Giant Longshots

One only has to look at Craig Dahl for motivation. No one even knew his name last year at this time. Yet, there he was starting at safety and playing very well during two crucial Giants victories in December.

Or how about Michael Matthews? He played a key role as a blocking tight end last season, especially after Jeremy Shockey was felled by injury. These were two of New York's success stories last season. Here follows the list of this year's undrafted free agent crop that's looking to catch on in '08. Included in this list are three players that have minimal NFL experience.

Andrew Bain, G, Miami, 6-3, 344

Bio: Played in 32 games with 23 starts for the Hurricanes. Started nine games as a senior after starting every game his junior season.

Analysis: If there's one spot on the Giants that could use a little depth help, it's the offensive line.

Glenn Bujnoch, C, Cincinnati, 6-5, 285

Bio: Started every game in his final two seasons at right tackle for the Bearcats. Received the nickname Digger as a child because of his large feet (current shoe size is 18).

Analysis: A guy named Digger with big feet? Sounds like a great O-lineman to us.

Wallace Gilberry, DE, Alabama, 6-3, 267

Bio: Started all 33 games in which he played in the final three seasons of his career. He was credited with 188 tackles (99 solo), 60.5 tackles for losses of 223 yards, 21.5 sacks for losses of 135 yards, 38 pressures, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He was voted to the All-SEC first team in 2007.

Analysis: Like his Crimson Tide teammate Hall, Gilberry has a legitimate chance to stick with the Giants in some capacity.

DJ Hall, WR, Alabama, 6-2, 195

Bio: Was a four-year starter for the Crimson Tide, playing in 48 games with 39 starts. He caught 194 passes for 2,923 yards and 17 touchdowns in his career. He also returned 10 kickoffs for a 19.6-yard average.

Analysis: He's got a great chance to earn a practice squad spot and would even have a solid shot at the roster if the Giants weren't so receiver heavy.

Jacob Hobbs, OT, Albany, 6-3, 303

Bio: Is the first player signed by the Giants from U-Albany, where they have held training camp since 1996. He was originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles on May 14, 2007. Hobbs played in four preseason games before he was waived on Sept. 1.

Analysis: Much to Paul Schwartz's chagrin, he's likely camp fodder only.

Nick Leeson, LS, Virginia Tech, 6-1, 249

Bio: Was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens on May 4, 2007. He played in two preseason games before being waived on Aug. 27. Leeson was the long snapper at Virginia Tech from 2003-2006.

Analysis: Has a great chance to stick since the Giants would prefer to relieve Jay Alford and Zak DeOssie of their snapping duties this season.

Alex Morrow, DE, USC, 6-6, 270

Bio: Played in 23 games for the Trojans, recording 23 tackles and four sacks. As a senior in 2007, Morrow was a backup at defensive end and played on special teams. In 13 games, he had five tackles, including two sacks.

Analysis: Has an uphill climb at DE, but you have to like his pedigree.

Ogemdi Nwagbuo, DT, Michigan State, 6-4, 290

Bio: Played in 24 games and was credited with 54 tackles (22 solo), one sack, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Analysis: Giants writers everywhere can't help but root against this kid.

Antonio Reynolds, DE, Tennessee, 6-3, 270

Bio: He concluded his career with 89 tackles (53 solo), 13 tackles for losses of 52 yards, 5.0 sacks for 30 yards and an interception that he returned 70 yards against Louisiana-Lafayette.

Analysis: Looking to catch some eyes as a two-way end.

Nate Robinson, DT, Akron, 6-5, 315

Bio: Spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons at Rutgers before transferring to Akron. As a senior in 2007, he played in 10 games with six starts and was credited with 26 tackles (16 solo) and 2.0 sacks. Robinson played at Irvington (N.J.) High School, which is about 30 minutes from Giants Stadium.

Analysis: Three times the size of his Knicks namesake, Robinson has a shot to be that middle run-stuffer they've been looking for.

Miguel Scott, CB, North Carolina State, 6-0, 203

Bio: Was a three-year starter at safety for the Wolfpack. In 2007, he was credited with 43 tackles (21 solo) and had an interception against Miami he returned 19 yards.

Analysis: Kevin Dockery proved that you don't need to be drafted to play CB for the Giants.

Brian Soi, DT, Utah State, 6-3, 315

Bio: Was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Miami Dolphins on July 23, 2007. Played in four preseason games before he was waived on Sept. 1. Soi (pronounced SOY) played one year at Utah State (2005), recording 31 tackles, 7.5 stops for loss, 4.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked kick.

Analysis: Having a little NFL experience can only help

Terrance Stringer, S, Tuskegee, 6-3, 213

Bio: Anchored the record setting Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Champion Tuskegee University Golden Tigers (say that three times fast) to an undefeated season in 2007, when he had 41 tackles and three pass breakups.

Analysis: If James Butler did it, why can't he?

Ryan Thiry, OT, Northwestern, 6-8, 315

Bio: Three-year starter with 34 career starts (don't you just love offensive linemen bios?).

Analysis: Offensive linemen from the Big Ten always sound good to us.

Nehemiah Warrick, S, Michigan State, 6-1, 208

Bio: Played two seasons for the Spartans after transferring from Hutchinson Community College in Kansas. He had 106 tackles (58 solo), including 4.5 tackles for 13 yards in losses. Warrick was Michigan's State starting strong safety in 2007, when he had 61 tackles (29 solo) and three pass breakups.

Analysis: The Giants are very high on Warrick, who might just help push James Butler out of a roster spot.

* After minicamp the Giants waived three players: linebacker Rory Johnson of Mississippi, defensive tackle Joshua Muse of Louisiana Tech and punter Owen Tolson of Army. The Giants also terminated the contracts of tight end Eric Butler of Mississippi State and guard Carnell Stewart of LSU because they failed their physicals.


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