Kicker Aldrick Rosas brings youth and a strong leg to Giants Special Team:
The Giants have only one placekicker on the roster: Aldrick Rosas.
So who the heck is Aldrick Rosas, and why did the Giants decide to give him a chance?
Rosas had his own answer. "I've got a strong leg," he said. He then paused before adding, "A really strong leg."
General manager Jerry Reese referenced the same thing when he was asked after the draft if the Giants would look for a veteran kicker.
"We'll continue to look at that," Reese said. "We have a young kid (Rosas) on the roster with a big leg that we want to take a look at and see how he looks in the spring. There's always going to be veteran kickers out there available. We will see where that goes. There will be free agency after the draft here, and we will see what's left out there after that as well."
Rosas played college football at Southern Oregon University. With just over 6,200 students, the school is located in rural Ashland, Oregon and plays in the Frontier Conference as part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Despite his humble college experience, Rosas drew the notice of NFL teams. He signed with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent after the 2016 draft but was let go during the final roster cutdown. Rosas made the most of the experience.
"Tennessee was great," Rosas said. "Going in as an undrafted rookie, I learned a lot from the veterans, like how to be pro on and off the field. Great coaches and a great facility."
After being let go by Tennessee, he had some workouts with other NFL teams but didn't sign anywhere until inking a reserve/future contract with the Giants in January. He did his best to stay ready even though he wasn't part of a NFL team.
"I learned a lot from (Tennessee Titan kicker) Ryan Succop," Rosas said. "Kick minimally. It's a mental game as a specialist. It's a mentality and staying fresh during the week because you'll never know when you get the call."
It's not difficult to see what attracted the Giants to Rosas. He had a streak of 116 extra points in college and finished with a 97.7 conversion percentage. He also made 25 of 32 field goals. A two-time All-Frontier Conference selection, Rosas was the starting kicker for their 2014 national championship team, the first in the history of the Southern Oregon Raiders football program.
On the final kickoff of that title game, Rosas tore his ACL. He sat out the 2015 season and elected to declare for the NFL draft despite having two seasons of college eligibility remaining.
Rosas has enjoyed being back in a program with the Giants.
"It's nice to be back in the locker room and just hang out with the guys," Rosas said, "and get to know everyone and get re-accustomed to being back in the NFL, working out and getting the ball rolling."
He's already been impressed with his two battery mates, long snapper Zak DeOssie and punter/holder Brad Wing.
"Meeting Zak DeOssie and Brad Wing, these guys are great," Rosas said. "All I have to do is go out there and swing. These guys are pros at the highest level. I'm excited to learn under them and get it going. The chemistry between us has to be there. It has to be tight. Brad depends on Zak, I depend on Brad and they all depend on me to make the kick."
Rosas is even prepared for the cold weather that is a factor in the NFC East in December and January.
"My craziest college game I ever played was minus-24 degrees at Carrol College in Helena, Montana in December," Rosas said with a nervous laugh. "It was a shock to be out there and even kick the ball. It was hard to breathe. I would kick a ball and it came back flat. Going through that, I'm sure I can deal with any weather now."
Even though Rosas was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Titans last season, he never participated in a regular season game and was eligible to participate in rookie minicamp last weekend and will join the team at OTAs next week.
That's when everyone will see in person just exactly how big a leg the kid has.