New York Giants: kellen davis

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants' hope, when training camp began, was that someone from their group of unproven tight ends would emerge as a clear starter -- a do-it-all tight end who could be used in a variety of roles.

That has not happened.

"I really think that there'll be a group of guys that'll play that'll help us in different situations and will be matched up according to the circumstance," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said after practice Monday. "I think that's where it's going to go. I think there's a lot of roles for that spot."

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The four tight ends likely to make the final roster are, in no particular order, Larry Donnell, Adrien Robinson, Daniel Fells and Kellen Davis. Donnell was the nominal starter for much of camp, but Davis was the starter in Friday's preseason game against the Jets. Robinson played every snap of the successful two-minute drive at the end of the first half. Fells has returned from a knee injury to take a larger role in practice recently.

"I think it's very close," Coughlin said. "I think, some days, it's very difficult to see who has done what better than someone else."

Coughlin and the Giants won't say this publicly, but the reason for this is that there isn't a strong option in the group. As a result, an offense that wants its tight end to play a large role will have to shuffle players in and out at the position depending on whether they need a run blocker, a receiving option, an H-back ... whatever role a certain play, opponent or situation calls for.

"That's not necessarily what the play was, but the plan has evolved to that," Coughlin said. "People can be utilized for their skills in different ways."

The Giants open the regular season in two weeks in Detroit against the Lions.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- He's been the No. 1 tight end on the New York Giants' depth chart since training camp started, but Larry Donnell knows he's neither a sure thing nor a finished product. Asked what he needs to do to lock down that starting job, Donnell said Thursday, "Be a playmaker," which is a fine, football-sounding answer but not a complete one.

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The Giants' new offense, led by new coordinator Ben McAdoo, would like to use the tight end a lot. The issue is that none of the tight ends on the roster is an established starter. Donnell leads the pack in the coaches' minds right now, but Daniel Fells, Adrien Robinson, Kellen Davis or even undrafted rookie Xavier Grimble could end up overtaking him. Which is why Donnell isn't getting comfortable.

"It's a confidence builder," Donnell said of being listed first on the depth chart. "But at the same time, I don't really think too much about it. I'm out there with the ones, the twos, the threes, it doesn't matter. It's a good feeling, especially where I came from, being a backup. But I just feed off of that. Never get too comfortable. Keep grinding."

Donnell has caught the ball as well as any tight end in camp, which isn't saying a whole lot. But the key to his holding the spot may be improvement as a blocker in the run game. Earlier in the week, McAdoo was praising Donnell's camp performance but also said he's "capable of blocking sometimes better than he does on tape."

Asked what he thought that meant, Donnell said: "Sometimes I make little mistakes that don't put me in the best situation or the best position. So I'm just trying to improve that so I can show more. We've only had two games so far, so he must be talking about the first one. I felt like I didn't do so well in the first game. Second game, I felt like I picked it up a little bit. So in my opinion, he's probably talking about the first game."

Donnell blocked downfield fairly well on a couple of run plays in that game, but he got overwhelmed a bit at the line of scrimmage and needs to be tougher and more aggressive there. Because they love his work ethic and his special-teams contribution -- and in part because Fells has been hurt and Robinson hasn't shown much of anything -- the Giants' coaches seem to want Donnell to seize the job. To this point, neither he nor anyone else has done so. They have about three and a half more weeks to sort it all out.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants right guard Brandon Mosley pulled left and helped center J.D. Walton open up what Rashad Jennings would later call a "gaping hole." Jennings ran through it and all the way to the end zone, 73 yards for a touchdown on the Giants' second possession of Saturday night's 20-16 exhibition victory over the Steelers.

It was a beautifully designed and executed play. It was all the Giants' first-team offense did well.

Eli Manning was on the field for 12 snaps and threw two passes, completing neither. The Giants' new offense remains a work in progress with 30 days to go until their "Monday Night Football" opener in Detroit.

