Undrafted free agent wide receiver Austin Mack earned his way onto the New York Giants practice squad. The, out of several young practice squad receivers, it was Mack who earned his way to the 53-man roster. Then, when called upon he earned the trust of head coach Joe Judge and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert.
The Giants massively upgraded the wide receiver position this offseason. Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and John Ross are Giants. In-season acquisition Dante Pettis is also still a Giant.
Thus, Mack has work to do to earn a roster spot. Let’s take a closer look at his chances as we continue profiling the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp.
Age: 24 when regular season begins
Position: Wide receiver
Contract: Year 2 of two-year, $1.39 million UDFA contract | 2021 cap hit: $780,000
Career to date
Mack caught only seven passes for 91 yards in 11 games, but earned 192 offensive snaps. He spent 111 of those (57.8 percent) as a run blocker.
Tolbert came to consider Mack his “enforcer in the run game.” Mack played double-digit snaps in eight of the 11 games for which he was active.
Mack said last season that being a good blocker was “extremely important” to him.
“That’s the role I was given when I had the opportunity to be able to be apart of this team. I’m going to do it to the best of my ability,” Mack said. “Something that Coach [Urban] Meyer told me back at Ohio State was you can’t play receiver until you play special teams, until you block for your running backs. That’s the same mindset I think I live by and trying to have that identity.”
Mack will enter training camp with a stable full of more proven wide receivers, a first-round pick in Toney, and several young 2020 practice squad receivers perhaps standing between him and a spot on the 53-man roster.
It will surprise no one, least of all Judge, if Mack forces the Giants to keep him around.
“He’s definitely a scrappy dude. One thing about Austin, and I’ve kind of told him this directly, ‘look man, you’re the kind of guy that hangs around a lot. You make plays and you do things. You block for us, you make tough catches. You’re going to help us in the kicking game at different times.’ He just keeps showing up,” Judge said about Mack last season. “He’s a guy that at times he may not flash all the time but does something that just jumps out at you. He just keeps making play after play and he shows up on a regular basis.
“This guy has earned everything he’s gotten so far. He keeps coming to work every day and giving us reasons to put him on the field.”