Giants think they may have found a gem in rookie TE Will Tye

Tight end Will Tye transferred to Stony Brook to seek an opportunity to showcase his skills. After signing as an undrafted free agent with the Giants, in short time, he has already caught the eye of head coach Tom Coughlin.

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When the NFL draft is complete, regional scouts from every team get the opportunity to bang the table for prospects they came to know and love through extended research. These undrafted free agents get swooped up by teams fast, and the results are mixed. More often than not, these players will fizzle out. Some will become training camp heroes that can’t cut it in live game action, and others will never become anything more than an athletic marvel. Then, out of nowhere, you will find a Victor Cruz.

The New York Giants are hoping they found their next Cruz in undrafted free agent tight end Will Tye. You won’t find too many Stony Brook University graduates in the NFL, but Tye is hoping to become an exception. The 6-foot-2 prospect may not have the ideal height for the position, but he certainly has the size at 257 pounds. Tye was a former Florida State Seminole who transferred to Stony Brook in search of playing time. He found playing time and with it came production. In 13 games with Stony Brook last season, Tye racked up 1,015 yards and nine touchdowns on 79 receptions.

According to Tye, his stats could have been even better.

“I was definitely happy (with my production), but eventually — third game my first year, the second game even more — I was double-teamed all the time, didn’t get the ball much,” Tye told NESN.com. “It was hard.”

When making the jump from a small school to the pros, scouts often look for right amount of athleticism to be there for a prospect. Although Tye was not invited to the NFL Combine, he showed off plus athleticism at his pro day. Tye flashed exceptional speed for his size with a 4.47 40-yard dash. Tye also showed off his lateral agility and acceleration 6.96-second three-cone and 4.33 short shuttle. Pro days are said to produce somewhat inflated numbers, but all three of these times would rank Tye among the three best at the tight end position at the NFL Combine.

Most importantly, Tye has already made an excellent impression to the person that it matters most to get off on the right foot with. At the conclusion of the Giants’ rookie minicamp, head coach Tom Coughlin spoke glowingly of Tye.

Unfortunately, we don’t have highlights of what Tye was able to do on the field at the minicamp, but you can watch him steamroll defenders as a man among boys in his college highlight tape. 

Keep in mind, not every flash in the pan undrafted free agent becomes a Cruz. The Giants are reportedly still very high on former undrafted free agent tight end Larry Donnell, but fans may have jumped the gun after his three touchdown game in 2014. Following the game, Donnell scored just two more touchdowns and topped 50 receiving yards just twice in the final 12 games. He also struggled with four lost fumbles at key moments in two individual games and with blocking, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ worst run-blocking tight end.

Tye’s game is independent of both Cruz and Donnell, and his story is yet to be written. He could fall into any one of the undrafted free agent categories. However, after making such a strong first impression, get Tye on your radar and prepare yourself to hear his name a lot more through OTAs and training camp.

(h/t NESN)

Photo Credit: David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports