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Collin Johnson was in the midst of an outstanding training camp with the New York Giants in 2022 when he felt the snap of his right Achilles tendon while running a pass route during practice.
Johnson doesn’t have the speed of many of the receivers on the Giants roster. He ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at his 2020 Pro Day. At 6-foot-6 and 222 pounds, though, Johnson boasts size, strength and physicality no true wide receiver on the roster can match.
“I’m super confident in my skillset, just being a bigger receiver,” Johnson said. “I feel like I’m really good at third-and-5 or third-and-8, whatever, I can get to the sticks and feel like the DB can know my route and I can still create enough separation and use my body to catch the ball and continue to move the chains.
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Homer Jones, whose name remains in the NFL record book more than a half-century after he was one of the most prolific wide receivers in Giants history, passed away following a battle with lung cancer. He was 82.
“Homer Jones had a unique combination of speed and power and was a threat to score whenever he touched the ball,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer. “He was one of the first players (if not the first) to spike the ball in the end zone after scoring a touchdown and he quickly became a fan favorite. I remember him as an easygoing, friendly individual who was well liked by his teammates and coaches.”
Tight ends coach Andy Bischoff was in Baltimore with Darren Waller from 2015 to 2018, and the coach said Waller was an awesome guy even back then. Bischoff said he provided positive feedback internally when they were exploring the trade for the tight end this offseason.
“I can’t say enough about the guy. Cartwheels all the way that he’s here. In this league, there’s not 10 of those guys,” Bischoff said. “You could argue there’s five. Whether it’s (Vikings’ T.J.) Hockenson, (Chiefs’ Travis) Kelce, (49ers’ George) Kittle and (Ravens’ Mark) Andrews — whoever you want to put in there, there’s not 10 of them. … He’s in that group of rare guys.”
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Waller is what Giants assistant GM Brandon Brown called “a problem creator” for opposing defenses.
“You look at what he can do in terms of opening up the field for the rest of our guys,” Brown said. “I call it stretching a defense, whether it’s vertically and laterally. He adds to that. I think it’s one of those things where he’s a force multiplier, right? He just doesn’t make himself or our offense better, but he makes other players better.”
When the Giants completed their organized team activities a year ago, the roster looked bleak at a lot of positions, and tight end was a candidate for the worst of the bunch.
With the unsatisfying Evan Engram era over, a total of six tight ends — Ricky Seals-Jones, Jordan Akins, Chris Myarick, Daniel Bellinger, Dre Miller and Austin Allen — were added to the 90-man roster by general manager Joe Schoen and coach Brian Daboll in their first season.
“I did it some in Indy,” Campbell said. “But it’s really my high school and my college background. It’s not new to me. It’s something I like to do because they’re using me in different ways. I feel like that’s something that I’m good at, too. Getting some reps back there is good.”
2023 NFL receiving corps rankings: Cincinnati Bengals take the top spot for the second year in a row | PFF
25. New York Giants
The Giants receiving room is deep, but the ceiling feels limited, at least compared to other teams. Isaiah Hodgins came on strong at the end of last season, earning a 74.5 receiving grade from Week 13 on. They also have Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard and the newly-drafted Jalin Hyatt. Daniel Bellinger was a reliable tight end option but wouldn’t be categorized as a focal-point player. It’s a deep room that is still searching for its star WR1.
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“You can never be comfortable. You can’t get complacent with things. You’re never gonna have it all figured out,” Schmitz said. “There’s always going to be more to learn, a lot to get better at every single day. When you buckle up the chin strap and put your hand in the dirt, you have to be ready. It’s go time. That’s been my mentality and always has been – I will outwork you. Even when I might not have been the strongest or the fastest player out there, leave it all out there on the field, show the most effort. That’s who I am.”
The Giants held a team-bonding activity Thursday, then the veterans will go their separate ways until training camp in late July. The rookies will stay around the facility a bit longer before they return for camp.
“I would just say for those guys to come back ready to go,’’ coach Brian Daboll said about his message to the players. “Be in shape. Make sure they’re being safe out there over the couple of weeks. But come back ready to go, both mentally and physically.’’
11. New York Giants: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida; Original pick (by Chicago via trade): Fields
In terms of pure athletic ability, Pitts is still a top-five prospect in this class. The Falcons drafted him at the absolute start of the Arthur Smith-Terry Fontenot era with a long-term plan in mind. Pitts’ numbers haven’t been overwhelming through two years, but the situation around him is still developing. Right now, much of his path seems tied to an unproven QB in Desmond Ridder.
Entering his second season of Brian Daboll's offense, is there a path for New York Giants QB Daniel Jones to finish as a top-five QB in fantasy football?
Around the league
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