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Javon Leake? Austin Mack? Did Giants uncover any gems as undrafted free agents?

Let’s take a look the group of players connected to the Giants

Illinois v Maryland Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

Day 3 of any NFL Draft is usually a madhouse. Teams aren’t only trying to work the draft, but they’re setting themselves up for an undrafted free agency, where they’re allotted a certain amount of money to dispense between all the undrafted free agents that a team signs. In 2020, teams have $123,279 in signing bonuses to spread among their undrafted signees, and the money can be allotted in any different manner.

Hypothetically, let’s say Player A was highly sought after but wasn’t drafted, he can be given $40,000, whereas player B is given a $5,000 signing bonus. UDFA’s sign a three-year contract, with an opportunity to renegotiate after their second season, but after the third year, the player becomes a restricted free agent, so his current team can tender whatever offer he receives in free agency.

It’s a mad scramble to bring in all the potential fits that teams could not draft. Some players prefer to not be drafted late in the seventh round, so they can pick their destination, and hopefully land in a spot that bares more opportunity. With that being said, let’s take a look at who the Giants brought in after their Mr. Irrelevant selection of Georgia linebacker, Tae Crowder.

A reminder that these are unofficial as they have not been announced by the team. Thus, the list may change.

Case Cookus, QB, Northern Arizona

Solid size at 6-foot-3, and slightly underweight at 208. He was productive for the Lumberjacks, with 4,095 passing yards, along with 31 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in 2019. Cookus completed just north of 60 percent of his passes in 2019. Cookus was one of the top performers at the FCS level. It’s unrealistic to think that he has a chance to crack the roster.

Javon Leake, RB, Maryland

I love that the Giants were able to nab Leake. He’s a 6-foot, 215-pound, one-cut running back who specializes as a special teams kick returner. Had two kick return touchdowns in 2019, earning him the honor of being named First Team All-Big 10 as a kick returner. Had more than 100 touches for the first time in 2019, and still averaged a whopping 7.2 yards per carry, while scoring 8 touchdowns. One reason why he wasn’t drafted late is his 40 time as he ran a 4.65 at the combine, but turn his tape on and you’ll see how explosive he is in open space. Becoming a stronger runner will help him earn a more prominent role, and he has to work on his fumbling issues. I can see Jason Garrett utilizing Leake in creative ways if he proves his worth in training camp.

Derrick Dillon, WR, LSU

I like this addition by the Giants. Similar to Leake, Dillon is an explosive athlete with solid deep speed. Dillon is 5-11, 185 pounds with a smooth second gear that he uses to break away from secondary defenders. Dillion was buried on LSU’s depth chart behind JA’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, and Terrance Marshall, but Marshall suffered an injury late in the season and Dillion stepped up. Had 15 receptions for 202 yards, and 2 touchdowns, in 2019.

Austin Mack, WR, Ohio State

A 6-1, 208-pound receiver, who ran a 4.59 40-yard dash and failed to significantly produce at Ohio State. Had 27 catches for 361 yards, and 3 touchdowns in 2019, while playing the majority of his snaps on the boundary. A big handed receiver (10 inches) with a large catch radius (33 ⅝” arms) who has some nuance to his route running. I saw him down at the Senior Bowl and he didn’t seem all that sudden in and out of his breaks. Separation quickness will be an issue. One thing I do love about Mack is his ability to come up with big catches through massive contact. Does a good job securing the catch, bringing it into his body quickly, through traffic, and absorbing contact. He never had a 100-yard game in his Ohio State career.

Binjimen Victor, WR, Ohio State

Victor is a taller receiver than Mack, 6-foot-3, but his frame is lanky at 198 pounds. He has an impressive catch radius and very long arms at 34⅛ inches along with an 81½-inch wingspan. For perspective, his wingspan is longer than Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, who was just drafted in the first round by the 49ers. In 2019, he had 35 receptions for 573 yards and 6 touchdowns. He plays faster than he tested (4.60), but by no means is he a burner. Victor’s play strength at the line of scrimmage, the catch point, and up his stem, will always be an issue.

