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Giants’ rookie report: T.J. Brunson, Tae Crowder make their marks

Impressions of some of the first-year players from Friday’s scrimmage

Austin Mack after making a catch with James Bradberry defending.
Matthew Swensen []

Rookie seventh-round draft picks T.J. Brunson and Tae Crowder might be fighting for one roster spot with the 2020 New York Giants. During Friday’s intra-squad scrimmage, both players made positive impressions.

A couple of plays after being involved in a little bit of pushing and shoving with offensive lineman Spencer Pulley, Crowder slashed through the offensive line and stopped running back Wayne Gallman at roughly the line of scrimmage. From about 100 yards away, media couldn’t tell if it was a tackle for loss. Regardless, excellent play by the final pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

A few plays later, Brunson made his presence felt with the hit of the day. When Alex Tanney connected with wide receiver C.J. Board on a short slant, Brunson connected violently with Board, driving him to the turf. Board, to his credit, somehow hung on to the ball. That was easily the hardest hit of a day that saw full tackling on some, but not all, plays.

A few other rookie notes from Friday.

  • First-round pick Andrew Thomas had some ups and downs during the practice week. He was solid on Friday. In roughly 35 snaps (by my count, 22 of them Daniel Jones’ passes) Thomas never appeared to be cleanly beaten. The run-blocking, in all honesty, was impossible to judge but he seemed to do a solid job.
  • Tyler Haycraft is an interesting undrafted free agent. The former Louisville right tackle was thought to be a center conversion candidate, and that appears to be how the Giants see him.
  • While writing about the nice work done Friday by wide receivers David Sills V and Alex Bachman, I failed to mention that undrafted free agent rookie receiver Austin Mack made a couple of plays. Mack jumped over Grant Haley to catch a fade for a touchdown from Colt McCoy. He also had a rep late in practice where he caught a sideline pass from Daniel Jones after appearing to run a nice enough route to create several yards of separation from cornerback James Bradberry.