Some other thoughts on the Giants' second preseason game:
  • You want to know who's leading the race for starting tight end? The Giants ran 26 offensive plays in the first half, and Larry Donnell was on the field for 25 of them. The only other tight end who even played in the first half was Kellen Davis, who was in on four plays, all of which also included Donnell. I think the Giants would like to be able to give Daniel Fells a longer look, but he is injured and did not play. Adrien Robinson is doing nothing in practice to help himself.
  • Rookie defensive tackle Jay Bromley, the team's third-round pick, looked good in the second half against the Steelers' backup line, getting into the backfield to snuff out a run play and putting pressure on the quarterback.
  • Cornerback Charles James muffed a punt in the third quarter -- not the kind of thing that's going to help the feisty return man make a team that has this many good cornerbacks. Preston Parker replaced him on the next punt return.
  • The "NASCAR" package of four pass-rushers on third downs featured Cullen Jenkins and Robert Ayers at defensive tackle, with Mathias Kiwanuka and Jason Pierre-Paul at end when the first team was in the game.
  • The Giants were flagged for 10 penalties for a total of 109 yards. Of those, two were Jayron Hosley pass-interference penalties of 12 and 47 yards. Zack Bowman was called for illegal contact and Mark Herzlich was called for defensive holding (though he wasn't on the field that play, so it's unclear which Giants defender was flagged). Bennett Jackson received a five-yard holding call. And Prince Amukamara was whistled for an illegal-contact penalty that was declined. Giants defensive backs continue to struggle with the new rules/points of emphasis governing illegal downfield contact.
  • Amukamara made a great play to run down speedy Pittsburgh rookie Dri Archer on a 46-yard screen pass that looked to be a sure touchdown. It's the second time in two games Amukamara has shown the speed to keep up with a touted rookie, as he covered Buffalo's Sammy Watkins well Sunday night.
  • Jerrel Jernigan struggled badly with the first-team offense, and the Giants are eager for rookie Odell Beckham Jr. to get healthy and take over that spot.

Giants Camp Report: Day 12

August, 7, 2014
Aug 7
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of New York Giants training camp:
  • Let's get the nightly interception rundown out of the way first. Zack Bowman intercepted Curtis Painter, Charles James intercepted Eli Manning and Bowman intercepted Ryan Nassib in the end zone. Chandler Fenner almost got a pick for the second night in a row, but Corey Washington turned into a defensive back and knocked it away from him at the last second. The secondary is ahead of the offense, is the basic point here.
  • The star of the secondary is Walter Thurmond, though. He came on a corner blitz and got to Andre Williams in the backfield on one play. And while they love him as the nickel corner, Thurmond got a lot of work on the outside Thursday night as well, staying on the field with the first-team base defense while Prince Amukamara or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie took a break.
  • Left guard Geoff Schwartz returned to practice, but his left knee is obviously bugging him and he didn't take many reps. Weston Richburg got most of the snaps at first-team left guard. Charles Brown took most of the first-team left tackle snaps, but not because of any fresh injury to Will Beatty. It's just that Beatty isn't playing Saturday and Brown is.
  • I watched running back pass-catching drills. The most natural pass-catchers in the group are Rashad Jennings and fullback Henry Hynoski. Rookie Andre Williams seems to be doing a bit better job catching the ball in his hands (as opposed to against his body), but it's a work in progress.
  • The tight ends still look bad catching the ball, other than Larry Donnell. Adrien Robinson had a bad drop. Kellen Davis caught a ball awkwardly near the sideline and stepped right out of bounds even though there was no one near him. Some of the players not in on that play groaned a bit.
  • Marcus Harris made two nice catches, including one jumping at the goal line to corral a touchdown pass from Nassib.
  • I'm always fascinated to see who stays after practice for extra work. Charles James, Preston Parker, Harris and Jayron Hosley stayed to work on punt returns a bit more. Cooper Taylor was off to the side with a blocking sled, presumably honing that punt-protection technique. Amukamara and Rodgers-Cromartie stayed late for the third night in a row so Amukamara could work on jumping for interceptions. And all three quarterbacks, including Manning, stuck around to practice taking shotgun snaps from all three centers.
  • The Jets were playing a home preseason game across the parking lot at MetLife Stadium that kicked off about an hour and 20 minutes into Giants practice. During Giants practice, some (presumably Jets) fans kept driving by on Paterson Plank Road and hollering insults at the Giants. None were printable, sorry.
  • The Giants are off Friday in advance of Saturday night's preseason game against the Steelers at MetLife Stadium.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Is it possible to win a Super Bowl ring and still be disappointed?

