The 2015 NFL season is nearing, with the first preseason game on August 9. With the season rapidly approaching, many fantasy football drafts will be conducted over the next few weeks. Continue reading Fantasy Football: New York Giants Edition
New York Giants free agent tight end Larry Donnell has officially been tendered with the exclusive rights tender, keeping him a Giant for at least one more year.
Throughout the Jerry Reese era, he has picked up some notable Undrafted Free Agents in his time. This is my list of the Top 5 UDFA since Reese took over as General Manager in 2007.
Larry Donnell started off the season as the New York Giants’ starting tight end, despite only having three career receptions to his name. Not much was expected of the undrafted Grambling State University product, but he has definitely risen to the task and has put together a pretty reputable season thus far. Continue reading Larry Donnell: Moving Forward
Heading into the season, the New York Giants had an unspectacular tight end unit led by a third year Grambling State University alumni named Larry Donnell.
He shocked the NFL with a spectacular start to the season, grabbing 25 receptions for 236 yards and four touchdowns, including a three touchdown performance against the Washington Redskins on Thursday Night Football.
Since then though, it has been a different story. In the 8 games following, Donnell has 25 receptions for 280 yards and two touchdowns.
Donnell has shown signs of mastery, but also has struggled at times. His inconsistency has seriously damaged the Giants offense, as his size and wingspan give him the perfect frame to be a deadly redzone target, similar to what he was in the beginning stages of the season.
His dropped pass in the red zone on a fade from Eli Manning against the San Francisco 49ers was crucial, because if he held on to the ball it would’ve handed New York a 17-16 fourth quarter lead.
Donnell has also had fumbling problems, with 4 lost fumbles on the year to date. One of them came in garbage time in a 31-21 loss to the Cowboys, but the other three did have major effects on the game. The first came in the red zone against the Houston Texans on a drive that surely seemed destined for a touchdown.
The second came in the same Dallas game when the Giants were driving and down by a single score. While their were no guarantees the Giants would actually go on to score, it was still a massive turning point.
The final possibly lost the Giants the game. The defense was reeling, the Jags had to score somehow. So they returned a Larry Donnell fumble for a touchdown, giving them a 22-21 lead in the fourth quarter.
Donnell has often been a huge reason why the Giants simply can not block. He is ranked 28th out of eligible tight ends for pass blocking efficiency according to PFF. While Donnell is more of a pass catcher at the tight end slot, on rushing plays the tight end is critical to create holes along with the offensive line.
Donnell can be a huge threat in the passing game on a weekly basis if he continues to work on his skills and get his consistency back up. His lack of a blocking presence could hurt the Giants and force them to do more 2 tight end sets with either Adrien Robinson or Daniel Fells as a block first option.
It’s still difficult to tell whether Donnell can be the teams tight end for years to come. Since the departure of Jeremy Shockey in 2008, the Giants have had a revolving door of tight ends including Kevin Boss, Jake Ballard, Martellus Bennett, Brandon Myers, and now Donnell. If Donnell can improve his blocking skills and become a more consistent player, the team could finally have some sense of stability at the tight end position.