Quest Diagnostics Training Center –The NY Giants created a new buzz with new GM Joe Shoen and head coach Brian Daboll at the helm.
The two of them are working in complete harmony and you can see that everyone in the organization is on the same page, finally.
“It’s absolutely important that we have shared alignment, shared vision, shared core principles and values of the type of people we want to bring in,” Daboll told reporters assembled at the Giants’ indoor practice facility on Jan. 31. “Let’s not forget, this is a people business too. There’s X’s and O’s, but this is a people business. It’s about leading, it’s about cultivating and it’s about inspiring.”
Saturday was the second day of the Giants’ three-day rookie mini camp. Daboll looks a little thinner these days walks among the players, going over coaching tibbits and dolling out praises for the rookies going through the first phase of what they hope will be the start of their professional careers.
Daboll calm demeanor is infectious throughout the Quest Diagnostic Center, he even had time to joke around with the media on hand during the mini-camp morning session.
The Giants today announced they have signed six members of their 2022 draft class, including first-round selections Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal.
Big Blue selected 11 players in April draft, its largest class since 2003. All of them are attending the rookie mini-camp this weekend at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
In addition to the first rounders, the G-Men also announced the signing of their three fifth-round selections – linebacker Micah McFadden of Indiana, defensive tackle D.J. Davidson of Arizona State and guard Marcus McKethan of North Carolina – plus sixth-round choice Darrian Beavers, a linebacker from Cincinnati.
Thibodeaux, a 6-5, 258-pound edge rusher, played in 32 games with 21 starts in three seasons at the University of Oregon. He had 123 tackles (82 solo), 35.5 tackles for loss, 19.0 sacks and three forced fumbles. Thibodeaux was a unanimous All-America in 2021 when he recorded a career-high 50 tackles, including 12 stops for loss and 7.0 sacks. He was a two-time, first-team All-Pac-12 selection.
“It felt great, first day back,” Kayvon Thibodeaux told the media. “It was weird for me. The past six months I hadn’t been a part of a team. Now getting here, doing walk-throughs, doing indies individual drills, doing everything, going back to being part of the team, it’s been fun.”
Thibodeaux recently signed his first NFL contract, which comes at a hefty price for the Giants. The No. 5 overall selection will get four years to his new contract, totaling $31.3M, and the deal includes a $19.9M signing bonus.
Neal, a 6-7, 350-pound tackle, started all 40 games in which he played at Alabama and missed only one game in three seasons – due to a positive COVID-19 test in 2020. He has ability and flexibility to play at left guard position if needed, he played 12 at right tackle in 2020 and 15 at left tackle in 2021, when he was a consensus first-team All-America and first-team All-SEC.
“It feels great just to go out there, get back in the right type of stance –ain’t played right tackle since my sophomore year. So brought back some pretty good nostalgia. It’s just really good, man. You know, to practice on an NFL team, it doesn’t get better than that. Definitely my dreams came true. Just excited, for sure.”Neal said after day two of mini-camp.
Neal signed a four-year, $24.55 million contract. Both deals are fully guaranteed, with the team having a fifth-year option.
The NY Giants rarely sign their first-round picks this early after being drafted, but this year a lot of teams and players have been getting deals done quickly. Rookie contracts are largely set by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, so there’s not a lot that needs to be negotiated. Neal and Thibodeaux are represented by the same agents.
So far, Joe Shoen and company are pushing all the right buttons. There is just a renewed energy flowing over the Quest Diagnostic Center and that is largely due to Brian Daboll and his staff.