It certainly is a lot easier to make the most impressive catch of the day at Giants practice when the king of the art form, Odell Beckham Jr., is not in attendance. But Geremy Davis’ sideline grab over cornerback Janoris Jenkins on Wednesday might have stood up to just about anything Mr. One-Handed-Grab could have shown.
The trick for Davis, a second-year receiver from UConn who spent most of his rookie season on the inactive list, will be finding a way to continue making those plays when Beckham comes back. And when Victor Cruz is back as well. And with second-round pick Sterling Shepard, who is not expected to experience the same kind of redshirt season Davis did, very much in the mix.
The Giants’ roster this spring is full of receivers like Davis who are competing for a handful of spots under the upper tier of players who are expected to make most of the plays when the season begins. That’s why Davis is excited about his opportunities now.
“It works to your advantage getting time with Eli [Manning], creating a bond with him,” Davis said. “I want him to be confident in me. Obviously our most productive guy is Odell, and a lot of us are trying to pick it up and let him trust the other receivers as well.”
It seems to be working. When Davis was drafted last year the Giants characterized him as someone who would help on special teams and compared him to David Tyree. Miraculous Super Bowl catches aside, that’s not exactly the player a receiver wants to be compared to.
This year, though, there is a sense that Davis is emerging as an offensive threat. He has something that few of his teammates at the position have — size, at 6-2 and a sculpted 217 pounds — which could make him a natural target in the red zone. He’s also shown in earlier OTAs as well as Wednesday’s a penchant for extending that long frame and catching the ball.
“He’s a guy that is a big, physical guy we can rely on,” Ben McAdoo said. “He knows the offense very well and seems to be hitting his stride right now . . . He’s very comfortable in the offense. He knows the system fairly well and he’s doing a good job for us at this point.”
“Geremy is a bright guy,” Manning said. “He knows the offense very well. He studies hard. He’s really in tune with what his assignments are. He’s got great size. He’s one of our bigger receivers. You can move him around and put him in different spots. He’s going to be really keyed into what his assignment is, so that’s always helpful. Hopefully he can step up and get on a roll and make some plays for us come game time.”
Like the one he made on Wednesday.
“It’s a confidence-builder being out here doing all these things,” Davis said.
His confidence, and the team’s in him as well.
Notes & quotes: Neither Beckham nor Jason Pierre-Paul were at Wednesday’s OTA but McAdoo said both of the stars told him they would be absent and that they would be back later this week. “They’ve reached out and communicated and that’s what we ask,” McAdoo said. “These are voluntary practices and when they can’t be here we just ask that they communicate that. The guys who missed today have been outstanding in attendance otherwise.” Asked if he expects both back for the two remaining OTAs this week, McAdoo said: “Absolutely.” . . . McAdoo said Cruz, returning from calf surgery, continues to make progress, but the Giants are committed to holding him out of team drills until training camp . . . McAdoo said running back Orleans Darkwa is recovering from a leg injury and “hopefully” will be back for camp.