Can second-year receiver Roger Lewis avoid the Turk?
Last year, undrafted free-agent receiver Roger Lewis dud just enough to earn himself a spot on the 53-man roster, narrowly edging out candidates like Darius Powe.
Interestingly, though, for the first five games, Lewis barely, if ever, saw snaps on the offense, his opportunity not really coming until mid-year when the coaching staff, as part of some changes made to jump-start what would turn out to be a sluggish offense all season-long, inserted more of Lewis in the game, often at the expense of Victor Cruz.
What they got in return was inconsistency. Coaches, you see, look to young players to improve a little bit each week in a facet or two in the game. Yet by season’s end, Lewis was back to being purely a special teams performer, replaced by Tavarres King on offense toward the very end of the season.
When an otherwise healthy young player loses snaps toward the end of the season, that’s usually a good sign that he’s on the bubble for the following year.
How much will his arrest last month for an OVI charge play into his chances of sticking around?
Probably very little, if any. Head coach Ben McAdoo doesn’t tend to sweat these things, though he probably should, because a player who violates the NFL’s personal conduct policy, as Lewis did with his arrest, faces suspension.
When you’re at or near the bottom of the depth chart, facing a potential suspension by the league is the last thing you want hanging over your head.
What does he have to do to stick around?
Outperform his competition—it’s really that simple. Lewis was a solid contributor on special teams last year, finishing sixth in tackles (four solo, no assists), and forcing one of the two fumbles recorded by the unit last season.
But as is the case every year, there’s a new crop of hungry undrafted free agents just itching to make a NFL roster.
So, let’s look at his role as a receiver. Last year, per NFL Savant, Lewis caught just 36.84 percent of his pass targets, the lowest of the Giants receivers. The number of pass targets in this case doesn’t matter; if your’e targeted in the NFL and the ball is catchable, you, as a professional receiver, need to make the catch.
While there were likely some uncatchable balls in the 19 overall targets thrown Lewis’ way, he did have two drops which, had he made, would have boosted his pass conversion rate to 47.3%–better though still not great.
Lewis enters this summer on the bubble, his biggest competition including Tavarres King, Darius Power and undrafted free agent Travis Rudolph.
It will be interesting to see if the Giants go with one less receiver than usual, especially if they keep four tight ends and view first-rounder Evan Engram as more of a receiver.