As any reporter who has been to any of the New York Giants‘ training camp practices could tell you, the most impressive player on either side of the ball has been veteran TE Darren Waller. And that’s not to say the Giants haven’t had any standout players — they have — but no one has been more dominant than the 30-year-old pass catcher during the team’s first week of practices.
Darren Waller Impressing During New York Giants’ Practices
And it’s not just making a spectacular catch or two each practice, which Waller has done. It’s about what type of an impact he makes on the defense when it comes to matchups and coverages.
Waller, who is taller than 6’6”, simply can’t be handled 1-on-1 by any defender. Because of that, opposing defenses will have to not only double-team the former college wide receiver but also get physical with him.
Last week, Waller towered over his teammates during those practices and made big play after big play. While the Giants were in the midst of the mandated four-day acclimation period mandated by the CBA where teams can’t be in pads, Waller looked like a giant wide receiver during the team’s practices and got open repeatedly.
Waller’s headed for a similar role that the Las Vegas Raiders had in mind for him when they signed him to a three-year, $51 million contract extension (before trading him six months later).
Head coach Josh McDaniels, a source with knowledge of the situation said, planned to move Waller all over the offensive formation to take advantage of matchups, but was limited to just 28 receptions over nine games played due to a significant hamstring problem. And as Pro Football Network explained recently, it was Waller’s injury issues over a two-year period that led to Vegas deciding to trade him.
Defensively, the team got some good news when second-year ILB Darrian Beavers, whose rookie season got cut short last August due to an ACL injury, did not start training camp on the active/PUP list. Word is that Beavers does look healthy and is getting a chance, as he did last year at this time, for serious playing time.