New York Giants: Larry Donnell 2015 Projection


The tight end position for the New York Giants has been a revolving door of talent ever since Jeremy Shockey was lost to a season ending injury in 2007 and left the team after theirSuper Bowl win. Since then there has been Kevin Boss, Bear Pascoe, Martellus Bennett, Jake Ballard, and Brandon Myers.

In 2014, Big Blue had three tight ends on their roster, Adrien Robinson, Daniel Fells, and the starter, Larry Donnell. The group overall did a solid job with Fells excelling at blocking and being a good red zone target and Donnell being the main receiving tight end and also a good red zone target, but lacked Fell’s blocking ability.

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Donnell was the standout at the position, finishing 2014 with 63 receptions for 623 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Those are great numbers for a 26 year old tight end in a new offense, but four fumbles and a lack of blocking ability hampered him all season. Donnell is a great athlete and uses his 6’6, 265 lb frame well but could be reckless at times when it comes to ball security which lead to his fumbles.

Donnell has a chance to improve his blocking and fix his fumbling issues with a full season as a starter under his belt and a whole off season program coming up. I believe he is a smart football player who will fix those issues and will see his overall stats improve with a full season of learning the team’s new offense under his belt and a whole off season to work with Eli Manning to build an even stronger connection between them.

Donnell became a security blanket for Manning last season especially in the red zone where Donnell’s size and strength are a mismatch for any defensive back or linebacker. Donnell is also a good route runner who knows how to find gaps in defenses and exploit them. These opportunities will improve with the return of wide receiver Victor Cruz to the slot receiver position and the attention he will surely command. This means less attention will be paid on Donnell which will lead to a lot of one on one match ups with linebackers or safeties, a match up Donnell will be the favorite to win every time.

It is clear the Giants’ organization has faith in Donnell to be their long term tight end which will help Donnell’s confidence and will help him progress as a football player. 2015 should see Donnell cut down on his turnovers and have more catches and touchdowns, the only question will be whether or not he can improve his blocking skills both in the run and passing game. This is something the Giants need to see him improve upon come next season.

I believe he will improve with a whole off season coming up and it brings excitement to the tight end position that hasn’t been there in a few years for Big Blue. Donnell should provide more steady and abundant production unlike 2014 where he only had one touchdown catch in his last 8 games of the season due to his natural progression as a tight end and will be an exciting weapon to add to an already intriguing Giants receiving corps in 2015 lead by Odell Beckham Jr. and a returning Cruz. So don’t be surprised when Donnell becomes one of the more reliable tight ends in the NFL because it will indeed happen in 2015.

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