Who stood out at Giants OTA practice? (5/23)

The New York Giants got in one last practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center before the holiday weekend. Wide receivers across the board capped the week with a big outing, making catch after catch inside the field house on Thursday.

Here are the players who stood out at OTA No. 3:

WR GOLDEN TATE: Since he came into the league in 2010, the 5-foot-10, 197-pound receiver leads the NFL with 4,048 yards after the catch (Antonio Brown is second with 3,990). Eli Manning is looking to add to that total in the veteran receiver’s first season with the team. The two found a groove on Thursday, getting things started when Tate called for the fastball down the middle in a blitz period and Manning delivered a perfect strike in a tight window. Tate isn’t all about the catch-and-run, though. He can still make the tough ones, which was on display today and this past January when he caught the game-winning touchdown with 56 seconds left in Philadelphia’s playoff victory over Chicago.

WR BENNIE FOWLER: Like the offense as a whole, Fowler is looking to build off momentum from the second half of last season. Today was his strongest practice of the spring so far as he made the highlight catch of the day. During a two-minute drill, Manning lofted a ball down the right side of the end zone, and Fowler secured it over the defender while tapping both feet in bounds for the score. Fowler caught another touchdown during a goal line period from rookie Daniel Jones.

WR DARIUS SLAYTON: The rookie fifth-round pick had his number – 86 – called more often than anybody else on Thursday. Lining up with Jones and Alex Tanney, Slayton ran up his catch count from the two quarterbacks at the indoor practice, pulling in a half-dozen quality receptions throughout the morning. Slayton, who was one of seven wide receivers to post a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at the combine, was drafted for his ability to take the top off defenses as he averaged more than 20 yards per catch at Auburn. Today, however, he showed more nuance by making short and intermediate catches.

Darius-Slayton

QB ELI MANNING: As mentioned earlier, Manning’s pass to Tate down the middle was probably his best of the day, even though it didn’t result in a touchdown. The 38-year-old quarterback threw with heat on it and put the ball the only place it could go with the defense blitzing. Manning threw two touchdowns on the day, but another one that didn’t end in a score also deserved mentioning. Manning connected with tight end Evan Engram a handful of times, highlighted by a deep pass down the middle that went nearly half the length of the field. The play began with the offense backed up near its goal line.

CB GRANT HALEY: Based on the other four standouts, Thursday’s practice seemed like an offensive showcase -- which it was to some extent – but the defense made its share of plays. There were no interceptions, but there were a few close calls and plenty of breakups. Haley, who made the team as an undrafted rookie last season and played over 400 snaps with nine starts, had a few of them. He almost intercepted a pass during a blitz period and later prevented a touchdown throw in the red zone. Haley is part of the pack of “puppies” to be trained by Janoris Jenkins, the only seasoned cornerback in the room. Sam Beal, another one of the young corners, made a nice play early in practice on a deep ball from Tanney intended for wide receiver Brittan Golden down the right sideline. Josiah Tauaefa and Mark McLaurin, two undrafted rookie linebackers, also nearly had interceptions.

Remaining OTAs: May 28-29, May 31, June 10-13. Mandatory Minicamp runs June 4-6.

View the top images from Giants practice on Thursday as 2019 OTAs continue

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