Yes -- just ask New York Giants tight end Kellen Davis.

Davis
Davis was a member of the Seahawks last season, playing in all 15 regular-season games after he signed with Seattle in mid-September, plus both playoff victories. But he was a surprise member of the team's inactive list for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Worse yet, Davis had no idea he wasn't going to be active -- he found out the day of the game. "Yeah, it was a shock," Davis said Thursday. "But you know, I helped them get there, and I’m still a part of the team, and it was just as much mine as anybody else’s."

The Giants signed Davis to a one-year contract back in April, and he is now one of the five tight ends competing for the starting position during training camp.

"I thought it was just a good opportunity," Davis said, "to come here on a good team, and play with a good quarterback, and just have an opportunity to go for the starting job."

The seven-year veteran has played in the most games (95), and has the most starts (39), of any of the five tight ends on the team

He's also the biggest target -- in fact, he's the tallest player on the entire roster at 6-foot-7 (and 265 pounds).

But Davis is regarded primarily as a blocker. Last season he caught just three passes for 32 yards (including a one-yard touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals).

The 28-year-old thinks he is capable of doing much more.

"I think that I have great skill in the pass game, and I’m also good in the blocking game," Davis said. "I consider myself to be an all-around tight end."

He's done a little more in the past. A fifth-round draft pick by the Bears out of Michigan State in 2008, Davis started 31 of 32 regular-season games for Chicago in 2011 and 2012. In 2011 he had 18 catches for 206 yards and five touchdowns; in 2012 he had 19 catches for 229 yards and two scores.

In five seasons with the Bears and one with the Seahawks, Davis has just 50 receptions, but has wound up in the end zone a dozen times -- not bad at all.

As for 2014, the reps have been distributed pretty evenly thus far in Giants' camp. Davis couldn't ask for a better opportunity to prove he can be a complete tight end.

"Yeah, I think so," Davis said, when asked if he believes he can win the starting job. "I don’t really know where the coaches are at, but I’m out there doing my best."

He didn't get to play in Super Bowl XLVIII, but Davis will definitely play in the Giants' preseason games, starting Sunday night in Canton, Ohio. In terms of his career, these games may mean more than the big one, anyway.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The crux of the New York Giants' tight end problem, with six weeks until the regular season begins, continues to be this: Their new offense wants to rely on the tight end to a significant extent, but it still doesn't really have a tight end on which it can rely.

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"Right now, we're looking for that complete tight end who can do it all," Giants tight ends coach Kevin M. Gilbride said Monday. "But we also need guys who are role players -- guys who can be specialists in certain areas. If he's best at executing a certain block, he's going to have the opportunity to make that block in the game. If he's best at running a certain route, he's going to have the opportunity to run that route in a game. So you need to have that all-around tight end, and then you also need to have specialists, guys who are great at a particular role."

The problem is that, to this point, no one from the group that includes Adrien Robinson, Larry Donnell, Daniel Fells, Kellen Davis and Xavier Grimble has established himself as the all-around guy.

"I think right now, they've all got a shot at doing it," Gilbride said. "They're all very good in certain areas right now and not as efficient or as good in other areas. In order to become that all-around tight end, they need to continue to develop."

