The New York Giants brought in a pair of undrafted free agents as they look to fill out their roster in the wake of COVID-19 opt outs. Both offensive tackle Jackson Dennis and wide receiv er Cody White are expected to sign as soon as they complete COVID-19 testing and pass physicals. That could happen as early as Tuesday.
Let’s take a look at Holy Cross offensive tackle Jackson Dennis. He has good size and length for the offensive line, as well as extensive experience at a variety of positions. He mostly played right tackle throughout his college career, starting 23 of the 40 games in which he appeared at the position. He has experience at other positions, however, and that versatility could give him the chance to stick around.
Dennis was originally signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft. He was released in late July as the Cardinals trimmed their roster to 80 players.
Let’s see what the Giants are getting with Dennis.
Prospect: Jackson Dennis (OT, Holy Cross)
Games Watched: vs. Boston College (2018), vs. Syracuse (2019)
Red Flags: none
Height: 6070 (6-foot-7)
Weight: 308 pounds
Games Played: 40
Best: Frame, competitive toughness, experience
Worst: Hand usage, leverage, play against speed
Projection: A practice squad player
Note: Dennis is the right tackle, number 70
Jackson Dennis has good size and length to play right tackle at the NFL level. Dennis plays with good competitive toughness, consistently looking for work and blocking through the whistle. The majority of Dennis’ starts came on the right side of the offensive line, but he has played multiple positions and flashes enough versatility to play on both the left side if the need arises. He might also have the ability to slide inside to guard, but will need to play with more consistent pad level to match up against defensive tackles.
Dennis shows marginal foot quickness for the offensive tackle position at the NFL level and flashes some lower-body stiffness as well. He can have a tendency to let his hips rise and lunge through contact, compromising his leverage. He also shows inconsistent hand usage, at times failing to fire his punch or letting his hands go wide and giving up his chest plate to defenders.
Overall Grade: 5.4 - Dennis lacks many of the athletic traits of an NFL offensive tackle. However, a good frame, competitive toughness, and flashes of versatility will get him a chance to earn a look. [Grading Sheet]
Jackson Dennis projects as a player who could land on the practice squad. He has an NFL caliber frame and good competitive toughness, and will likely fill out the third-team offensive line at one of the tackle positions. Dennis could be more than a camp invite if coaches believe they can develop him as a depth player. He struggles with speed off the edge, and issues with foot quickness could force a move inside to guard. However, Dennis will also need to address problems with lower body stiffness and play with more consistent pad level to make a living on the interior offensive line. He is tall for a guard and dropping his hips to maintain leverage against defensive tackles will be a struggle for him.