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Giants position review, tight end: Is Daniel Bellinger enough?

Rookie had a good season, but should the Giants be seeking to supplement the tight end position?

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants
Daniel Bellinger
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants re-made their tight end position group in 2022 as former first-round pick Evan Engram moved on to the Jacksonville Jaguars via free agency. How did rookie fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger and a group of supporting veteran role players fare?

Let’s take a look as we continue our position-by-position reviews of the 2022 roster.

2022 in review

The roster

Starter: Daniel Bellinger
Backups: Nick Vannett, Lawrence Cager
Practice squad: Chris Myarick, Dre Miller
Waived: Tanner Hudson

Bellinger, selected 112th overall in the fourth round, gave the Giants a productive rookie season.

Bellinger played in 12 regular-season games with five starts, missing five games due to a scary fractured eye socket. He caught 30 passes in 35 targets, a catch percentage of 85.7 with just one drop. He averaged 8.9 yards per catch, scored two touchdowns and had a 117.6 passer rating when targeted, emerging as a solid short-area receiver for quarterback Daniel Jones.

Bellinger played 574 snaps and was a useful blocker as well.

Chris Myarick played in 16 games with seven receptions, but finished the year on the practice squad.

Lawrence Cager played in six games with 13 receptions, Nick Vannett played in six games with four catches and Tanner Hudson played in 11 games with 10 catches. Hudson was waived and finished the season on the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad.

2023 outlook

I have been asked several times if I think Bellinger is the answer of the ‘solution’ at tight end for the Giants. The answer is that I believe he is part of it. He can do a lot of things in the run and the pass game, as an inline blocker, from the backfield and split wide or in the slot.

What Bellinger can’t do on his own is create dynamic big plays. The Giants need a tight end to complement Bellinger who can do that.

Can they find one in the draft? Should they sign a free agent like Mike Gesicki or Austin Hooper? Could Dre Miller, a collegiate wide receiver who spent time on the practice squad this season learning the tight end position, fill that role?

We shall see.

As for Cager, Vannett and Myarick I see all as replaceable parts.