but his issues against length and power are still concerns despite a move inside.
Gates is a nice-sized, relatively athletic guard prospect who can be used in a conventional offense or a zone-blocking scheme. He’s a solid prospect who should improve as he physically matures and learns the NFL game.
The Giants have Will Hernandez and Kevin Zeitler at guard. If those two remain healthy, the Giants are set at the guard position for a while. They could, however, use some depth.
John Greco is gone. Spencer Pulley and Evan Brown are centers who can play guard. Austin Droogsma is a college shot putter who hasn’t played football since high school.
If Gates shows the promise the Giants thought he had a year ago, there might be a place for him — at least on the practice squad.