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Giants rookie mini-camp concludes: Takeaways from Day 2

Giants conclude this part of indoctrinating their rookies into life in the NFL

NFL: Combine
Jalin Hyatt
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants concluded their 2023 rookie mini-camp on Saturday with a second straight light practice. Here are some of the day’s takeaways.

One more rookie contract down

Defensive tackle Jordon Riley, a seventh-round pick, has signed his rookie contract. He joins running back Eric Gray (Round 5), cornerback Tre Hawkins III (Round 6) and safety Gervarrius Owens (Round 7) as rookies who have signed.

Going easy on the draft picks

Saturday was another exceptionally light practice during which draft picks did not take part in any of the handful of 7-on-7 reps.

“They’ve been on the road quite a bit, had a lot of visits. One of the main things is come out of here healthy, let them figure out how we do some things, where some things are. They’ll have plenty of time to get some reps here over the next few weeks.”

Daboll called getting the rookies on the practice “a start-over evaluation.”

“You meet, you prepare in terms of the selection of the player but now that they’re here and they’re figuring out how we do things,” Daboll said. “You only put so many things in with each player ... kinda get their feet wet.”

Hyatt as punt returner?

Third-round pick Jalin Hyatt, a wide receiver, did not do any kickoff or punt returning at Tennessee. Daboll said the Giants would “absolutely” consider Hyatt for the punt return role if he shows an aptitude for it.

“We’ll put as many guys back there as we can to figure that one out,” Daboll said. “It’s a ways away.”

Hyatt was part of a group of about a half-dozen players field punts on Saturday. He also appeared to be doing some individual work on line of scrimmage releases with Giants coaches.

Other than that, there was once again very little to discern from a practice where there was very limited competition.

The ‘dead-ball’ snap

New center John Michael Schmitz use the newer ‘dead-ball’ shotgun snapping technique during his college career. He continued to use it during two days of rookie mini-camp. Will that continue once he is working with Daniel Jones?

“Whatever is comfortable for Daniel in the back,” Schmitz said on Saturday. “I’m flexible to doing the dead-ball snap or the regular snap. Doesn’t change a thing for me.”

Here’s more on the ‘dead snap.’

Schmitz learned the dead snap from offensive line coach Brian Callahan at Minnesota.

“I felt it was a lot more controllable with that position, the dead snap. Just felt comfortable, kind of just came natural when I kept doing it over and over again,” he said. “We’ll see if I stick with it or change it up. We’ll see what happens.

Jordon Riley’s journey

Seventh-round pick Jordon Riley bounced from North Carolina to Garden City Community College to Nebraska and finally to Oregon during his collegiate career. Arriving in the NFL, especially as a drafted player, might not have seemed like something that was in the cards for much of his time in college.

“Words can’t explain it,” Riley said on Saturday. “I came a long way. It’s just a blessing to be in this building. I come from a small town in North Carolina, opportunities like this are slim. I’m just glad to be here. With all the stops I fell in the right place here in New York.”