According to several news sources, Oakland Raiders TE Brandon Myers will be visiting with the Giants. My instant reaction is to absolutely love this fit for the Giants.
On PhiladelphiaEagles.com a few weeks ago, Greg Cosell and Adam Caplan broke down film of all the TEs available in free agency. Here’s what Cosell said about Myers:
You have to understand what he is. Myers is basically a short to intermediate, between-the-numbers kind of receiver. That’s what his game is. He doesn’t run real well… He’s not going to run down the seam like Jared Cook. Myers is not that guy. You can’t count on him as a vertical threat in your offense. He must be with receivers that can provide that, so he can work inside in the shorter areas.
Former Giants TEs Jake Ballard and Kevin Boss will never be mistaken as speed demons, and yet they were productive in the Giants’ offense. Why? Well, let’s take a look at what Eli Manning had to say about rookie RB David Wilson during OTAs last offseason:
“You see talent and you see speed, and quickness, so those are obviously important things. But for a running back it’s learning technique, footwork. Protections are going to be a big deal, knowing what to do. If I’m changing protections and changing plays, is he going to be ready for that? And also routes. Routes versus every concept, knowing where to be and all those things. Those things are what usually take the longest and sometimes holds up a running back from getting on the field.”
Eli was of course talking a RB there, not a TE, but the same concept applies. He needs to be able to trust that the TE knows where he has to be. I’m not so sure Eli Manning and Martellus Bennett ever really developed that chemistry. Last season, Bennett caught 62.5% of the passes thrown his way. That may sound good, but for a TE, it is not. According to PFF, Bennett ranked 52nd out of 62 TEs that played in at least 25% of their team’s snaps last season in completion percentage. Myers, meanwhile, led all TEs in completion percentage for players with at least 50 targets, with a whopping 78.2%. Those numbers show that he and Carson Palmer were clearly on the same page.
Last season, Myers had 79 catches (4th in the NFL for TEs) for 806 yards (6th in the NFL for TEs) and 4 TD. That was with the Raiders. With Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and Reuben Randle all being legitimate weapons down the field, I think Myers would be an outstanding fit working the middle of the field in NJ.