Forget his game-ending desperation heave that was intercepted. Tommy DeVito, the New York Giants undrafted free agent rookie quarterback, had himself a night to remember Friday against the Detroit Lions.
I have been harsh in my comments about DeVito going all the way back to the spring. In my most recent 53-man roster projection, I grudgingly gave DeVito a spot on the practice squad for the simple reason that right now there isn’t another quarterback to give it to.
During an appearance on Patricia Traina’s ‘Locked on Giants’ podcast on Thursday, I even called out DeVito, challenging him to prove me wrong since I knew he would get a big opportunity Friday night.
Well, at least for one night the New Jersey legend did. He even tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tommy Sweeney, a cool moment for the former high school teammates at Don Bosco Prep.
DeVito said after the game that fellow quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor told him to “take a deep breath and enjoy it.”
Devito was especially good in the first half, when he had veteran receivers Cole Beasley and Jamison Crowder to throw to, along with an offensive line that included John Michael Schmitz, Ben Bredeson and Joshua Ezeudu. He went 7 of 11 for 78 yards, a touchdown, and a 115.0 passer rating in that first half.
“I thought he operated well,” said head coach Brian Daboll. “Definitely a performance to work off of.”
The only thing missing for the former Illinois and Syracuse quarterback was the storybook ending.
DeVito had an opportunity to author one. The Giants got the ball at their 25-yard line with 1:52 to play, trailing, 21-16, after an Adrian Martinez quarterback sneak had given Detroit the lead.
Undrafted free agent wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton dropped a perfectly thrown DeVito pass on second-and-8 from the Giants’ 39-yard line that would have been a first down.
DeVito was then sacked, making it fourth-and-14. On fourth down, he was pressured again and simply had to heave a desperation throw down the middle of the field that was intercepted.
Not the Hollywood ending he would have hoped for. More importantly, though, DeVito showed that he could be a legitimate candidate for a spot on the Giants’ practice squad. Not bad for an undrafted quarterback.