Campbell Not Shocked with TE Selection

Dan Campbell wasn't shocked that the Giants went after tight end Jeremy Shockey, but he vows to fight for the starting position.

As the draft began, New York was working the phones trying to trade up to the eighth, ninth or tenth slot. The Giants were looking to switch places with Kansas City, Jacksonville or Cincinnati, and secure Miami TE Jeremy Shockey in the process.

Big Blue was unable to make a deal. As a result, Ernie Accorsi and Company sweated it out as New Orleans selected Tennessee WR Donte Stallworth 13th. Then, New York struck.

The Giants knew that a couple of teams (Seattle and Cleveland) were planning to trade up to steal Shockey. So Accorsi offered Tennessee a fourth-round pick in order to switch spots with the Titans.

The ironic twist was that the Giants lost a coin toss with Tennessee for the right to the 14th pick. Both clubs had identical 7-9 records and the exact same strength of schedule.

"If we hadn't lost the coin flip, we wouldn't have had to do it," Head Coach Jim Fassel laughed.

The Titans took the deal and the Giants had their man.

"I don't look at him as a tight end, I look at him as a weapon," Accorsi said.

The 6-5, 255-pound Shockey has been the object of New York's desire from the get-go. He was rated very high on their draft board, rumored to be in the top five. In two seasons at Miami (after transferring from Northeast Oklahoma A&M), Shockey posted 61 receptions for 815 yards and 10 tackles.

"He was always our first choice," Accorsi said. "He's a rare combination."

Shockey clocked a 4.68 in the 40-yard dash; something that the Giants believe will make him a consistent contributor on offense.

Accorsi points to Shockey "running wide receiver speed" on a wet, grass field as another reason for his selection.

He's also known for having sure hands and an excellent knack for getting open. In addition to his on-field skills, Shockey impressed the Giants with his leadership ability.

"The thing that got me excited is his competitiveness and desire to win," Fassel said.

As for claims that Shockey is less than ideal as a blocker, Fassel said, "he can block – he's a strong guy."

Shockey has full confidence that he can do whatever is needed in the Big Apple.

"My first year I want to dominate and make plays," he said. "Every offense needs a tight end that can catch the ball and they haven't had one since (Mark) Bavaro."

As for how this affects incumbent TE Dan Campbell, the fourth-year tight end said he was "not really surprised. They've been saying that's what they wanted."

Campbell was the Giants' primary target with 13 receptions as Big Blue finished last in the NFL in TE production last season.

"I don't feel it's that big a deal," Campbell said. "I just want a chance to compete."

Campbell vows not to give up his job without a fight.

"It's a little frustrating, but what can I do?" Campbell asked. "I can't sulk or be a baby about it. We do need two good tight ends."

Now they have them.


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