A year ago, the fastest running back at the combine waited until the seventh round for his name to be called. Projected to be a mid- to late-round selection, he eventually heard the Giants on the other end of the phone and was taken with the 221st overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
But then Da'Rel Scott, a former Maryland Terrapin, had to wait some more while the lockout was in effect.
Along with the rest of his draft class, Scott's welcome to the pros was slightly delayed. That's not the case this season.
"It feels a lot better than last year," Scott said today from the Timex Performance Center. "Obviously we were at a disadvantage last year with the lockout, but now this offseason, it just feels good to know you can be prepared for the upcoming season. So I feel 100 times better and just a lot more prepared like I know what I have to do."
Once the lockout was lifted, Scott drew eyes with two long preseason touchdowns (one for 97 yards and the other 65) and earned a spot playing in 11 games as a rookie -- including eight of the last nine during the regular season – but was inactive for the postseason.
Scott totaled five rushing attempts for 16 yards and two receptions for 13. But the bulk of his work came in the return game, where he took back 14 kicks for a 24.4-yard average with a long of 38.
With the departure of veteran Brandon Jacobs, Scott hopes to move up a notch in the backfield rotation.
"I definitely can see myself fitting in a major role in this offense, being that we have Ahmad [Bradshaw], we have Danny [Ware], we have Andre [Brown]," he said. "It's going to be us four and hopefully I'm going to get in a rotation. But I feel like I can definitely make a major impact getting in the rotation.
"Hopefully I can get back to kick returning and all aspects of special teams. So whatever I can do to get on the field, that's the main thing."