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Does TE Ryan Jones have a shot at staying with Giants?

Tight end will be one of the more competitive position groups

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Cincinnati Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants appear to be set at tight end with Darren Waller and Daniel Bellinger. That leaves the several other options on the roster scrambling to stand out and secure a future with the team.

Ryan Jones, an undrafted free agent out of East Carolina, brings some versatility as a converted linebacker. Will he be able to stand out among the other bodies at training camp?

By the numbers

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 247
Age: 23
Position: Tight end
Experience: Rookie
Contract: Year 1 of three-year, $2.72 million rookie deal; $175,000 guaranteed | 2023 cap hit: $758,333

Career to date

Jones spent the first two years of his college career as a linebacker at Oklahoma. The Sooners went to the playoffs both seasons, but Jones didn’t have a huge impact on the field.

He made a name for himself after transferring to East Carolina University and transitioning to tight end (though he spent time as a receiver in high school). Over the next two seasons, he appeared in 24 games and had 78 receptions for 855 yards and nine touchdowns. He was the starter in only six of those games, but consistency was key: Jones caught at least two passes in 19 of his appearances.

Jones went undrafted, but Matt Lombardo reported in April that he was in “high demand” as a free agent. He reportedly had conversations with the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills before signing with the Giants.

2023 outlook

Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan praised Jones’ route-running in an interview with Big Blue View. But his relative inexperience at the position could hamper his effectiveness as a blocker, which is really what the Giants are in need of. The team already has other pass-catching tight ends like Lawrence Cager to compete for roster spots.

Jones boasts some special teams upside, but again: the Giants already have a lot of bodies whose main contribution could be on special teams.

Darren Waller and Daniel Bellinger will be the top two options, and there may not be a way for Jones to beat out Cager, Chris Myarick or Tommy Sweeney, assuming everyone makes it through the summer injury-free. Everything could change once training camp begins, but at this point it seems Jones’ best hope is to make the practice squad.