New York Giants: Will Matt LaCosse break free from injuries?
By Derek Laffin
Keeping Matt LaCosse around could end up paying dividends for Big Blue.
The Illinois native Matt LaCosse has been making headlines recently with circus catches and great body control at New York Giants OTAs, according to the team’s official website. The G-Men are hoping to capitalize on the 6-5 tight end’s varied skill set in an injury-free campaign.
New York Giants
Coming out of college at Illinois, LaCosse was not a well-known prospect. Lance Zierlein, a writer for NFL.com and the website TheSidelineView.com, posted a draft profile on LaCosse that was had him listed as a possible 7th round selection or PFA (priority free agent).
LaCosse’s full draft profile and be found clicking here. It lists the strength of his game as his smooth release off the line of scrimmage. He also has the ability to get on top of safeties quickly while making the tough catches.
Zierlein also stated negatives of his game, while he is 250 lbs., he does not have a thick lower body. LaCosse’s blocking mainly comes though effort and is not efficient.
In college, he had career-highs of five catches against Indiana in 2013, as a junior. As a senior in 2014, LaCosse had a total of 14 receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. These numbers leave a lot to be desired.
Fortunately at his pro day. LaCosse displayed a skill set and athleticism that eventually landed him with the New York Giants.
LaCosse posted a 4.71 for his 40-yard dash, with a 10-yard split of 1.60. He also had a 30-inch vertical leap and did 20 repetitions of the 225 lbs. bench press, according to NFLDraftScout.com.
However, LaCosse’s athleticism has never been what has kept him from contributing early in his career. Nagging injuries have plagued the tight end at the most inopportune times as a professional.
In 2015, the New York Giants waived LaCosse after pulling a hamstring, and 2016 was no better. A torn meniscus saw his season cut short before it began.
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According to Giants.com, LaCosse is making a strong effort to erase any doubt in coaches minds that he can be a contributor. Last Friday’s OTA session was dominated by LaCosse, who corralled difficult catches while staying in-bounds.
"Efforts like Friday’s only helps LaCosse’s case and caught the eye of head coach Ben McAdoo. “[LaCosse] made some nice plays, He is a big target down there in the green zone. (Love he is sticking with Coughlin lingo) Match-up wise, he gives you that length that your looking for.”"
Versatility may ensure LaCosse secures a roster spot. Alternating with Rhett Ellison at fullback in certain schemes, and a willingness to play on special teams might be the surest way to the 53-man roster.
Make no mistake, even with great OTAs, mini-camp and training camp, LaCosse has an uphill battle in a very crowded tight end room. Ellison, a free agent signed from Minnesota, first-round pick Evan Engram and draft pick Jerell Adams (6th round, 2016) likely have their spots carved out.
Will Tye and Colin Thompson appear to be LaCosse’s biggest competition. By many accounts, Adams has been looking confident in his routes and effectively blocking.
Above everything else, LaCosse’s biggest hurdle will be what his body allows him to show. Will 2017 be another season of wishful thinking of what could have been? Or will Matt LaCosse finally show his full potential and continue his promising career? The next few months may write the story.
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