New York Giants Training Camp Preview - TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart

The battle at the bottom of the Giants' tight ends depth chart is shaping up to be a good one. Can New Jersey native Nakia Griffin-Stewart jump ahead in the race?
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Tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart originally got his start with the Minnesota Vikings (it seems many Giants on this roster have crossed paths with the Vikings, which I find interesting) after going undrafted.

Griffin-Stewart played his college ball at Rutgers, where he caught 13 passes for 97 yards and one touchdown in three seasons, before finishing up his career as a graduate transfer at Pitt, for whom he had 19 receptions for 185 yards and one touchdown.

Griffin-Stewart attended Tenafly High School in New Jersey, where he excelled at tight end, receiver, defensive end, outside linebacker, and safety.

Can Griffin-Stewart crack into a Giants offense where the tight end is a key position? Read on.

What He Brings

As one might have guessed by looking at his receiving numbers, Griffin-Stewart was mostly used as a blocking tight end during his college career. Per Pro Football Focus, his pass blocking grades were solid in limited opportunities. In contrast, his run blocking grades left something to be desired, this potentially due to inconsistencies in his technique.

As a receiver, Stewart-Griffin is still sanding off the rough edges in that part of his game. In his final year of college (Pitt), he had seven dropped passes. Given his size--6'5" and 260 pounds--he only managed to come down with one contested catch out of four attempts. So if nothing else, Stewart-Griffin's mission this summer will need to be about finding consistency and putting his tools to use to help his game.

His Contract

Griffin-Stewart signed a two-year contract worth $1.485 million, and which doesn't have a signing bonus. He'll count for $660,000 against the 2021 salary cap.

Roster Projection/Expectations

One of the interesting battles for the summer will be the Giants' tight ends vs. the receivers. In other words, will the Giants keep four tight ends and five receivers or go with three tight ends and six receivers?

Injuries (and, of course, performance) are certainly going to play a factor in answering this question as if there is any concern about Kyle Rudolph, the Giants could find a way to keep an extra tight end around.

But as far as Griffin-Stewart's chances, he's probably got a better chance at the practice squad, considering he's still developing as a receiver, and it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to carry a one-dimensional player on the roster. 

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