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5 things we learned at OTA practice (6/10)

Posted Jun 10, 2016

Giants.com highlights five takeaways from Friday's OTA practice: 
The New York Giants wrapped up organized team activities on Friday at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center with their 10th and final practice over the last three weeks. They will hold a mandatory minicamp from June 14-16, but after that, players won’t be back until summer when it’s time to report for training camp on July 28.

Here are five things we learned from the final OTA of 2016:

1. DONNELL MADE PLAY OF THE DAY

After a breakout 2014 campaign in which he caught 63 passes for 623 yards and six touchdowns, tight end Larry Donnell’s encore was cut in half by a neck injury that he suffered in Week 8 at New Orleans, the third-highest scoring game in NFL history (Giants lost, 52-49). But upon receiving clearance from the team’s medical staff to resume his career, he re-signed with the Giants this past April and is full-go. Today, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound former high school basketball star from Alabama showed his vertical and snatched a touchdown with one hand from Eli Manning in the back right corner of the end zone.

2. BIG DAY FOR TIGHT ENDS

In addition to touchdowns from Donnell and Will Tye, rookies Jerell Adams and Ryan Malleck also added to a productive day for Kevin M. Gilbride’s tight ends. Adams, out of South Carolina and the sixth and final member of the Giants’ 2016 draft class, connected with Manning during third-down work. Before that, Malleck, an undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech, was on the receiving end of back-to-back touchdowns from backup quarterback Ryan Nassib in the red zone.

>> READ: REASONS GIANTS WILL MAKE PLAYOFFS

“The tight end position and the receiver position are pretty much two in the same right now,” coach Ben McAdoo, a former tight ends coach for six years in Green Bay, said earlier in OTAs. “We have a lot of guys going in and out of there and trying to show what they can do and we’re going to give a lot of looks at those two groups and we’re counting on the cream rising to the top.”


3. ELI SPREAD IT AROUND

The Giants began today’s team periods with more work in the red zone, where Manning quickly threw touchdown strikes to running back Shane Vereen and wide receiver Tavarres King. Later on during no-huddle drills, he found Odell Beckham Jr. in the back of the end zone. It came a play after Manning led them into scoring range on a completion to second-year wide receiver Geremy Davis. Rookie wideout Sterling Shepard, the team’s second-round choice, also had a nice catch from Manning while being covered by veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins.


4. FRONT SEVEN CLAIMED ANOTHER INT


For the third consecutive practice, a member of the Giants’ front seven grabbed an interception. Today it was at the hands of middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley, who started the final nine games of last season for the Giants. It followed up a pick-six by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul on Thursday and an interception by rookie linebacker B.J. Goodson on Tuesday (there was no practice Wednesday). It was the second interception of OTAs for Goodson, the fourth-round pick out of Clemson.

5. BERHE NOTCHED ANOTHER FOR SAFETIES

After Brinkley’s interception, safety Nat Berhe notched his own off Nassib in a game of hot potato. The pass was deflected near the line of scrimmage and was batted around by a handful of defenders before Berhe secured it. Berhe is part of a safety competition that has seen rookie Darian Thompson, Mykkele Thompson and himself practicing opposite Landon Collins on the top tandem. Berhe, who was the frontrunner last year before an injury cost him the entire season, opened OTAs in that role before Darian Thompson started to play there for the time being. “Only time will tell if anybody has any advantage over anybody,” Berhe said last week. “We’ll see.”