Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
It seems the Giants are actively amending their roster to build a product they are truly confident in. One position that fans have been adamant to improve is the tight end position, a spot they hardly addressed this offseason after signing only UDFA Xavier Grimble. The Giants claim belief in their previous investments, but they are still bringing in another body to leave no stone unturned.
Enter Tom Crabtree, who is slated to try out for Big Blue this week.
Formerly a player in two bays, both Green and Tampa, Crabtree has grown to have his own fan base after making a name for himself on Twitter, not to mention some sweet tattoos. He is rather unknown otherwise yet has made an impact as a versatile, athletic threat whose balance helps maintain his roster spot.
While Pro Football Focus rates Crabtree as a terrible asset after this past season, fans may be able to excuse his poor play for several reasons: injuries, his being a Buccaneer, and 2013 being his first season away from Green Bay, and former Green Bay tight ends coach Ben McAdoo. Of course, every Giants fan now knows that McAdoo is calling the shots on the New York offense as the coordinator. Interesting how that perfectly correlates eh?
In terms of his ability, the former Packer showed reliability on the field when called upon. He has notched 22 passes for 323 yards, with five touchdowns in his career which he has played mostly as a back up. Whether in the run or pass game, Crabtree maintains blocks well enough while running solid routes and having decent hands. Nothing extraordinary has popped off the tape as of yet (minus an awesome touchdown on a fake field goal two seasons ago), so the best of Crabtree may still lie ahead. What can be seen is an admirable toughness and gritty approach to his game, as he is very physical on almost every snap. At 6’4”, 245 pounds, Tom seemingly boasts the adequate size, experience and balance to compliment this new, attacking offensive scheme.
Overall, Crabtree’s tryout may have a major payoff if he is healthy and impresses. The Giants current tight end group may have the “backing” of the coaching staff, but Crabtree has that valuable experience with Ben McAdoo. Such chemistry does not only benefit through understanding the schemes and terminology, but it bodes well for building on that foundation of chemistry to become something more in a new situation and environment. Previously, Crabtree had to sit behind standout TE Jermichael Finley, who was also tied to the Giants but has been off their radar as of late due to his major neck injury that was only recently cleared. Now, in New York, Tom Crabtree may be able to come in and contribute right away with no proven commodity at that position as of now, and his old coach running the show.
The former Packer and Buccaneer has some value to add to the Giants if he indeed impresses at his tryout. But what say you Big Blue nation? Would you want Crabtree on the roster? Is Crabtree ideal compared to Finley? Is this the move you’d want to see?