The New York Giants have a long history of tough, bruising pass catching tight ends; players like Mark Bavaro and Jeremy Shockey come to mind when one thinks of the quintessential Giants tight end.
It seemed that Kevin Boss was going to be the Giants’ long term replacement for the departed Shockey until he was given a very attractive offer from the Oakland Raiders before the start of the 2011 NFL Season.
Since Boss’ departure, the Giants’ status at tight end has largely been in flux—Jake Ballard did a serviceable job in 2011 before suffering an injury in the Super Bowl. In 2011, Ballard caught 38 passes for 604 yards and four touchdowns—an afterthought to the seasons that Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz had.
In 2012, the Giants hoped that Martellus Bennett would be a reliable over-the-middle target for Eli Manning. Bennett was a player who was thought to possess potential, but he was formerly stuck behind future Hall of Famer Jason Witten on the Dallas Cowboys’ depth chart.
Bennett disappointed in 2012 with a mere 50 receptions for 626 yards and five touchdowns. Earlier this offseason, Bennett signed a deal that landed him with the Chicago Bears.
Now, the Giants signed a former sixth round pick, Brandon Myers—a player who is coming off a commendable season with the Raiders.
Myers, who was playing with the struggling Carson Palmer, caught 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns on an Raiders squad that went 4-12.
Given that they passed up on an opportunity to select Tyler Eifert in the 2013 NFL Draft, it is clear that Giants are placing a great deal of faith in the abilities of Myers. With a quarterback like Manning and receivers like Cruz and Nicks, it is possible that Myers could fill the missing down-the-middle threat that the Giants have been seeking for several years.
The Giants’ offense looked explosive at some points in 2012, and other times it looked feeble. Much of their inconsistency on offense in 2012 came from their red zone troubles. If Myers can provide a reliable, consistent red zone target for Manning, then the Giants might be able to reach the playoffs in 2013.