After a season on IR due to a fractured foot, can wide receiver David Sills recapture the form that saw him on the verge of making the New York Giants roster a year ago?
Let’s talk about Sills as we continue profiling each of the 90 players the Giants will bring to training camp this summer.
Position: Wide receiver
Contract: One-year, $660,000 | 2021 cap hit: $660,000
Career to date
Sills was a childhood quarterback prodigy once offered a scholarship to USC by then-coach Lane Kiffin when Sills was just a seventh-grader. A high school hand injury eventually forced him to abandon playing quarterback. He made himself into a quality wide receiver and, after playing collegiately at West Virginia, got a chance to make the Buffalo Bills roster in 2019 as an undrafted free agent.
The Bills cut Sills at the end of training camp, and the Giants quickly added him to their practice squad. He was added to the active roster at season’s end, but never played.
Sills had an excellent training camp last season, unfortunately suffering the foot injury near the end of training camp. Here are some of the things his teammates and coaches were saying about Sills before he was injured:
“David Sills has done a really good job. He’s a really smart guy, he’s working hard. He’ll go in there and play all of the positions,” said wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert. “I told you guys the other day, he’s a rep stealer. He has his reps, he’s going to go in and run his reps, then he’ll steal some other reps. If he sees guys running down the field, he’ll jump in there and say ‘I got them, I got them.’ I like that about him. He jumps in there, doesn’t matter what position it is. He goes in there and plays and executes his assignments.”
Head coach Joe Judge has noticed.
“He’s shown up a lot for us already on offense. He shows up in the kicking game,” Judge said. “I’m very pleased with how David comes out every day and works. It’s no surprise he’s making plays and being productive.”
So, too, has his quarterback:
“I think he’s a guy out there you can trust, and a guy who’s in the right spot a lot of the time and can get open and make plays,” Daniel Jones said.
I was asked about Sills’ chance to make the 53-man roster in our most recent Big Blue View Mailbag. Here is what I wrote:
The NFL is a harsh business. Reality is that Sills having been impressive for a two- or three-week stretch in training camp a year ago means nothing for his chances to make the roster this season.
I’m sure GM Dave Gettleman and the Giants’ coaching staff have that performance in their memory banks. Sills is going to need to duplicate it, though, and this time around he probably has a bigger mountain to climb.
There is a high-priced free agent wide receiver on the roster (Kenny Golladay). A first-round pick in Kadarius Toney. Established players in Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton. Two former high draft picks in Dante Pettis and John Ross. Also, two young players in C.J. Board and Austin Mack who spent last season building equity with this coaching staff. And, yes, like it or not that equity matters. Coaches gain trust in players over time, and have a track record to lean on. Sills missed out on that last year.
Sills, of course, could force his way into the discussion if he picks up this year where he left off before getting injured in 2020. On paper, though, there is no real way to consider him a likely or “prime” 53-man roster candidate as of now.
None of that was meant to say that Sills has no chance to make the 2021 53-man roster. He does. To make the most of that chance, though, Sills is going to have to pick up where he left off before last season’s injury.