Free Agency Offers High Risk, High Reward Tight End Options For New York Giants

By Kenneth Teape
Dustin Keller Jets
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Draft right around the corner, the New York Giants will have an opportunity to fill the remaining holes with young players full of potential. One area the Giants have been rumored to be looking to fill in the draft is the tight end position, with Eric Ebron from North Carolina being a popular choice. The Giants should not take a tight end with their first pick, instead dipping one more time into the free agency pool to find help at the tight end position.

On the roster the Giants currently have the newly signed Kellen Davis, Adrien Robinson, Daniel Fells and Larry Donnell. Going into the season, with one of those players as the starting tight end, this will not instill confidence in the Giants faithful, so adding some talent there is a necessity.

The Giants would be wise to take a gamble on one of the remaining free agent tight ends in Dustin Keller or Jermichael Finley. Both are coming off serious injuries last season, but if cleared from their knee and neck injuries, would present massive talent upgrades over what they currently have on the roster.

Keller has suffered a devastating knee injury with the Miami Dolphins last preseason, but has proven to be a worthy weapon in the passing game when healthy. With the New York Jets, Keller provided a reliable target for the shaky Mark Sanchez, turning in a 65 catch, 815 yards and six touchdown season his last season fully healthy in 2011.

Finley, who required spinal fusion surgery after a hit last season, would be a much riskier addition. Finley is an athletic freak, and would cause plenty of matchup problems for opposing defenses. He would also bring a familiarity with new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, which would help the Giants as they try and learn a whole new offense. It is the first time since Eli Manning became quarterback that they will be running something new offensively.

While the idea of drafting a player with the capabilities of Ebron is appealing, it does not necessarily fit into the Giants’ plans. Giving Manning weapons will help, but to get the ball to those weapons, he needs to be protected. Getting some youth and athleticism along the offensive line will go a long way for the team.

Signing either one, Keller or Finely, would have major health risks involved, but would also bring major upside to an offense lacking at the tight end position right now. While the Giants should focus early on getting the protection for Manning, seeing the Giants take a tight end on Day 2 would not be a surprise as they do need to find a player who Manning can rely on for more than one season.

Kenneth Teape is a New York Giants writer for Follow him on Twitter @teapester725, “Like” him on Facebook, or join his network on Google

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