I know it’s a little late for last game analysis, but Pro Football Focus has their weekly rewind of all the preseason games up, and something jumped out at me that I thought was worthy of another mention – Jake Ballard could be the best option at TE for the Giants.
Though it seemed like Travis Beckum would be the player to step up after Kevin Boss’ departure to Oakland, Jake Ballard used this game to show the coaching staff why he may be the better option. Ballard, a 2010 undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, was extremely impressive in his ability to block effectively. On a number of occasions, he was driving defenders down the field for so long, that the running back would be tackled before he had disengaged. It wasn’t just against linebackers and receivers, either, as on one play, he drove Jets’ rookie defensive tackle Wilkerson five yards down the field. Ballard certainly isn’t the weapon or threat that Beckum could be in the passing game, the Giants would be better off with Ballard who is definitely the better blocker of the two.
Given the fact that Beckum cannot block whatsoever, and Bear Pascoe has had an off preseason — I’ll take Ballard’s potential at starting TE any day of the week as one of the Giants bookends. This year is one of those seasons for the Giants where young players are going to have to make the most of their opportunities, where better to start than at TE. We know he can catch, we now know he can block… this might be the answer the Giants have been looking for.