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Undrafted Kyle Markway aims to get noticed in crowded Giants’ tight end room

South Carolina product only had one truly productive season

South Carolina v Florida
Kyle Markway
Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Can Kyle Markway succeed with the New York Giants where C.J. Conrad fell short a year ago?

In 2020, Conrad was an undrafted inline tight end thought to have all-around blocking and receiving skills that gave him a chance to make the 53-man roster. He didn’t. Conrad was briefly on the practice squad at the beginning of the 2019 season, and briefly on the roster this offseason, but did not last either time.

Markway is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound undrafted free agent tight end out of South Carolina with what is thought to be a similar skill set. Let’s take a closer look at his chance to make the 53-man roster as we continue profiling the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 250
Age: 23
Position: Tight end
Experience: Rookie
Contract: Year 1 of three-year, $2.285 million undrafted free agent deal | Guaranteed: $0

How he got here

Markway had an injury-plagued career at South Carolina. After catching 31 passes for the Gamecocks in 2019, he turned down a sixth potential year of college eligibility to try the NFL. Markway lost two college seasons to injuries and had only 6 receptions entering the 2019 season.

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp told Big Blue View that Markway “Can block at the point of attack, he’s also a threat in the passing game because he catches the ball extremely well.”

Here is a scouting report from The Boston Globe:

Markway looks bigger than his listed size (6-4, 250), with broad shoulders and a thick musculature, including a powerful lower half. Quality and tenacious blocker. Does not back down from the challenge of bigger defenders, showing good initial quickness, balance and power to create movement at the point of attack. Good technique, utilizing proper hand placement, knee bend and timing on combo blocks. Is no-nonsense after the catch, barreling downfield.

While Markway may block like an offensive lineman, he also runs like one, appearing to be wearing ankle weights and creeping up to top speed while showing very little burst out of his breaks — also a reflection of underdeveloped route-running. Missed almost all of 2016 and 2017 with injuries (foot, ribs).

PRO COMPARISON: Jeremy Sprinkle, Washington Redskins — At a time when oversized wide receivers have taken most of the NFL jobs at tight end, Markway (and Sprinkle) are exceptions, offering more as people-movers than pass-catchers.

2020 outlook

The Giants appear to be set at tight end with Evan Engram, Kaden Smith and veteran blocking tight end Levine Toilolo.

The Giants also have veteran blocking tight end Eric Tomlinson, holdover Garrett Dickerson and undrafted Division II wide receiver convert Rysen John competing for roster spots. So, Markway faces stiff competition.

“Nowadays whether it’s in pro football or college football one of the hardest positions to find is a tight end. They’re either a slug who can’t run or they’re a receiver who won’t block anybody at the point of attack,” Muschamp said. “Kyle’s a guy that’s going to be able to block at the point of attack and be a threat in the passing game because he runs good routes, he’s got really good hands. He’s a guy that can give you some things in the passing game and some things in the running game and those guys are hard to find.”

I don’t know if the Giants would keep a fourth tight end on the 53-man roster. With the depth they have at the position, it figures that they will keep at least one tight end on the 12-man practice squad. If Markway shows enough, maybe the practice squad would be his destination.