Can the mysterious newcomer end the Giants’ kicking carousel of the last 18 months?
When it comes to kickoff for the New York Giants’ Week 1 tilt against the Dallas Cowboys, the one who actually does the kicking off will be the fourth different name the Giants have had in the spot since the 2016 season began.
Last season, they were able to mostly recover from the Josh Brown fiasco thanks to Robbie Gould, but they let the all-time leading in Chicago Bears history leave for San Francisco in the offseason.
That’s where 22-year old Aldrick Rosas comes in. Signed to a futures contract in January, Rosas has technically kicked only one field goal in the NFL, notching a 33-yarder in Tennessee’s preseason opener last year.
Brought in primarily as a summer leg to give Ryan Succop the occasional breather, Rosas bounced around last year from tryout to tryout after being cut by the Titans.
The Giants signed him to a reserve/futures contract in January. Despite his lack of experience, competition for Rosas has been minimal, save for a brief appearance by former Brown Travis Coons during rookie minicamp.
Rosas has eliminated the need for it, maintaining accuracy and distance as the offseason activities have progressed.
Will the Giants brings in another competitor for training camp?
The possibility has not been fully ruled out, but the Giants’ coaching staff seems confident in Rosas. When asked if a competitor would be brought in, both head coach Ben McAdoo and special teams coordinator Tom Quinn instead spoke of looking forward to seeing Rosas kick in situational drills and preseason games, so Rosas has already earned himself some key support.
Can an unknown like Rosas really be trusted in this spot?
The consistency of Brown prior to the heinous revelations of domestic abuse hid the talents of future NFL kickers brought in as “training camp legs” to New York. We’re talking about Brandon McManus and Chris Boswell, each of whom spent time as Giants training camp legs, and each of whom now hold down important jobs in Denver and Pittsburgh respectively.
The Giants have four preseason games, a quartet of opportunities for Rosas to carry on the success he’s had in offseason workouts thus far. If he falters, veterans like Dan Carpenter or Patrick Murray are available.
Can he kickoff?
The Giants defense bailed out the offense on several occasions last season, but they helped out the special teams too, as shaky kickoffs created not-so-favorable starting spots.
Rosas has been praised for having a strong leg by the Giants’ decision makers, and took kickoffs during minicamp activities. He shared kickoff duties during his preseason in Tennessee and generally landed the ball inside the opponents’ 5-yard line.
If Rosas managed to cash in on the offseason success, the Giants might finally have ther long-term kicker. Competition in the form of another training camp leg may be on the way, but Rosas has already withstood several tests.
It says a lot that the Giants not only haven’t added a veteran via free agency, they also refrained from drafting anyone this spring.
It’s not often you see a kid from Southern Oregon contributing to one of the NFL’s premiere franchises, but Rosas is poised to be a rare exception.
Geoff Maglocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490.