The NY Giants brought in a massive tight end on day two of free agency.
Who says the NY Giants don’t have any size in their receiving corps?! Well, if we’re counting the tight end group, Big Blue sure isn’t lacking in the size department anymore, and that’s thanks to the signing of the 6’8, 270 pound Levine Toilolo.
While the Giants still need a big outside receiving threat, they now have a legitimate red-zone option should they choose to use Toilolo in that way. Despite coming into the league all the way back in 2013, Toilolo is still just 28-years-old and has plenty of potential.
The monster tight end was originally drafted by the Falcons out of Stanford in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft and has been unlucky in the sense that he’s been stuck behind a number of great tight ends during his career dating back to Zach Ertz in their college days. That list includes Tony Gonzalez, Austin Hooper, and George Kittle in his professional career.
It’s worth noting that on paper Toilolo has started 67 games in his career, but his snap counts have typically been under 50%, even in seasons where he’s started 10+ games. He’s mainly been used as a blocker during his NFL career – something he’s excelled at – but his 69% career reception percentage indicates he should be used as a receiver more.
Toilolo was used almost exclusively as a blocker for the first time in his NFL career with the 49ers in 2019, catching just 2 balls for 10 yards. Still, he played 18% of snaps and was a key componant to the 49ers running game as a blocker. It’s hard to get many pass-catching reps when playing behind George Kittle, too.
His best season as a professional came during his second year in 2015 where he hauled in 31 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns on a 7.7 yards-per-reception average. That average has gone up tremendously in years since, as his career YPR is 10.3 for his career now, despite the downgrade in target share.
With Evan Engram and Kaden Smith in the fold, he’s not going to be asked to be an integral part of the offense. And while the contract terms have not been released, it’s fair to assume that he’ll be playing for close to a minimum salary after playing on such for the 49ers last year and not playing much at all behind Kittle.
If that’s the case, it’s hard not to absolutely love this signing — as much as you could for a third-string tight end. While free agency has not gone how most NY Giants fans anticipated so far, these are the type of moves that bring in glue guys that actually really help the team.
GMENHQ grade: A-
Official contract terms: Not yet released (likely minimum salary variety)