Happy Sunday, Giants fans! Tomorrow officially brings us into NFL Draft week and news will undoubtedly begin to pick-up as the draft nears. As the excitement builds, we suggest taking a look at some of these Sunday headlines over your morning coffee.
The man who's signed more free agents than any other this NFL offseason didn't come out and thump his chest about it Thursday. New York Giants general manager Jerry Reese had a lot more to say in his news conference about all of the work that remains to be done than he did about the work he's done over the past two months.
"We had a lot of work to do in free agency, so we worked hard in free agency, and after that, I actually liked the couple of weeks' extra time to get ready for the draft," Reese said. "The draft stands alone. We try to take the best players we can in the draft. In free agency, you try to fill some holes."
The clear message was that next week's work is the real roster-building work. Free agency, in Reese's words, is about filling holes. The Giants went into the offseason with a large number of holes, and the free agents they signed fit several of them in ways the Giants liked. They tend to be between 27 and 29 years old. They play positions at which the Giants have recently lost key contributors or were in need of an upgrade. Square hole, square peg. Round hole, round peg. Free agency is puzzle-solving work, designed to make sure you can field a team.
North Carolina State tight end Asa Watson visited the New York Giants, according to a league source.
Watson is the younger brother of New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson.
At his Pro Day, Watson ran the 40-yard dash in 4.65 seconds with a 32-inch vertical leap, a 9-9 broad jump, a 4.44 20-yard shuttle and a 7.05 three-cone drill.
ESPN has Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay for their mock draft madness. And now they have McKiper, too.
Kiper and McShay joined forces Thursday night to make alternating picks in a three-round mock draft. They chose defensive tackle Aaron Donald, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and guard Gabe Jackson for the Giants.
That's a haul that most Giants fans would gladly accept. Donald is a force on the interior of the defensive line, Seferian-Jenkins is a talented basketball player-turned-tight end and Jackson is a road-grading guard.
Michael Sam's lifestyle will soon become secondary to his skills. Once he's drafted in the NFL, the Missouri defensive end will be judged strictly on whether he can play and whether he can help his team win.
"I don't think he'll have any problem in the locker room. I don't think he'll have any problems on the field," Hall of Fame offensive tackle Art Shell said. "The one thing about football players, they're inclusive. They will take you for who you are, not what people try to portray you as. It's who you are: 'You're a football player, then you can play with us.' I don't see that as being a problem in the National Football League."
Shell's stance was shared by several other Hall of Famers, including Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders, Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy and New York Giants linebacker Harry Carson, who appeared along with nearly 100 other inductees at a two-day "Fan Fest," the largest gathering ever of football legends outside Canton, Ohio.
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