Undrafted Free Agents

For any of the dozen or so undrafted free agents that the Giants signed shortly after the draft, they don't have to look far for proof that their dreams aren't hopeless. Giants starting left guard Rich Seubert joined the club as an undrafted rookie free agent out of Western Illinois almost a decade ago. Not only is he still here, but he's still a member of the Giants starting offensive line.

Last year's standout undrafted rookie free agent was clearly cornerback Bruce Johnson from Miami, who impressed the staff during training camp and actually contributed mightily in Week Two with a huge interception return for a touchdown in Dallas.

This year the Giants signed an unlucky 13 undrafted rookies before minicamp. Actually it was only unlucky for two players – QB Dominic Randolph of Holy Cross, who was released after the two-day minicamp, and Duke CB Leon Wright, who never even made it to camp.

Additionally, the Giants invited 23 players on a tryout basis, of which only two survived.

Here follows the 13 ‘extra' players the Giants are planning to bring with them to training camp, including our observations from minicamp.

Post-draft signings

Jake Ballard, TE, Ohio State, 6-6, 265

Ballard is an enormous target, which he showed the entire country when he made a tremendous catch in last year's Rose Bowl. He seemed to move around well during minicamp.

Tim Brown, WR, Rutgers, 5-8, 165

Brown was clearly one of the most impressive performers during camp. He was savvy and crafty in his route-running and was one of the players that Tom Coughlin pointed out as doing well. He also showed very dependable hands.

Duke Calhoun, WR, Memphis, 6-4, 205

The first thing you notice about Calhoun is one of those ‘can't-teach' qualities – he's 6-4. He obviously provides a large target and was one of the first rookie free agents the Giants went after once the draft concluded.

Victor Cruz, WR, Massachusetts, 6-1, 200

A New Jersey product, Cruz also showed himself well during minicamp. Now it's not unusual for multiple receivers to play well during non-contact minicamp, but in this case it really was the case. Cruz got deep down the field on a few occasions and made some impressive catches.

Dennis Landolt, G, Penn State, 6-4, 306

While Landolt started at tackle for the Nittany Lions the past two seasons, he figures to be more of an inside player at this level. To his credit, the former Eagles fan that grew up in south Jersey said that he has no preference and that he'll play wherever they want him to. Landolt was one of the first phone calls the Giants made post-draft.

Jim Cordle, C, Ohio State, 6-4, 297

Needless to say, it's awfully difficult to scout offensive linemen when there's basically no contact during the minicamp drills. What we can tell you about Cordle is that he's a tough, rugged, typical Big Ten type lineman.

Ayanga Okpokowuruk, DE, Duke, 6-3, 250

Big O is a very interesting prospect. He's very athletic and moves well, even if his entire last name barely fits on the back of his jersey. Again, most of these guys are long shots to make the season-opening roster, but a few will and we wouldn't be surprised if Okpokowuruk were one of them.

Nate Collins, DT, Virginia, 6-2, 290

He was another highly sought-after rookie free agent. It just shows you the value of having solid defensive linemen. Collins seemed pretty mobile during camp and also showed bursts of speed when heading upfield.

Lee Campbell, LB, Minnesota, 6-3, 246

TGI would be lying if we said that every one of the UFAs made an impression on us. We noticed Campbell out there running around. But there wasn't much noteworthy about his performance. On his side is the fact that the Giants sure have a whole bunch of unproven LBs around.

Seth Williams, CB, Richmond, 5-11, 185

Williams was certainly a standout during minicamp. He turned in the first two interceptions of the four-practice camp and seemed to have good coverage on pretty much any receiver he was matched up with. He's definitely someone to keep a close eye on come training camp in August.

Michael Greco, S, Central Florida, 6-3, 217

There's no question that Greco sure looks the part of an NFL safety. He obviously has good size and seemed to pick up the defense pretty well during camp. On a club with some injury and performance issues at safety, Greco might just be in the right place at the right time.

Tryout survivors

Micah Johnson, LB, Kentucky, 6-2, 258

In addition to playing well during minicamp on a tryout basis, one thing surely endeared Johnson to the Giants coaching staff. He played most of last season with a strained MCL, yet still led his defense and finished fifth in the conference with 105 tackles.

Riley Skinner, QB, Wake Forest, 6-1, 200

No, Wake Forest is hardly Quarterback U, but Skinner did set 17 school passing records. And he clearly performed well during minicamp as he basically knocked Dominic Randolph off the roster. The Giants might have signed Randolph after the draft and only invited Skinner to try out, but Skinner clearly is the one still standing.

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