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WR Kalil Pimpleton faces uphill battle to make New York Giants roster

UDFA could miss out on a roster spot

NFL: International Series-New York Giants Practice Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kalil Pimpleton was one of the mainstays on the New York Giants’ practice squad last year, but he never saw the field even as the team’s wide receivers continued to miss time with injuries. With the receiving group suddenly more crowded, will Pimpleton get another year to try and reach his potential?

Let’s break down Pimpleton’s outlook as we continue our profiles of the Giants’ 90-man training camp roster.

By the numbers

Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 172
Age: 24
Position: Wide receiver
Experience: 1
Contract: One-year, $750,000 deal; $0 guaranteed | 2023 cap hit: $750,000

Career to date

Pimpleton had 62 receptions, 960 receiving yards and six total touchdowns during his senior year at Central Michigan in 2021. He also averaged 19 yards per punt return, earning honors as the MAC Special Teams Player of the Year.

Most scouting reports on Pimpleton highlighted his punt return ability more than his receiving skills, with concerns that his average speed wasn’t enough to compensate for his small size. Still, NFL Draft Buzz praised his “strong hands” and “savvy route running” in its evaluation.

Pimpleton signed with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2022 but failed to make the roster. He had few receptions on several targets in the team’s three preseason games and did not stand out on special teams.

The Giants signed Pimpleton to their practice squad ahead of Week 1, where the spent the entire season. He was elevated to the main roster for New York’s Wild Card playoff game but did not see the field.

2023 outlook

It still feels odd saying that the Giants have an overabundance of options at wide receiver, but that’s the case after the team drafted Jalin Hyatt and signed Parris Campbell, Jamison Crowder and Jeff Smith in free agency.

That means Pimpleton will face a more difficult path this year toward staying on the Giants’ practice squad. Jeff Smith is another player on the roster bubble with special teams ability, and undrafted free agent Bryce Ford-Wheaton could turn some heads as well. Additionally, Pimpleton’s archetype as a smaller receiver that can stretch the field doesn’t exactly help him stand out among the team’s other speedy wideouts. He would, however, cost the Giants less money than a veteran option like Crowder.

Pimpleton’s potential as a punt returner may give him the chance to stick around. It’s possible he’ll see some action in that role during the preseason. Pimpleton, though, has yet to take an NFL snap. An impressive training camp could change things, but It’s difficult to see where he slots in this year.