EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants’ beleaguered wide receiver corps got some welcome good news on Wednesday when speedy undrafted free agent Alex Wesley was removed from the PUP list.
Wesley, who ran track throughout his collegiate career and finished 14th in the NCAA 400-meter finals in 2018, has been out since fracturing a bone in his foot during OTAs. He said he is roughly seven weeks removed from surgery.
“I haven’t played football in a while,” said Wesley, who will be limited initially to individual drills. “Just start working my way back into practice and getting caught up.”
Now, can he make up for lost time?
With Corey Coleman out for the year, Sterling Shepard limited with his broken thumb, Brittan Golden and Darius Slayton sidelined by injuries and Golden Tate facing a four-game suspension, there are reps to be had. And a need for play-making wide receivers to emerge.
“We still have five weeks left. I definitely think there’s time,” Wesley said. “I haven’t missed a preseason game yet, so I definitely think there is a chance.”
Whether or not Wesley has enough time to get ready to play against the New York Jets in the August 8 preseason opener remains to be seen.
The Giants, though, can use all of the options they can get with their depleted receiving group.
Wesley ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. He averaged 18.4 yards per earch in each of his final two collegiate seasons, catching 112 combined passes and surpassing 1,000 receiving yards each year.
Having split his time at Northern Colorado between track and football, Wesley has never had the opportunity to train specifically for football.
“It was a lot of cutting weight and gaining weight, cutting weight, gaining weight,” Wesley said. “Now I can keep the weight on and still run fast. Use it like functional weight instead of having to drop down to 175 and then gain 10 pounds for the football season. I can just keep building muscle and running routes.”
In a pre-draft scouting report, Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst, wrote:
Nice-sized receiver with solid speed and next-level receiving skills. Fluidly releases off the line of scrimmage, uses his hands to separate from defenders and tracks the pass in the air. Displays terrific short-area quickness, fires into pass routes and nicely makes the reception on crossing patterns. Easily adjusts to the errant throw, uses his frame to shield away defenders and displays excellent focus and concentration. Displays good timing, looks the ball into his hands and snatches the pass out of the air. ... He possesses the size, speed and overall football ability to develop into a fourth receiver at the next level.
Along with Reggie White Jr., Wesley is one of two intriguing undrafted free agent receivers in Giants camp. Wesley believes he will be able to show the ability to do more than be a deep threat.
“I think I’m somebody that can run the whole route tree. Right now I’m mainly in the slot, so I obviously get to run some of those shorter routes and then also mix in some of the seam balls and that kind of thing,” he said.
“I think you’ll see a guy that’s been working on his craft.”
Whatever he can bring, the Giants will be glad to see him on the practice field.