Next stop: mandatory minicamp.
The New York Giants wrapped up the OTA portion of spring football on Thursday with their 10th and final session at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. The team will hold a three-day, mandatory minicamp beginning on Tuesday, and after that, players won’t be back on the field until training camp. Here are the standouts from OTA No. 10:
LB ALEC OGLETREE: James Bettcher’s linebackers keep making plays in coverage as the defense transitions to his 3-4 scheme. Yesterday, inside linebacker B.J. Goodson broke up a pass at the goal line to prevent a touchdown, and a day before that, outside linebacker Olivier Vernon had an interception. On Thursday, it was Alec Ogletree’s turn. The “quarterback” of the defense intercepted backup quarterback Davis Webb on the first play of the two-minute drill near the end of practice. It only makes sense the linebackers are thriving to this point (Mark Herzlich also had another PD in today’s practice). Bettcher came up through the ranks as a linebackers coach before taking over as defensive coordinator in Arizona, where his unit ranked fifth in yards in 2015 (321.7), second in 2016 (305.2) and sixth in 2017 (310.9).
RB SAQUON BARKLEY: From fans to coaches to front office staffers to the running back himself, everybody is itching to see Saquon Barkley at full speed. But good things come to those who wait. In the meantime, the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft has made the most of non-contact spring football, giving the Giants absolutely no drafter’s remorse. On Thursday, he looked particularly sharp and was heavily involved as he racked up the touches. A valuable outlet for Eli Manning, Barkley made a nice catch down the sideline for a big gain early in practice. Then he was off to the races.
CB CHRIS LEWIS-HARRIS: The final play of 2018 OTAs went to the new Giants defensive back, who made a terrific interception off Alex Tanney to end the day. Originally undrafted out of Chattanooga in 2012, Lewis-Harris played in 26 games for the Bengals before being released midway through the 2016 season. He was picked up by Baltimore, where he played out the rest of that season. Last year, he was signed as a free agent by the Broncos, who released him at the end of training camp. He did not appear in any games in 2017. The Giants signed him three weeks ago.
TE RHETT ELLISON: The “blocking” tight end continues to show that he also has good hands. Ellison, who played for a year under head coach Pat Shurmur in Minnesota, made a nice spinning catch down the middle on a pass from Webb. In his first year with the Giants, Ellison set career highs in receptions (24), yards (235) and touchdown catches (two) after playing his first five seasons with the Vikings.
WR AMBA ETTA-TAWO: After bouncing from Jacksonville to Kansas City and then to the Giants’ practice squad last season, Etta-Tawo is looking to find a permanent home. The 6-foot-1, 208-pound receiver helped his cause today with a handful of impressive catches, including a spinning sideline grab from Kyle Lauletta. Etta-Tawo joined Syracuse in 2016 as a graduate transfer from the University of Maryland after spending four years, including a redshirt season, with the Terrapins. He went on to have the most prolific season in Syracuse history, setting 10 Orange receiving records in his one year on campus and being named to four All-America teams.