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Will Robert Wheelwright stick with the New York Giants?

Big Blue View looks at the roster of the NFC East organization.

LSU v Wisconsin Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

One former Wisconsin Badgers contributor is heading to the Big Apple (or, well, New Jersey... you know what I mean).

Last Sunday, B5Q reported wide receiver Robert Wheelwright agreed to terms to join the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent. Wheelwright, who caught 69 career passes for 890 yards and six touchdowns, tweeted the news on Sunday after initial indications held that he was heading to the Carolina Panthers.

Big Blue View’s Ed Valentine joined us to assess Wheelwright’s competition among the Giants’ wide receivers and the franchise’s success with undrafted free agents.

There were eight wide receivers on the Giants’ roster before Wheelwright was officially announced. Who are the projected starters and contributors?

Well, you have Odell Beckham, Jr., Sterling Shepard, and Brandon Marshall as the Big Three. You have veteran Dwayne Harris as kick returner/reserve. Then you have Roger Lewis and Tavarres King, who both played a bit last year, and Darius Powe (practice squad in 2016) competing.

The Giants didn’t draft a wide receiver, though they did select tight end Evan Engram in the first round. What role will Engram play in the offense, and what does it say that they didn’t draft a wide receiver?

Engram is going to be listed as a tight end, but I don’t expect to see him lined up inline very often. He will be moved around, slot, backfield, H-Back, part of bunch sets, etc. Engram is a pseudo receiver. They really had no need to draft a receiver, though I’m sure they would have if the value was there.

Where do you see Wheelwright fitting in the Giants’ offense?

I really don’t know, to be honest. I don’t know the player very well and I think it’s a tall order for him to make the roster right now. If he impresses, perhaps he can land on the practice squad. Darius Powe spent the whole season on the practice squad last year.

Robert Wheelwright Official College Highlights (Bowdown FX/YouTube)

Have there been many undrafted free agents who have made the active roster and had an impact in recent Giants’ history?

The Giants always seem to uncover somebody. Victor Cruz a few years was a UDFA out of UMass. Safety Andrew Adams (UConn) was a UDFA who started 13 games at safety last year after Darian Thompson got hurt. Tight end Jake Ballard helped the Giants win a Super Bowl. They seem to find some good ones on occasion.

It’s still way too early to tell, but based on the current roster and expectations at wide receiver, what would be your thoughts as to the chance of Wheelwright working his way up to making an impact and fighting for a roster spot?

As I said above, I think it’s a real long shot for him to make the roster, barring a rash of injuries. If he can show the Giants some value and contribute on special teams during the preseason, maybe he lands on the practice squad. That’s a foot in the door, and you never know what happens from there.

How’s former Wisconsin standout Jonathan Casillas doing in New York?

Ahh, Jonathan Casillas. One of my favorite Giants. A real pro. Honestly, didn’t expect much when he came to the Giants. He was a journeyman who had never been a full-time starter. Well, in 2016 he was the Giants’ defensive captain, a full-time starter, and their best all-around linebacker. He’s also a great guy in the locker room. Win or lose, he stands in front of the media and gives good, clear answers with quotes that can actually be used.