Going into the preseason I was fairly optimistic about Travis Beckum assuming the role of starting tight end for the Giants. Unfortunately, he did not perform well.
Beckum rarely lined up near the line, instead taking the majority of his snaps in the slot, which must indicate that the Giants are not comfortable with his blocking. This would be fine, if Beckum proved to be a good receiver, but he has not made an impact there either.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the Giants can win with the roster they currently have. They have always primarily used their tight ends as blockers, and at this point I think Jake Ballard looks like a better blocker than Boss did in 2008. Ballard’s problem is he is an average receiver at best.
While these two could tag team to give the Giants both a receiving and blocking option at tight end, it hurts the Giants chances of deceiving the defense, as it will be easier to predict run or pass based on the players on the field.
With plenty of tight end options currently on the market, why not look into bringing in another option? Currently Donald Lee, Allen Reisner, Jeff Dugan and Desmond Clark are on the open market. Each of these players is both a capable blocker and receiver.
Donald Lee was the Packers primary tight end before they drafted Jermichael Finley, and a back-up with the Eagles last season. Allen Reisner is a rookie who was very impressive with the Vikings. Despite having Kyle Rudolph, Visanthe Shaincoe and Jimmy Kleinsasser the Vikes tried to keep him, but when Xavier Adibi hit waivers, the Vikings moved on. With injuries at linebacker they have very little depth, and could not pass up a talent like Adibi that fits so perfectly into their Cover 2 system. With the aforementioned depth at the position, it was a necessary decision to release the impressive rookie. Dugan has been a great blocker for the Vikings, but, like Reisner, was cut due to the depth at the position. Desmond Clark was a great tight end for the Bears, but has seen his production reduced due to the drafting of Greg Olsen, and the switch to Mike Martz’s offense, which rarely utilizes the tight end as a receiver.
All four of those guys are better than anyone the Giants have on their roster. It seems silly to me to not bring one of them in. It would go a long way to shoring up one of the Giants biggest holes.
Tags: Allen Reisner Chicago Bears Desmond Clark Donald Lee Green Bay Packers Greg Olsen Jake Ballard Jeff Dugan Jimmy Kleinsasser Kevin Boss Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings NY Giants Philadelphia Eagles Travis Beckum Visanthe Shaincoe Xavier Adibi