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Giants Position Battle Breakdown And Analysis: Tight End

When looking at the New York Giants’ offense on paper, they boast a dangerous lineup. Daniel Jones has shown promise in the past, and Saquon Barkley was once a top-three running back in the NFL. The Giants also have a very talented and explosive wide receiver room. However, injuries and underperformances have led to five straight losing seasons. And if the current 2022 season projected win total for the Giants comes to fruition, it would be six in a row.

As mentioned, most of the offensive positions are set in stone. However, with the departure of Evan Engram in the offseason, the starting tight end job is up for grabs.

The Giants currently have five tight ends on the roster: Ricky Seals-Jones, Jordan Akins, Daniel Bellinger, Chris Myarick, and Austin Allen. Seals-Jones and Akins are the veterans on the roster looking to become full-time starters for the first time in their careers. Myarick has little experience, and Bellinger and Allen are rookies.

Who will step into the starting tight end role for the Giants this upcoming season? 

Giants Position Showdown

Tight End Battle

New York brings in four new tight ends, signing Seals-Jones and Akins to one-year deals, drafting Bellinger in the fourth round, and signing Allen as an undrafted free agent. Myarick was with the team last year but was released at the end of the season and signed with the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad through the Super Bowl. He then re-signed with the Giants shortly after.

The Veterans

We’ll start with the veterans on the team. Seals-Jones is entering his sixth year in the NFL and will be joining his fifth team. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to stay on one team long enough to become a full-time starter, bouncing around waivers.

In his career, Seals-Jones has 90 catches for 1,044 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s started only 15 games in his career, with most of his starts coming last year with Washington. In 2021, Seals-Jones pulled in 30 balls for 271 yards and two touchdowns in six starts. Primarily used as a backup, Seals-Jones has yet to break 100 yards in a game.

Akins has had an interesting path to the NFL. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers out of high school and played in the Minor Leagues for three years before returning to football. He played at UCF before being drafted in 2018 by the Houston Texans.

Similar to Seals-Jones, Akins has mostly been utilized as a backup tight end throughout his career but has started in more games both in a season (nine starts in 2019) and over his career (23 starts). For his career, Akins has 114 catches for 1,260 yards and three touchdowns. In 2021, he had just 24 receptions for 214 yards.

Myarick has had little NFL experience since coming into the league in 2019. He signed with the Miami Dolphins as an undrafted free agent and didn’t suit up until 2020 when he played in three games and didn’t record a stat. Myarick then joined the Giants practice squad in 2021 and was eventually signed to the roster. He played in eight games with three starts and had three catches for 17 yards and a touchdown, along with two drops.

The Rookies

Now let’s move on to the two rookies on the roster. New York selected Bellinger in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He spent four years at San Diego State, where he accumulated 68 receptions, 771 yards, and five touchdowns in his career. In 2021, he was second on the team in receptions (31) and touchdowns (two), plus third in receiving yards (357).

Bellinger played in a run-heavy offense, so he was mainly used as a blocking tight end. However, he’s a great route runner and has excellent hands, hardly ever dropping the ball during his collegiate career. At 6’6″ and 255 pounds, he’s the second biggest tight end on the roster.

The biggest tight end for New York is Allen, who comes in at 6’8 and 260 pounds. Allen had a prolific four-year career at Nebraska, finishing with 65 receptions for 975 yards and three touchdowns.

Allen was named the Big Ten Tight End of the Year and First Team All-Big Ten in 2021 while also breaking multiple school records. He finished his senior year with 28 catches for 602 yards and two touchdowns. Allen also broke Nebraska’s records for receptions, yards, 100-yard receiving games, and had the most single-game receiving yards by a tight end with 143 yards against Wisconsin.

The Final Verdict

The Game Day’s Position Battle Prediction: Seals-Jones and Akins signed one-year deals this offseason, so the Giants will keep them both around. Ultimately, Akins will win the job over Seals-Jones, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if both rotated in and out of the starting lineup. Bellinger will slot into the third-string spot, with Allen signing to the practice squad.

Even though Allen had a better collegiate career, the Giants will at least have their draft pick start on the roster. Bellinger and Allen can become a one-two punch for New York in the future, as Seals-Jones and Akins could be gone next season. The Giants won’t carry four tight ends on the roster or two on the practice squad, so Myarick will be out.

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