Gilbride wouldn't handicap the competition, but based on what we've seen so far at practice, Fells looks like the most capable pass-catcher. Donnell made an excellent leaping catch on a seam throw from Ryan Nassib in practice Monday, a short time after Fells caught a touchdown pass from Eli Manning. Davis made a great catch on a seam-route throw from Nassib on Sunday. Robinson has always been a capable run-blocker and continues to show that. The Giants have tried their best to rotate all of the tight end candidates in with the first-team offense to give them all a chance to show what they can do. But it's too early for anyone to have separated himself.

"Every time they get on the field, they know they're being evaluated with everything that they do," Gilbride said. "When guys start to emerge, we'll know it."

So far in camp, we have seen tight ends lined up all over the formation -- in the slot, in tight, out wide... even in the backfield in a fullback or H-back role. Gilbride said that's not a case of experimentation; it's an integral part of the offense and something their tight ends will have to do. The new running game includes more zone and stretch concepts that will require the tight ends to be nimble and flexible as blockers. There is a lot to the job.

"I would describe it as 'Jack of all trades,'" Gilbride said. "Having them be in the backfield and playing a lot of that fullback role, splitting them out as the No. 1 receiver, the No. 2. An in-line tight end as far as the blocking and the pass receiving. It's a jack of all trades and they have to master them all. It's an exciting, fun position in this offense, but we need to continue to develop in order to be ready to help our team win football games."

The Giants could keep as many as four tight ends on their roster, especially if they wrap up the preseason with the same issue they have now -- guys who have disparate strengths and weaknesses and have to be mixed and matched in and out of the lineup depending on circumstances. But Gilbride made it clear that's not the ideal situation.

"I think you can get it done with the specialist-type thing, but that's not really what we're looking for," he said. "What we're really looking for is to develop a number of overall tight ends who can do it all."

The search continues.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- I have no idea whether Larry Donnell will be the starting tight end for the New York Giants this season, because no one has any idea, and if anyone did know for sure on July 25 it wouldn't be me. What I do know is that the Giants' coaches really, really like Donnell and don't have any clearly superior options. So the fact that Donnell was listed first at the position when the team handed out its first unofficial depth chart of training camp Thursday wasn't the most shocking thing we've ever seen.

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As far as Donnell's concerned, it neither means nor changes anything.

"I'm just trying to do everything I can do to show the coaches I can do all of the right things as a player, so if that role comes my way, I can handle it," Donnell said before Giants practice Friday. "I just want to do the best I can to show I'm worthy of being here."

Those are common-sounding words, but Donnell lives them, and that is how he has caught the friendly attention of Giants coaches over the past two years. He was a willing and eager special-teams player in 2013, and Giants coaches say his dedication and work ethic were such that they looked for opportunities to involve him more in the offense. He is 25 years old. At 6-foot-6, 265 pounds he is the second-largest of the five tight ends on the Giants' roster after the 6-7, 265-pound Kellen Davis. Donnell was an undrafted free agent in 2012, one full year out of Grambling State, where he began his career as a quarterback and caught only 38 passes in four years once he moved to tight end during his freshman year.

This is an unlikely path for an NFL starting tight end, and Donnell remains far from a sure thing. He still needs to refine his run-blocking, which is likely to be the most important quality the Giants look for when they decide on a tight end, and he's obviously also still evolving as a pass-catcher. He believes his progress in the offense last year could have been more significant if not for a foot injury he suffered in the spring, and he believes he's coming along quickly this camp as he competes with Davis, Daniel Fells, Adrien Robinson and Xavier Grimble for the starting role.

Donnell is also cognizant of the importance of continuing to be an animal on special teams. While the Giants will surely pick the best tight end as the winner of the competition, if it's close, they're likely to select the guy who has made the most favorable impression on them in the dirty work.

"No change on that," Donnell said. "Still on special teams, still flying around, doing all those things. The more you can do, the better."

