Round 5, #143 Overall: LB Ryan Connelly, Wisconsin
Few transactions created more drama for the 2020 NY Giants than cutting Ryan Connelly from the team’s final 53-man roster, but in the end the criticism was much ado about nothing.
Fans were enraged that the Giants would “give up” on the promising second-year linebacker from Wisconsin. His ability to move, stop the run, and make plays in coverage was seen as a huge boon for this team and something that has been sorely missed for the better part of the entire 2010s decade.
The new coaching staff was clearly not impressed with Connelly’s game nor was his 2019 game film enough to survive the different regime. Connelly also got injured late in training camp, which didn’t help his cause.
Simply put, his roster status should have been much more in question than many realized after the team drafted four linebackers in the 2020 draft.
That fact alone should have rung sirens in the eyes of Giants fans who expected Connelly to make the team as a near-lock.
Connelly put up 20 tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss, two pass deflections, and two interceptions. I personally thought it would be enough to crack the final roster but that was not the case.
If it cheers any salty fans up, Connelly latched on with the Vikings after being cut. From there he was pretty much exclusively a special teams player. He saw a grand total of ONE snap on defense all year and that came in Week 1. Clearly, Connelly has a long way to go before anyone should be calling him a stud linebacker, let alone even see the field on any NFL defense.