At 6’8″ and 297 lbs, former Tulane offensive lineman Sean Donnelly will work to land a spot on the New York Giants 53-man roster, after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent this spring.
Donnelly was a three-year starter for Tulane, playing mostly at the right tackle position. He excels at using his quick feet to hold the pocket in pass protection and takes excellent angels when going to the next level to block linebackers. His agility also helps him in responding quickly to stunts and coordinating combo blocks with his teammates.
He is a hard-nosed player, who always maintains his blocks to the whistle. However, in order for Donnelly to stick with the Giants and compete at the professional level, he will have to add a lot more muscle to his frame.
The extra weight would go a long way in improving Donnelly’s drive blocking and punch of the line of scrimmage. Donnelly knows his strength is a weakness and it leads to him over relying on his position and footwork to make successful blocks. He can get away with it when pass blocking, but it becomes a problem when he has to drive a man out of the hole for a running back.
His nine holding penalties and 14 false starts over the last two seasons are a direct result of Donnelly either losing his man on a drive block or trying to get the jump on a stronger opponent.
Per Bleacher Report’s Patricia Traina, Donnelly displayed some of these concerns during the Giants rookie minicamp: “During the 11-on-11 drills in rookie minicamp, he was beaten by third-round pick Owa Odighizuwa on more than one occasion.
Perhaps it was nerves, or maybe it was just a matter of Donnelly getting used to the speed of the game and the playbook.”
A projected seventh round pick/priority free agent by NFL.com, hopefully for Donnelly it was due to the suggested reasons he did not perform as well as expected. He is a tough player who has incredible size and NFL caliber footwork.
All Donnelly needs is that extra pop in his drive blocking and he could have the ability to be an eventual starter in the league. He certainly has a few fans around the NFL, with one AFC South scout saying of him: “I liked Donnelly, and went to bat for him and got crushed in our meeting room. We will see if I’m right or the big boys in the room are right.”
A former Cleveland Browns’ scout added: “I continue to be impressed with Sean Donnelly’s size (6 feet 8, 297 pounds) and length at right tackle. He can protect the edge despite his average bend because of his length.”
The Giants certainly will get to see first hand who is right when it comes to the Donnelly debate. It will not effect the Giants’ salary cap situation much if they choose to cut ties with Donnelly at some point during training camp or the preseason. Still, New York’s front office has to be hopeful that they have found a “diamond in the rough” in the former Tulane player.