Giants GM Jerry Reese tends to downplay the need for an experienced, reliable tight end, pointing out that the tight end hasn't been a big pass-catcher for much of recent Giants history. But Donnell thinks that's changing this year under new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.

"The tight end plays a big tole in this offense," Donnell said. "We're a big part of it. We're main reads, No. 1 reads, so it's important to know where you need to be and how you need to get there. We're a big part of the offense."
The New York Giants Twitter mailbag is back from vacation! And not that you asked, but no, it does not feel as though it played enough golf. But oh well.

@DanGrazianoESPN: Speed. Like the Eleanor Roosevelt quote says in the opening credits of Talladega Nights, "hot, nasty, bad-a** speed." Odell Beckham was drafted to give the Giants the field-stretching threat that Hakeem Nicks did not provide last year, and the team believes he can outrun defensive backs and help open things up for Ben McAdoo's offense near the line of scrimmage. Of course, assuming they're right, Beckham can provide a big-play threat in his own right down the field. But their hope is that he has the speed to beat press coverage and stretch out defenses in a way that allows their offense to operate with a variety of quick-hitting options. I have my own concerns over how Beckham will react to big, physical cornerbacks, but there are plenty of people I talk to around the league who like him a lot and believe he'll contribute right away. @DanGrazianoESPN: Well, I think very. But I don't think there's any way you can count on it to happen. Even if Snee stays healthy, can he possibly deliver the same old power and explosiveness, on a consistent, week-to-week basis, that he did early in his career? All due respect to a great player, but I don't see it. They need a reliable backup plan, and I doubt it's John Jerry. So watch Brandon Mosley closely in camp. The Giants liked what they saw from him in the spring, and they're hoping he emerges as a reliable backup option (or a starter option if they do lose Snee and/or Jerry) at guard. A healthy, 16-game Snee would be a huge benefit to the Giants' offensive line. But I think it's a real long shot that they get it. He's a tough, tough champion who could surprise, but bodies wear down over time, especially at that position. @DanGrazianoESPN: I mean, I don't know who you have in mind, but Daniel Fells and Kellen Davis each have five years' worth of experience in the NFL, and those guys are already on the team. Given what's left on the free-agent market at this point, it's hard to see how they could bring in anyone who's any different from those two guys to do what you're suggesting. The Giants honestly want to give Adrien Robinson and Larry Donnell a chance to show what they can do. They honestly don't believe in spending big resources on the position. But it's not as though they have NO TIGHT ENDS on the roster. What they lack is an experienced starting tight end they can trust to be a reliable option in the passing game. If none of the guys they have show any ability to be that, then sure, they could be shopping for tight end help once other teams start making cuts in late August. But given what the Giants tend to expect out of their tight ends, it's hard to imagine how someone on the roster won't emerge as at least a viable option. This is the group they're taking to camp at this point, and the truth is there's not a lot out there right now that would improve it. @DanGrazianoESPN: There's a role there for rookie fourth-round running back Andre Williams if he can take it. The Giants love to have a big, power running back who can grind out yards up the middle. No matter who the offensive coordinator is, that's going to be something Tom Coughlin wants. But they won't force Williams into playing time if he doesn't show he can handle some of the pass-protection responsibilities and maybe catch a ball or two. So while they like Williams and he was extremely productive in college last year, you shouldn't assume he's going to be a big factor in the run game right away. The Giants don't like to rush rookies, and everything I heard about Williams in spring practices indicated he needed a lot more work. They have Rashad Jennings, Peyton Hillis, Michael Cox and probably David Wilson, so they can certainly get by. When Williams is ready, they will have use for him. But that may not be Week 1.

Thanks for all of your questions. I'm'a check back in Monday from training camp, and we'll be off and running. Until then ... Shake n Bake. 

All this week, and then the week of July 14, we're taking a position-by-position look at the New York Giants' roster heading into training camp. Today we look at the position that's on everyone's mind: Tight end.