Rysen John, WR, Simon Fraser

The Giants found this gigantic prospect north of the border in Canada. John is 6-7, 235 pounds and had 53 receptions for 861 yards, and 8 touchdowns in 10 games. Scouts took notice of John at the College Gridiron Showcase and the Hula Bowl, which are small all-star games for college prospects like John. Reportedly, Seattle, Washington, the Giants, and Buffalo all wanted to witness John’s pro-day, but COVID-19 happened. John’s massive frame and long arms will be in his favor during training camp. Let’s see if his athletic ability is up to par.

Kyle Markway, TE, South Carolina

Markway is a 6-4, 252-pound tight end, who had 31 catches for 349 yards, and 2 touchdowns in 2019. Before this past season, he never had more than 3 receptions in a season. According to Pro Football Focus, Markway doesn’t rank in the top 200 at the tight end position in either run or pass blocking, and he also had 6 penalties in 2019. He played a lot of special teams in his last two years at South Carolina.

Tyler Haycraft, OT, Louisville

The starting right tackle, opposite Mekhi Becton, lands with the Giants. Haycraft is small for a tackle, 6-3, 293 pounds, and he played a total of 884 snaps in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus. 2019 was his only significant playing experience. In Louisville’s unconventional offense, where they utilize a lot of RPO’s, zone reads, and move the pocket type of plays, so traditional pass sets aren’t as plentiful, Haycraft surrendered 3 sacks and 17 pressures this past season. Louisville offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford praised Haycraft’s work ethic and claimed that he’ll make a team incredibly happy, due to his toughness, mental capacity, and his high level of competitiveness.

Kyle Murphy, IOL, Rhode Island

As a junior, Murphy started 10 games at left tackle and one at center, while being named First Team All-Conference, and team captain. Continued his dominance at a smaller level of competition in his senior campaign, while garnering praise from the Associated Press by being named as 2nd Team All-American. He is versatile and can play all over the offensive line, which Joe Judge loves, and he’s a great competitor while being a great person too. He’s 6-3, 316 pounds, with 33 ⅞-inch arms, while testing as an adequate athlete at the combine. There was early Day 3 buzz for Murphy, so I’m glad the Giants were able to land him.

Niko Lalos, EDGE, Dartmouth

Lalos is 6-5, 268 pounds, and he was the MVP of the Hula Bowl, where he had 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble. A former basketball player in high school, who is thick in the lower half, a bit high cut in the hips, and carries a portly midsection, along with a big barrel chest. Earned All-Ivy League First Team in 2019, along with a Division I All-New England Team bid. Had 35 tackles, 10 for a loss, 5.5 sacks, along with a pick 6 this past season. Saw some of his film and he just looked stronger than his opponents; the level of competition will be different, and he may lack the necessary explosiveness/bend, but he’ll have a chance to compete in training camp.

Dana Levine, EDGE/OLB, Temple

Levine is 6-4, 235 pounds, and had 32 tackles, 11 for a loss, and 5.5 sacks in 2019, starting only four games. He looks the part, with a chiseled upper body, and thick lower half. Levine intrigues me; his first step is pretty good, and he has a solid burst to close width. There’s some tape of him just bullying college tackles with speed/power; there was one clip of him putting a tackle on skates and chirping in his ear right afterward, which shows some confidence. Had 28 total pressures this past season, according to PFF. It should be interesting to see how Levine, who seems to be more of an OLB than Lalos, steps into a position group that needs bodies. Levine took a big step from his junior to senior season. If he takes another one, he could be in play for a roster spot on Sundays.

Christian Angulo, CB, Hampton

An FCS star gets a chance to try and shine with the New York Giants. Angulo is 6-2 and has a long build. He was a transfer from Cincinnati, who dominated the lower level of competition. I’ve seen none of his film, and don’t have much to say about his skill set, but he had 3 picks and 14 passes defensed in 2019. I would imagine that most FCS offensive coordinators were not trying to throw in Angulo’s direction.

Malcolm Elmore, DB, Central Methodist University

Elmore is a 5-11, 185-pound defensive back who had 11 passes defensed in 2018 for the Eagles in the NAIA, while being selected as the Daktronics Scholar-Athlete of the Year. In 2019, Elmore earned Heart All-Conference 2nd Team honors. He had 58 tackles, 2 for a loss, and 4 interceptions for the Eagles. His overall size and length aren’t great, which is not a good start. He’ll have more than an uphill battle to crack the roster, with the large investment Gettleman has made in the secondary through the last two drafts.