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Senior Bowl offensive preview: Six non-quarterbacks the Giants should be watching

Syndication: Florida Times-Union Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY NETWORK

The New York Giants will receive in-depth insight at the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Shea Tierney, the Giants current quarterback’s coach, will serve as the offensive coordinator for the National Team. Mike Adams, the Giants’ assistant special teams’ coordinator, will be the special teams’ coach for the American Team.

The Senior Bowl is an annual event where many of the top player in the country congregate and compete in a week-long affair in Mobile, Ala. Plenty of interesting names will be in attendance this season, the first time that non-seniors entering the NFL Draft will be allowed to participate.

Here are six highly-regarded offensive players who may interest the Giants.

Taliese Fuaga, OL, Oregon State

Fuaga was a dominate right tackle for the Beavers. According to Pro Football Focus, Fuaga never surrendered a sack in college. Through three seasons, and 694 pass blocking snaps, he allowed 22 pressures. PFF also assessed Fuaga with the highest run blocking grade.

He was the number one graded offensive linemen with zone blocking concepts, and the number three in power-gap; Oregon State’s offense was much more zone oriented. Some in the media have expressed interest with Fuaga at guard, which is something that could be tested during Senior Bowl practices.

His length may not be ideal - we’ll learn this at the Senior Bowl - which is the impetus to the suggestions of guard. Still, from little bit of the tape I’ve seen of Fuaga at tackle, he’s more than capable of holding his own. He will be on the National Team.

Isaiah Adams, OL, Illinois

Adams was forced to play right tackle for the Fighting Illini, which led to some struggles for the 6-foot-5, 315-pound offensive linemen. As a right tackle in 2023, he surrendered nine sacks and 31 pressures - not ideal.

However, he was solid as a guard in the previous season, allowing just 10 pressures and three sacks. In just two seasons in Illinois, Adams played 876 snaps at left guard, 731 at right tackle, and 128 at left tackle. Adams was All-Big Ten Honorable Mention in 2023, and All-Big Ten third team in 2022.

Before arriving at Illinois, Adams played at Garden City Community College. The Canadian from Ajax, Ontario, was named NJCAA D1 First Team All-American in his one season at GCCC. It did not take long for a power-five conference to find him, and he went on to start 25 games at Illinois as one of their top offensive linemen.

Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

The 6-7, 327-pound Guyton started his college career at TCU, where he struggled to find the football field. He took his talents to Oklahoma and started right away in 2022 at right tackle. Guyton only allowed four pressures and two sacks during his first year with Oklahoma.

He then played 663 snaps in 2023, where he did not allow a sack, and surrendered just 12 pressures. He did, however, commit five penalties. Guyton earned honorable mention All-Big-12 in 2023 and is one of the more highly regarded prospects heading to Mobile.

His frame, natural power, athletic ability, and ability to displace defenders are some of the reasons to get excited. He’s still raw and unrefined in some areas. If the Giants do decide to draft a right tackle, they would likely want one who is more technically sound since that right tackle would be jumbling the New York depth chart that currently has Evan Neal penciled into right tackle.

Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky

Some call him a gadget player. Others compare him to Deebo Samuel. One thing is certain to me ... Corley could be dynamic in the correct environment. Is that environment with Brian Daboll and the Giants?

Corley is not the tallest, but he’s well-built. He’s a 5-11, 210-pound wide receiver who caught 79 of 115 targets (68.7%) for 986 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2023. His 2022 was even more dynamic; he caught 101 of 137 targets (73.7%) for 1,282 yards with 11 touchdowns. Corley is the type of player who could thrive in a Senior Bowl-type environment because his elusiveness and talent are palpable.

Here’s my synopsis after watching his tape:

“Malachi Corley receives comparisons to Deebo Samuel - due to his designed touches, strength at the point of contact, and explosiveness - but that is a high bar to set. I really like Corley’s game, and believe his natural receiving skills are underrated due to his usage in college. Corley seamlessly adjusts to the football, has excellent concentration, and is very strong-handed at the catch point. When he was asked to run routes down the field, there were flashes that suggested he could excel in that role in a different situation.

“Corley is a far more advanced prospect than Laviska Shenault Jr., who was used similarly at Colorado (2020), albeit Corley is slightly smaller. Corley’s lack of release package, consistent routes, and his designed touches may lead some detractors to suggest he’s a gadget player. However, he’s more than just a gadget player, and his ceiling is high. He will be a valuable asset to whoever drafts him in 2024.”

The Giants do have Wan’Dale Robinson in-house, and some may posit the redundancy between the two players. They do have similar skill sets but could coexist in an offense. The Giants, however, do seem to be in the market for a true alpha at wide receiver, and that’s not quite where Corley is with his development.

Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

Speaking of Deebo Samuel, this Gamecock has sensational plays on tape, and he has a rare 6-3, 227-pound frame, with exceptional athletic traits. His top speed was 21.9 MPH during the 2023 season. He caught 71 of 97 targets (73.2%) for 1,255 yards and seven touchdowns, with a 17.7 yards per catch average.

Giant fans have longed for a big-bodied receiver with Legette’s potential. Many believed Kenny Golladay was the answer, but, well, you know. Players similar to Legette are rare commodities and have made a significant impact in recent years around the NFL.

He is an older prospect with only one year of true production in the SEC. This reality will cause trepidation, but a good Senior Bowl week could help solidify him in the first round of the upcoming draft.

Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State

Johnson has a solid profile with a fundamental understanding on how to block in the trenches, while possessing some upside as a receiver, albeit he isn’t explosive. Johnson caught 32 of 43 targets for 325 yards with six touchdowns in 2023. He was a reliable target and a good red zone threat for the Nittany Lions.

One of the calculated risks that blew up in the face of the 2023 Giants was their approach at tight end. The Giants kept Lawrence Cager as their third tight end behind Darren Waller and Daniel Bellinger.

Waller is a better blocker than he’s given credit for, but he’s not a plus-blocker at the tight end position. Retaining Cager seemed like insurance for Waller, which isn’t a terrible strategy given Waller’s proclivity to get injured, but it put a massive burden of importance on Daniel Bellinger, who was the only true-blocker at tight end.

The Giants game-plan in Seattle was destroyed on the first drive when Bellinger got injured on a tush-push that forced Waller to operate primarily as a blocker, and eliminated the Giants’ ability to employ 12 personnel. I understand only keeping three tight ends, but having only one of them be a true blocker with the other operating as the focal point to the passing attack was a mistake.

One of the Giants less-discussed needs entering the offseason is finding a tight end who can block, and who can operate as the third tight end. This can be through free agency or in the back-half of the draft. Johnson may be a Day 2 pick, which is probably too rich for a Giants’ investment, but his type fits the description of who the Giants should look to add.

Florida State’s Jaheim Bell, who will be on the American Team, should also be considered.