NY Giants: Making the case for Elijhaa Penny to earn a roster spot

NY Giants, Elijhaa Penny #39 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NY Giants, Elijhaa Penny #39 (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

As the NY Giants prepare for training camp, players will once again have to prove their worth and do whatever it takes to earn a final roster spot. Many players coming back from last season will undoubtedly earn their starting spots again but the majority will be working even harder just to make it. Such is the case with fullback Elijhaa Penny.

The fullback position is one that isn’t used by every NFL team but a good chunk of teams still use it to add more schemes to their rushing attack. The Giants have always enjoyed using the fullback role for two running back sets to throw off opposing defenses so they’ll definitely keep at least one going into the upcoming season. Even though Penny wasn’t used all that much on offense, he’s worth keeping for 2021 just on his versatility and the quality he brings to the depth chart.

Besides being able to be a starting fullback, Penny is an absolute beast on special teams. This is an area he excels at as he brings a plethora of experience to the table and considering his familiarity with the system, is already at an advantage.

Elijhaa Penny is at an advantage for a roster spot thanks to depth

Heading into training camp, the Giants bought in some competition for Penny to see if there is an upgrade for the positional group. They signed fullback Cullen Gillaspia to a one-year deal as it’ll be one of many training camp battles to see which player can get the job done for Big Blue.

A huge advantage for Penny besides his ability to play fullback and special teams is that he can also step in at running back and spell relief when his number is called. In his three seasons with the Giants, Penny has totaled 79 rushing yards on 28 attempts.

Yes, these aren’t huge numbers but if he’s able to step in on offense to give running backs a breather and the offense doesn’t miss a beat, that’s a big thing to have as depth. In a long, regular season, that’s key towards winning more football games when your backups are still able to deliver when needed most.

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In the grand scheme of things, Penny should be able to beat out Gillaspia in training camp to remain the starting fullback on the Giants and continue where he left off from last season. Hopefully, everything falls into place as he could very well hit his stride and contribute even more when it comes to special teams as well as those special rushing formations on offense where he’s able to make a play.