Projected starter: Adrien Robinson

Other candidates: Larry Donnell, Kellen Davis, Daniel Fells, Xavier Grimble

That's not a super-inspirational group right there, and Robinson is in that top spot only because he appears to be the leading candidate at this point. Anyone from the "others" group could overtake him easily, but as of now the Giants are hoping that this is the year Robinson hones that raw talent they saw in him when they drafted him in the fourth round in 2012. They drafted him based on that raw ability and hoped they could mold him into an NFL player. Health issues have slowed his development, which admittedly may never happen, but they see a guy who can be a dynamic option as a blocker and a receiver if he can get consistent practice time.

Donnell is a player whose versatility and athleticism they also like, and he was enough of a contributor on special teams last year to warrant a longer look with the offense. Fells and Davis are basically just blockers, and there's likely to be a spot for at least one of them. Grimble is an undrafted rookie out of USC who was once thought of highly as a recruit but never really put it together in college. He's a wild-card, but in this tight end field, you can't rule out anyone. Unless the Giants find a better option on the market between now and the start of camp, this is going to be a free-for-all search for the least objectionable option.

Tight end competition appears wide open

June, 14, 2014
Jun 14
3:00
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We've written this before, but it bears repeating -- the Giants currently have five tight ends on the roster with a grand total of six catches in the NFL last season.

That's a scary thought. But also, a golden opportunity for Adrien Robinson, Larry Donnell, Kellen Davis, Daniel Fells and Xavier Grimble.

Coach Tom Coughlin clearly hopes one of the younger players will emerge over the course of the summer and be ready to start come September. For the second straight week, when asked about the tight end situation Thursday, Coughlin immediately steered the conversation in that direction.

"What I do like," Coughlin said, "is the fact that the young guys have jumped in there and done, I think, a good job of understanding what’s been asked of them and really doing well in limiting their assignment errors."

Robinson, a fourth-round draft pick in 2012, continued to get some reps with the first unit during Thursday's OTA. He has looked good this spring, although he didn't make any flashy plays this Thursday.

But remember, Robinson has been active for just three games in his first two NFL seasons, and has yet to catch a pass.

Coughlin has also spoken highly in the past of Donnell, the 25-year-old undrafted free agent out of Grambling, who had three catches for 31 yards in limited action last season.

The Giants signed another undrafted free agent, Grimble, formerly of USC, last month.

But don't forget about the two six-year veterans the Giants picked up in the offseason, Davis and Fells. Both have gotten first-team reps during OTAs as well.

Davis played in 15 games for the Super Bowl champion Seahawks last season. He had just three catches for 32 yards, but caught 19 passes for 229 yards with the Bears the year before.

Fells did not play in the NFL last season, but played in 13 games for the Patriots the year before. He had just four catches for 85 yards that season, but caught 41 passes for 391 yards with the Rams back in 2010.

Coughlin had good things to say about Davis and Fells on Thursday, too.

"Both of these guys are sharp, both of these veterans," the coach said. "They know their way around on the field. Obviously they’ve been in systems before. We just like to take what they’ve done and the reason that we were attracted to them, expand that."

The Giants could still sign or acquire another player at the position. But as of now, these five will battle it out during next week's three-day minicamp, and then training camp starting in late July.

If any spot is up for grabs on the Giants, this is it.

Analyzing Kiper Mock 4.0: Giants 

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
12:15
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A 7-9 record in 2013 earned the New York Giants the No. 12 pick in next month's NFL draft. After an offseason that has seen them sign 15 outside free agents, they still have needs at tight end, wide receiver and on the offensive line, one of which could reasonably be addressed with that pick. It also wouldn't be out of character to see them add a defensive lineman if that's who they felt the best player was at No. 12.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper's latest mock draft is up today here on ESPN.com. It's two rounds long this time, and you have to have Insider access to read it. His picks for the Giants are aimed at finding some help for quarterback Eli Manning.

