Tae Crowder

Giants Activate S Xavier McKinney From IR

Second-round rookie Xavier McKinney looks set to make his Giants debut Sunday. The Alabama product is now on New York’s active roster after a Saturday activation from IR.

McKinney suffered a broken foot in August, and the Giants ended Logan Ryan‘s lengthy free agency stay soon after. Both should be in uniform Sunday. The Giants also activated linebacker Tae Crowder from IR.

The Giants have McKinney lined up as a presumptive long-term replacement for Landon Collins, another second-round pick out of Alabama. Ryan is on a one-year contract, and Jabrill Peppers is signed through 2021 on a guaranteed-for-injury-only fifth-year option. Saturday’s move could allow Ryan to play more at cornerback, though McKinney will likely be eased into action.

Despite the Giants cutting 2019 first-round cornerback DeAndre Baker and doing little to address their edge-rushing need this offseason — a deficiency compounded by the team trading Markus Golden in October — Patrick Graham‘s defense has played well, all things considered. The Giants, who remain in playoff contention despite having the NFC’s second-worst record, rank 12th in points allowed this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Sign Jabaal Sheard Off Jaguars’ Practice Squad

The Giants will bring in a big name through an unusual route. They signed Jabaal Sheard off the Jaguars’ practice squad.

Sheard has 135 games’ and 103 starts’ worth of experience and is a 10th-year veteran. The edge defender caught on with the Jaguars last week, but with the Jags opting not to keep him on their active roster, the Giants completed a poaching operation.

While Jacksonville added Sheard to its active roster and used him in 15 snaps against Detroit, the team promoted Sheard using a 2020-implemented transactional tool that allows for players to revert back to teams’ practice squads after games. Sheard is set to head to New York ahead of the Giants’ Thursday game, though COVID-19 protocols will prevent him from playing against the Eagles.

Sheard, 31, spent the past three seasons as a Colts starter. He racked up 15.5 sacks during those Indianapolis seasons. He has previously played for the Browns and Patriots, collecting a Super Bowl ring with the latter franchise. A plus run defender in the recent past, Sheard has 51.5 career sacks.

The Giants have run into injury trouble at outside linebacker. They have young rushers Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter on IR. Sheard will join Markus Golden and Kyler Fackrell in a now-veteran-heavy edge-rushing corps. Sheard will take the place of linebacker Tae Crowder, whom the Giants placed on IR. The seventh-round rookie’s scoop-and-score sequence helped the Giants win their first game of the season Sunday, but a hamstring injury will shelve this year’s Mr. Irrelevant for at least three games.

Sheard’s move off Jacksonville’s practice squad comes at an interesting time. Because of practice squad offensive lineman K.C. McDermott‘s positive coronavirus test, the Jaguars placed 11 more P-squad players on their reserve/COVID-19 list. Sheard is now gone as well. With new NFL protocols forcing even asymptomatic players to be on the COVID list for at least five days, the Jaguars have a decimated practice squad at present.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Sign Mr. Irrelevant, Tae Crowder

The last pick of the 2020 NFL Draft was one of the first to sign. On Thursday, “Mr. Irrelevant” Tae Crowder inked his rookie deal with the Giants, per a club announcement.

Crowder – a 6’3″, 245 pound athlete – came to the University of Georgia as a running back in 2015. Midway through his redshirt frosh season, he switched to linebacker. As time wore on, he got more and more burn with the Bulldogs. Last year, he set a new single-game career high with 12 stops against South Carolina and also managed a 60-yard fumble return against Tennessee. All told last season, he had 62 tackles, four for a loss, and four passes defended.

Towards the end of Day 3, Crowder was at the point where he didn’t expect to hear his name called. He certainly didn’t expect a call from the Giants, who had already taken three other linebackers over the course of the weekend. Even though he was likely to land a deal on the UDFA circuit, it was welcome news, especially since the selection reunited him with former UGA coach Kevin Sherrer, who now serves as the Giants’ outside linebackers coach.

Crowder will look to stay relevant in New York/New Jersey and stick on the 53-man roster as a special teams player. Still, it’s a crowded portion of the depth chart with a dozen linebackers vying for a handful of spots behind Kyler Fackrell, David Mayo, Blake Martinez, and Lorenzo Carter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Meet Mr. Irrelevant: Giants Select Tae Crowder To Wrap 2020 NFL Draft

The 2020 NFL Draft is in the books. With the final pick – No. 225 overall – the Giants selected Georgia linebacker Tae Crowder to wrap up the weekend.

Crowder – a 6’3″, 245 pound athlete – came to campus as a running back in 2015 and switched to linebacker midway through his redshirt freshman season. As time wore on, he got more and more burn with the Bulldogs. Last year, he set a new single-game career high with 12 stops against South Carolina and also managed a 60-yard fumble return against Tennessee.

All told last season he had 62 tackles, four for a loss, and four passes defended. As this year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Crowder will have his name down as a footnote regardless of how his pro career turns out.

Here’s the complete rundown of the Giants’ draft, courtesy of PFR’s draft results tracker:

1-4: Andrew Thomas, T (Georgia)
2-36: Xavier McKinney, S (Alabama)
3-99: Matt Peart, OT (Connecticut)
4-110: Darnay Holmes, CB (UCLA)
5-150: Shane Lemieux, G (Oregon)
6-183: Cameron Brown, LB (Penn State)
7-218: Carter Coughlin, LB (Minnesota)
7-238: T.J. Brunson LB (South Carolina)
7-247: Chris Williamson, CB (Minnesota)
7-255: Tae Crowder, LB (Georgia)