Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack both come to the New York Giants as undrafted free agent receivers from Ohio State. They can make some noise.
It’s always difficult for undrafted players to make an NFL roster. Teams and general managers prioritize and are more invested in players they drafted and acquired in free agency.
No matter how talented an undrafted player might be, this year it will be even more difficult for them to make the final roster due to the fact that there hasn’t been a rookie camp, minicamp, and OTAs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to that, as of right now we’re not even sure how many players teams will be allowed to bring to camp — whenever it opens. Teams typically bring 90 players to camp, but it’s been reported that the NFL might trim that down to 75 players or fewer.
Preseason games are another obstacle for undrafted free agents. The preseason was recently cut down to two games and it’s entirely possible that the league does away with the exhibitions entirely.
It would be a massive understatement to say rookies — and more specifically undrafted free agents — are at a huge disadvantage against veterans competing for a roster spot.
The New York Giants were able to sign two undrafted former Ohio State wide receivers in Binjimen Victor and Austin Mack. Both have shown the potential to be playmakers at the next level.
Victor appeared in 33 games in his four years at Ohio State and caught 83 passes for 1,340 yards and 18 touchdowns. Last year he had career highs in receptions (35) and receiving yards (573).
Binjimen victor. What a touchdown for Ohio State. Still alive. pic.twitter.com/S1cVAFAiO5
— Harrison Klopp (@HarrisonKlopp) September 30, 2018
His unofficial 40 time of 4.61 at the NFL combine won’t wow anyone. Nevertheless, his 6-foot-4 fram and ability to make plays downfield will be welcomed additions to the Giants’ receiving corps.
Of the Giants receivers who are locks to make the roster (Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Darius Slayton), they’re all under 6-foot-2. So Victor would be the tall target who Daniel Jones will look for downfield and in the red zone, and a nice contrast to what’s currently on the roster.
At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds Austin Mack’s frame is bigger than that of Shepard, Tate, and Slayton, and he has ideal size for an outside receiver.
Austin Mack with the INCREDIBLE touchdown catch! pic.twitter.com/4LDfZH3OWA
— Barstool OSU (@BarstoolOSU) September 29, 2019
Just like Victor, Mack also played four seasons for the Buckeyes and caught 79 passes for 1,050 yards and six touchdowns. Last year was his most productive season as he caught 27 passes for 361 yards and three touchdowns.
He doesn’t have blazing speed (4.62 40 time), but he has long arms that can help him come away with contested passes.
Both Victor and Mack weren’t as successful or productive as their Ohio State teammates K.J. Hill and Chris Olave who were first and second in receptions, and each had double-digit touchdowns last season. But having played in one of the best programs in the nation for the last four years will prepare them as well as any school to compete at the next level.
Victor and Mack’s development would have been enhanced if they had rookie camp and other team activities this spring to prepare for the season. However, they’ll have the benefit of being coached by one of the best receiver coaches in the league in Tyke Tolbert when training camp opens.
Tolbert will help maximize their potential and make them complete and well-rounded receivers.
With the receiver position deep and talented, Victor and Mack will need to excel on special teams to boost their chances of making the roster. Both might be considered longshots to make the team, but do not count them out. They’ll definitely be two players to keep an eye on when camp opens.