New York Giants fans keep asking about tight end. Some are concerned because the team added only Kellen Davis at the position this offseason. Some are convinced the team will take Eric Ebron with the No. 12 pick in the draft. They might. But they also might not. What if they don't like Ebron at 12? What if they like someone else better? What if someone takes him with one of the first 11 picks? Unless you have the No. 1 pick, you can't know who you're going to take. So if the Giants really are basing their tight end plans on the idea of Ebron at 12, they need a Plan B.

Robinson
So what about Adrien Robinson? The 2012 fourth-round draft pick is yes, still on the roster. He has played in only three games so far in his NFL career and has yet to catch a pass. He would be easily forgotten if GM Jerry Reese hadn't regrettably referred to him as "the JPP of tight ends" in a news conference shortly after that 2012 draft.

That comment has evolved into a term of derision toward Robinson and Reese by Giants fans who are disappointed with Robinson's lack of progress, but the comment is misconstrued in retrospect. Reese wasn't intending to compare Robinson to Jason Pierre-Paul as a talent but rather as a project. The Giants took Pierre-Paul in the first round of the 2010 draft because, though they knew he was raw, they believed he had the talent to be a dominant player at his position. He became that in 2011, so when Reese said what he said about Robinson following the fourth round in 2012, the words had serious weight.

But Robinson was a fourth-round project, which is far different from a first-round project. And regardless of round, projects don't always develop as quickly as Pierre-Paul did, if they ever do. Pierre-Paul exploded onto the scene in his second year. This year coming up will be Robinson's third. Though they haven't seen it translate to anything at all on the field yet, the Giants continue to believe there is talent and potential in Robinson's 6-foot-4, 264-pound frame.

Last year, an offseason foot injury cost Robinson preparation time and lingered into the season, making him a game-day inactive for each of the first 14 games. But the Giants never put him on injured reserve, mainly because they believed he could contribute once ready. They finally made him active for the Week 16 game in Detroit, and in a you-can't-make-this-up moment, he injured his knee on the opening kickoff and missed that game and the next one. Lost season for the young man, who will turn 26 in September.

Can he be the answer at tight end for the 2014 Giants if they don't find one elsewhere? The plain fact is they don't know. They believe him to be a willing and able blocker in the run game, based on what they've seen in practice. They believe his size and speed (assuming all of those foot and knee problems haven't sapped any speed) could make him a mismatch for pass defenses. It's all theory, but the way the Giants' roster is constructed at the moment, it appears Robinson could get another chance in 2014. If he makes good on it, then that fourth-round project pick from two years ago pays off. If he doesn't, the Giants could still be looking for answers at tight end.

Giants add TE Kellen Davis

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
1:57
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The New York Giants' 24th free-agent signing of the offseason is, at long last, a tight end -- former Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks tight end Kellen Davis, to be exact. Davis is a blocking tight end (he has 50 total receptions in five NFL seasons), so to answer your first question he does not eliminate Eric Ebron as a first-round draft target next month. But he does give the Giants someone at the position with some NFL experience -- a body in camp, if nothing else, at a position where they have very little.

And you'll never guess how old he is! That's right -- 28 years old, right in the Giants' free-agent wheelhouse. It's as though non-28-year-olds need not apply.

Davis played the first four years of his career for the Bears and then spent 2013 with the eventual Super Bowl champion Seahawks, though he was a non-factor in Seattle. He had three catches all year and was not active in the Super Bowl.

He joins Adrien Robinson, Larry Donnell and Daniel Fells as the tight ends on the Giants' roster. The Giants have patched the position together with one-year stopgaps for several years now, and if they don't address the position with a draft pick, it's possible they could elect to do so again with one or more from that group.

Davis is the 14th free agent the Giants have signed from outside the organization, the highest number of any team in the league so far this offseason.

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