Was there anyone who made more of a splash during OTAs and minicamp than NY Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger? When general manager Joe Schoen used a fourth-round pick on him in the 2022 NFL Draft, countless people felt like there were better options on the table for New York to go with.
Well, Bellinger has done nothing but impress during his short time in East Rutherford and he’s now looking like the favorite to win the starting job leading up to Week 1 against the Tennessee Titans. This doesn’t come as a stunner to San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke. While speaking on The Giants Huddle podcast, Hoke gave a glowing review of his former playmaker.
NY Giants tight end Daniel Bellinger should surprise people in 2022
"“No. 1, it comes down to competitiveness and the competitor running correct routes, your release from the line of scrimmage,” Hoke said of Bellinger via the podcast. “I think all of those things are things that goes back to Dan – and Dan’s No. 1 leadership, his expectations and standards that he has for himself. I’ve been coaching for a long time, and he’s one of those guys that you wish you had more of them over the years. He’s a competitor. He’s going to be physical. He’s going to have a mindset that those 50-50 balls, whatever you want to call them, he’s going to fight like hell to come down with the football.”"
Bellinger may not be the flashiest player and he’s most definitely not receiving the same kind of hype as No. 5 overall pick Kayvon Thibodeaux and No. 7 selection Evan Neal. However, the former San Diego State star has made an impact for this offense already and he’ll look to be a steady option for Jones this upcoming season and beyond.
Few people know Bellinger better than Hoke, so for him to speak so highly of his former standout should really excite the G-Men fanbase as a whole. It should also be music to the ears of head coach Brian Daboll, as he’s ready to see what his tight end is made of as well. Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka should be pumped too. No one is expecting Bellinger to be a Pro Bowler in Year 1, but he sure has what it takes to make plenty of noise in the NFC East in 2022.