Cale Garrett appears to be one of those tough, fundamentally sound players football coaches would love. At the NFL level, though, Garrett might simply not have quite enough ability for a coach to keep him around.
That, at least, has been the case so far. Garrett, an inside linebacker out of Missouri, went undrafted in 2020. He spent training camp with the Tennessee Titans, then a few weeks on the practice squad of the Minnesota Vikings.
Now, he is a member of the New York Giants, having signed a reserve/futures contract. let’s take a closer look at Garrett as we continue profiling the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.
Contract: One-year, $660,000
Career to date
An undrafted free agent, Garrett spent the 2020 preseason with the Tennessee Titans. He was released before the start of the regular season. Garrett spent a month on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad.
Garrett is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds. NFL.com said:
Tough three-year starter who plays an instinctive, fundamentally sound brand of football. Garrett’s best work happens in the box, where his diagnose, flow and ability to fit and disrupt blocking schemes stands out. He gets early downhill flow to eliminate angles and slip blocks. He’s both mentally and physically strong. Even with all the positives, he lacks the length, speed and short-area agility teams typically look for in starting linebackers.
Garrett is probably an extreme long shot to make the roster. It would probably be an outstanding accomplishment for him to land a spot on the practice squad.
A look at Garrett’s spider chart shows the lack of length and speed that the scouting report above referenced.
Garrett had 106 tackles for Missouri in 2018 and may have topped that total in 2019 if not for a season-ending injury.
Here is how he describes his game:
“I’m a very physical player. I read the game at a high level. I’m usually in the right spot. It’s a very demanding position. You have to know what everybody else on the field is doing. You’re involved in every play. Whether it’s defending the run or in pass coverage, you have a role to play. I love the feeling of being involved and engaged the entire time. It’s an awesome position.”
The Giants have Blake Martinez, Tae Crowder, Reggie Ragland, Devante Downs and T.J. Brunson at inside linebacker. It also appears that the Giants are moving Carter Coughlin inside, a process that started last season and got temporarily derailed by injuries to outside linebackers Lorenzo Carter, Oshane Ximines and Kyler Fackrell.
Garrett would appear to have a large mountain to climb to earn a chance to stick around.