UDFA Signings: Top 3 to keep an eye on

By Michael Stewart/@golferbad

Introduction: GM Dave Gettleman 2nd season as the Giants GM and his 2nd draft with the Giants didn’t quite turn out the way Giant fans had hoped. Unfortunately; no one is going to remember any picks beyond their 1st selection (#6 overall pick). Passing on Kentucky standout Josh Allen could possibly haunt the Giants and stain Gettleman’s legacy as the GM for the Giants; especially if quarterback Daniel Jones is the next Dave Brown and not the next Eli Manning.

Gettleman now shifts gears and selects twelve UDFA players (undrafted free agents) and hopefully, he has better success.  History is on Gettleman’s side as he has produced talent through the UDFA signing (Andrew Norwell) and the Giants past UDFA selections such as; Victor Cruz, Mark Herzlich and last season picks Grant Haley and Tae Davis. Below are my Top 3 selections that I believe could contributor in 2019 and possibly beyond.

  1. Josiah Tauaefa (ILB) UTSA-6’1/245: I actually had the Giants selecting Tauaefa in the 7th round in my final mock draft. Very similar to ILB Ryan Connelly out of Wisconsin taken by the Giants on Day 3. Tauaefa has a high motor and a nose for the ball. Tauaefa recorded 113 tackles with 11.5 tackles for a loss and even had 4.5 sacks. Tauaefa finished in the top 10 in voting for the Butkus Award, given to the top linebacker in the country. There’s always a long shot with any UDFA prospect making the 53 man roster, but if Tauaefa can do that, he’ll see plenty of action on special teams.
  2. Paul Adams (OT) Missouri-6’7/320: Gettleman failed to draft an OT on Day 1 or 2 and eventually selected OT George Asafo-Adjei out of Kentucky in the 7th round. Currently; the Giants have Chad Wheeler as their starting Right Tackle, but expect Gettleman to go out and sign a veteran OT (Hint: Mike Remmers) before training camp. Regardless; the signing of Adams will be an interesting one to watch as training camp unfolds. Adams faced many top edge rushers in 2018 and held his own respectfully with good footwork and solid technique. Like Tauaefa, Adams will have his hands full and will need to battle to the end to make the 53 man roster. I expect him to make the Practice Squad at the very least.
  3. Reggie White Jr. (WR) Monmouth-6’3/210: White has a good size which will benefit him in camp as one of the few wide receivers in Giants camp over 6’2. White put together a solid 2018 season with 71 receptions with 1,133 yards and 11 touchdowns. White will be following the footsteps of other former Monmouth players such as: Miles Austin and Chris Hogan. The Giants will give him a very long look, but White needs to provide a few WOW moments to make this team. If not, I expect the Giants to place him on the practice squad.

Final Thoughts: The other UDFA signings all have attributes worth noting, however; I believe these three prospects possess the most upside to impress the coaching staff and possibly make the 53 man roster or be placed on the practice squad. It won’t be an easy road by any means, but the Giants need to fill their roster with better talent and these three are a good place to start.

GM Dave Gettleman received a lot of heat after the draft with his selections and not just the 1st round as he waited until round three to address an edge rusher in Oshane Ximine, who played at a small school and many questions whether or not he can compete at the next level.  Gettleman passed on two offensive tackles in Bobby Evans and Yodny Cajuste respectfully in that same round; that would have had a good chance to start at right tackle.

Then Gettleman waited until the final round to select an offensive tackle in George Asafo-Adjei who is considered more of a development prospect than a legitimate candidate to start; despite having lesser competition in front of him in Chad Wheeler.  As good as 2018 draft was for Gettleman, the 2019 draft was not.

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