Most of the players on the New York Giants were members of the Giants’ 90-man roster for training camp and the preseason.
However, the Giants did sign two players to their practice squad who weren’t Giants before the final preseason game. One of them is David Sills V, an undrafted rookie receiver out of West Virginia.
Some might remember the story about Lane Kiffin, then the head coach at USC, offering a 13-year-old quarterback a scholarship. That 13-year-old QB was a young David Sills. Obviously, Sills didn’t grow up to be a quarterback, instead finding his way to the wide receiver room at West Virginia, where he was very productive as a sophomore and junior.
Sills was initially signed by the Buffalo Bills but was released in the cut from 90 players down to the initial 53-man roster.
So what does he bring to the Giants?
- Long, tall receiver with a good vertical and big catch radius.
- Makes an effort to turn back to his quarterback on short passes.
- Long strides eat up ground in the open field.
- Not shifty, limited ability to create after the catch.
- Labors to get off the line at the start of his routes.
- Not much balance through contact.
- Poor blocker.
- Inconsistent hands.
What They’re Saying
A former quarterback that then-USC head coach offered a scholarship to when he was in eight grade, Sills is now a wide receiver prospect that enjoyed a highly productive career for West Virginia. There are some things to like about Sills’ game, mainly his ball skills, field awareness and length. With that said, Sills must get stronger to reduce his limitations beating press coverage and cleanly running routes. There is some variance with his hands and his route running can be overly robotic. Sills should be able to carve out a niche role early in his career, but his success will be defined by how much further he can evolve in critical areas.
- Joe Marino (The Draft Network scouting report)
What Might Sills Bring To The Giants?
Just based on the eye test, David Sills V looks like an “X” receiver at the NFL level with a 6-foot-3 inch, 210-pound frame, 37-1⁄2 inch vertical jump and a stat line that reads like something out of a video game: 125 catches, 1,966 yards, and 33 touchdowns over the last two seasons.
But the game tape doesn’t match the hype with Sills.
His size is readily apparent, but he doesn’t have the play strength to bully defensive backs, nor does he have the lower body fluidity to to be smooth off the line or in and out of his breaks. The result is a player who struggles against press coverage, can be knocked off his route at the line of scrimmage, and tends to round his breaks at the top of his routes.
And while he was often cited as a deep threat, WVU QB Will Grier actually averaged nearly two yards fewer when targeting Sills than his other receivers.
That being said, just because a receiver is big, doesn’t mean he has to be an “X.” More likely, Sills’ best spot on the offense is as a “big slot” (a la Jordan Matthews or occasionally A.J. Green), or as a flanker. Either position would allow him to use his size and tendency to present a clear target to the quarterback to his advantage as a possession receiver.
Of course, if he is going to be a possession receiver, Sills will need to be more consistent catching the ball. Drops were a problem with him, as sometimes he would pluck the ball out of the air, while other times it would slip through his hands or bounce off his fingers.
As he develops, Sills should work on running his routes with precision, improving his play strength, and becoming a more consistent catcher of the ball. There is the potential there for Sills to become a productive player for the Giants, and given their luck with receivers this year, he might get the chance sooner rather than later.