Devin Taylor

NFL Workout Updates: 11/28/17

Here are today’s workout updates, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer unless otherwise noted.

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Jets

  • DL Marcus Hardison

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Giants Sign LB Akeem Ayers, G John Greco

The Giants announced that they have signed linebacker Akeem Ayers and guard John Greco. They also placed linebacker Keenan Robinson (quad) on injured reserve and elevated wide receiver Kalif Raymond from the practice squad. To make room, they cut defensive end Devin Taylor and waived wide receiver Ed EaganAkeem Ayers (vertical)

Ayers auditioned for the Giants in September and again on Nov. 8. In the most recent workout, he apparently made a good impression on coaches. Ayers finished out last season with 18 tackles, two sacks, and one interception for the Colts. He graded out as the No. 54 edge defender in the NFL out of 110 qualified players, per Pro Football Focus’ metrics. He didn’t exactly set the world on fire last season, but he does offer experience as a starter from his time with the Titans (2011-2013) and Rams (2015). In 2014, he won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots.

Greco, 32, joined the Saints in early October but was released without having played a down. Injuries forced him to miss six total games from 2015-16 for the Browns, but he was effective while healthy. Last year, he graded as the league’s No. 18 guard among 75 qualifiers last season, per PFF. All told, Greco offers 111 games — and 70 starts — worth of experience.

The Giants aren’t playing for much at this point, but they are curious to see if Ayers, Greco, and Raymond can be worthwhile players for 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/31/17

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Promoted to active roster: OL Maurquice Shakir
  • Released: WR Griff Whalen

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Workout Updates: 10/26/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Detroit Lions

  • WR Cyril Grayson

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Giants

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 10/17/17

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions 

Houston Texans

  • QB Taylor Heinicke (link via Caplan)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

Falcons Place DE Jack Crawford On IR

The Falcons have placed defensive Jack Crawford on injured reserve with a biceps injury, the club announced today.Jack Crawford (Vertical)

Crawford, whom Atlanta signed away from the Cowboys this offseason, is now the third Falcons defensive lineman to go down with injury in recent weeks. Star edge rusher Vic Beasley is still working his way back from a hamstring issue, while Courtney Upshaw may be close to returning from an ankle ailment. Crawford, for his part, had played on 101 defensive snaps this season but graded as just the No. 87 interior defender among 100 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus.

With Crawford sidelined, the Falcons auditioned defensive ends Devin Taylor, Jonathan Woodard, Sterling Bailey, Nicholas Williams, Pat O’Connor, plus linebacker Lavar Edwards, on Monday, according to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Atlanta is on the hunt for defensive line reinforcements, and its workout session comes as no surprise given that head coach Dan Quinn indicated that he and general manager Thomas Dimitroff would soon discuss adding help to their front four.

Taylor, 27, offers vast experience, as the former fourth-round pick appeared in 61 games (18 starts) for the Lions over the past four seasons. While he’s posted 15 sacks during his NFL career, PFF wasn’t complementary of Taylor’s performance in 2016, ranking him as the second-worst defensive end in the league. Taylor signed with the Giants in May but didn’t make it through final cutdowns, and has since worked out for the Vikings.

The Falcons’ defensive front, which currently includes Grady Jarrett, Dontari Poe, Brooks Reed, Adrian Clayborn, Derrick Shelby, and first-round rookie Takkarist McKinley, hasn’t played all that well in 2017, as the unit ranks 21st in adjusted sack rate and 25th in adjusted line yards, per Football Outsiders.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/22/17

Friday’s workout updates (Twitter links via Howard Balzer):

Cleveland Browns

  • LB Austin Calitro

Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings

Giants Down To 53

The Giants are all kosher. Here’s the full rundown of their cuts and moves to get to 53:

Cut:

Placed on IR:

Giants Release DE Devin Taylor

Devin Taylor‘s tenure with the Giants ended relatively quickly. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the team has released the veteran defensive end.

Devin Taylor (vertical)Taylor originally joined the Giants back in May. Previously, the 2013 fourth-round pick had spent his entire four-year career in Detroit, where he served mostly in a reserve role. Taylor earned a bit more responsibility in 2016, starting a career-high 16 games while compiling 21 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. The 27-year-old has 15 career sacks in four seasons.

With Taylor out of the picture, it appears that the Giants will roll with a younger reserve at defensive end. Among the candidates for a backup role are Romeo OkwaraAvery Moss, Kerry WynnIshaq Williams, and Bobby RichardsonOlivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul are slotted in as the team’s starters at defensive end.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Giants, Redskins, Saints, ‘Boys

The Giants’ decision to hand defensive end Devin Taylor a minimum salary benefit deal last month has mostly generated positive reviews around the NFL, with one source calling it a “great signing,” reports Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. One NFC source took a less enthusiastic tone, however, calling Taylor “just a guy.” But, considering what they’re paying him, the Giants aren’t expecting Taylor to do much more than provide passable depth behind stars Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon. Taylor, who started in all 16 of the Lions’ games last season and piled up a respectable 4.5 sacks (down from seven in 2015), will rotate at defensive end with the Giants and could see time as an interior rusher on passing downs, according to Raanan.

More from the NFC:

  • Late-March free agent signing Brian Quick won’t be long for the Redskins’ roster if he doesn’t impress in training camp, writes Rich Tandler of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Quick didn’t perform well during offseason practices, and the team has a few locks at wide receiver, leaving the 28-year-old on the bubble as camp nears, per Tandler. The 2012 second-round pick spent his first five years as a member of the Rams, with whom he exceeded the 20-catch plateau only twice. To his credit, though, Quick posted a career year in 2016, hauling in personal highs in catches (41), targets (77), yards (564) and touchdowns (three).
  • Saints left tackle Terron Armstead underwent successful surgery for a torn labrum on Monday, reports Herbie Teope of NOLA.com. While that’s a relief for Armstead and the Saints, it’s not going to change his expected recovery timeline. He’s still set to miss between four to six months, which will leave the club without arguably its best offensive lineman until sometime in the fall.
  • Cowboys receiver Brice Butler will head into camp with his roster spot in jeopardy, relays David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. Butler could face a challenge from rookie seventh-round pick Noah Brown, notes Moore, and the Cowboys also have shoo-ins to make the roster in fellow wideouts Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley and fourth-rounder Ryan Switzer. Butler was a seventh-rounder himself not long ago, in 2013, and put up his first 16-game campaign last year. All told, he caught 16 passes for 219 yards and a career-high three scores.