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Larry Donnell, Daniel Fells Emerging as Top Tight Ends for New York Giants

August 13th, 2014 at 11:00 AM
By Doug Rush

The tight end position for the New York Giants has been a bit of a game of musical chairs over the last couple of years.

It's gone from Kevin Boss to Jake Ballard to Martellus Bennett to Brandon Myers and now, the position completely wide open with six players looking to make a good impression on Tom Coughlin and Ben McAdoo with the idea of starting. Thus far, there hasn't been that one guy to make the most waves and headlines, but slowly, some could be breaking out of the pack.

McAdoo mentioned on Tuesday that holdover Larry Donnell and veteran Daniel Fells are starting to break away from the other four in the group and are showing the Giants offensive coordinator that they can cut it in the first team offense.

"I think Larry (Donnell) has had a nice camp so far," he said. "I think Daniel (Fells) had a good camp until he got nicked up. The other guys are making progress. I think Larry is conscientious guy," he said. "He is a big body; he’s capable of blocking sometimes better than he does on tape. He can go down the middle of the field and make a play on the ball. That needs to show up all the time. It is important to take care of your teammates on the field and that seems like it is pretty important to him."

Of the six, Fells does have the most game experience since he's been in the league going back to 2008 playing with the St. Louis Rams, Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. In 71 total games, Fells has 92 total catches for 1,086 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Kellen Davis also has experience too and is more suited for a blocking-type role, as he could assume the role left by the departed Bear Pascoe if needed. Then there's Xavier Grimble, an undrafted free agent with possible talent but has been injured during camp as well as newcomer Jerome Cunningham.

Then there is former fourth-round draft pick Adrien Robinson, who was once called the "JPP of tight ends" but in his first two years in the league, has yet to show the Giants anything significant and has dropped on the depth chart in preseason. With the way his summer has gone, Robinson is seriously risking being cut before the start of the 2014 season.

When asked on what McAdoo is looking for in a tight end, he's essentially looking for a guy he doesn't have to substitute in a no-huddle offense, can play the wide receiver part of being a tight end along with the normal blocking part of it. 

Thus far, the battle remains wide open, but Fells and Donnell seem to have the slight edge with less than a month to go until the start of the season.

Also…

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20 Responses to “Larry Donnell, Daniel Fells Emerging as Top Tight Ends for New York Giants”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    “When asked on what McAdoo is looking for in a tight end, he’s essentially looking for ERIC EBRON”

    •  Krow says:

      If we had Ebron we’d be hearing about how bad his blocking was. They’d be saying how he had to gain weight … etc etc.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Yeah, BUT, would you rather have him than Beckham? It should be easier to find a decent tight end than a really talented wide receiver. We don’t know about Beckham yet, but he may become a star. They don’t miss on their first picks. I expect big things from him.

      The sad thing is that they apparently misjudged what they had at tight end and may have too little to make this offense work right. McAddo may have to make some pretty big adjustments. Make the scheme fit the players, don’t stick with a plan even when you don’t have the personnel to execute it.

  2.  Krow says:

    Our TEs haven’t started a game since High School.

    •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

      And RPP did not even play in High School! Could not make the team. Since they used the same field as the baseball team he kept running to first base from the LOS.

  3.  GOAT56 says:

    I think it’s been way overblown how much TEs are needed in this offense. The GB offense last year nor the offense we had used TEs a lot. The TEs need to be a lot more versatile in this offense but actually being huge receiving threats is not needed. Quarless was their main Te last year. Donnell can be him.

    And I am of the opinion we should use the GB offense as a basis because nothing we have heard from practices or seen in games tells us any different. And if we use don’t totally go all Gb we all know our former offense didn’t rely on the TEs.

    Yes, the TEs need to be better than they have been but you can say that about any position on the offense right now. The TEs won’t make or break our season like some seem to think.

    •  skinnydoogan says:

      GOAT, have you forgotten that this is the Giants and not GB. I am pretty sure Macadoo wants to run his own offense not GB’s. And the TE’s are important. Jeez.

      •  skinnydoogan says:

        Quite frankly, your arguments about tight ends don’t make any sense, you spend half the day trying to convince us that Adrien Robinson and the rest are good, the other half trying to convince us that our new GB offense we will be running, does not require tight ends. Hard to take either seriously.

        •  GOAT56 says:

          I thought Robinson would be good, maybe he still will be. But that’s not the same as thinking they were the driving force behind this offense. They never were.

          McAdoo in running his own offense is so far doing the exact stuff that was done in GB. Of course there will be some new winkles but one of them is not trying to use our TEs like Graham.

    •  G Fan since Ninteen Forty Eight says:

      Green Bay has a mobile A. Rodgers

  4.  PittsburghJim says:

    OK,
    Hold your noses….
    Trade a 4th for Michael Roos & SIGN Incognito.

    There- I said it. You want, experienced, tough as nails guys keeping Elisha upright? So do I.

    Roos, Schwartz, Richburg, Incognito, Pugh, + any TE.

    THAT is improvement.

    Never happen…

  5.  fanfor55years says:

    To add tight end insult to tight end injury, if he manages to suit up for them I’ll bet Travis Beckum will be successful with the Saints. Payton will use him correctly.

    Sadly, since drafting a rookie next spring and expecting him to make a difference is a fool’s errand, they are going to have to go out and sign a free agent tight end, or two. Problem is, I’m not confident that Reese, Ross, Gilbride and Coughlin could identify a good one. Their track record ain’t good.

  6.  Fran2Eli says:

    Ben Koyack TE Notre Dame, projected to be the top TE in the class of 2015. Considered a good blocker as well.

  7.  rlhjr says:

    The blueprint for McAdoo’s tight end is simple;

    Agility:
    Size: 250-260
    Mentally/Physically Tough: “Gronk” “Unicorn”
    Speed: 4.5 / 4.7 40YD
    Blocking Ability: Like a Fullback
    Good Hands:
    Coachable:

    In other words a special athlete is required. Not many to be found who are big and strong enough to be a stand out blocker. However, he really only has to be able to chip and get in the way.

    Bavaro, Shockey or Shanko would have been good at it. It’s not like we’ve never seen one before. You just have to spend an early draft pick to get one.
    And of course the departed Black Unicorn we let walk.

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