Now that we've explored the Brandon Crawford story -- to the applause of some, and the boos of some other sour-pusses -- let's take a look at an undrafted free agent who actually comes to rookie minicamp with a contract. That means he was signed as a priority free agent and has a better-than-even shot of at least getting to training camp.
Penn State right tackle Dennis Landolt is an interesting case, in that he came to the Giants because they handed him a $25,000 signing bonus. If that sounds insignificant, think again. The average undrafted college kid gets about $10,000 to sign. That means the Giants had to outbid somebody for Landolt.
If they think that highly of him, there's a good chance Landolt could be a factor deep into training camp, and perhaps even unseat somebody like Guy Whimper or Adam Koets for a roster spot. He's 6-foot-5, 306, and earned third-team AP All-America honors and made second-team All-Big Ten. Though he played right tackle mostly, some scouts project him as a guard because of his aggressive nature.
Here's what NFL Draft Scout had to say about him.
Pass blocking: Only adequate footwork on the edge, will be better in tight spaces inside. Occasionally meets wide ends on the corner, but will wait on them too often and not deliver a punch, allowing penetration. Bends at waist to push man around the pocket, will give up too many secondary rushes. Fair anchor, but can be pushed back by strong, elite ends. Plays with enough leverage to handle tackles one-on-one on twists. Feet get stuck at times when facing quicker ends. Does not recover from outside-in moves well, reaching instead of moving his feet.
Run blocking: Obviously loves to come off the ball with bad intentions, able to latch onto his man's numbers and sustain through the whistle. Good mobility and strength to be effective in zone-blocking scheme. Combos well, easily moving from end to negate the linebacker. Moves feet to get the proper angle for walling off defenders inside or sealing the edge. Gets low in short-yardage situations, keeping legs moving to push back the pile. Good cut blocker, gets low, hits the shin and rolls or get hand up to prevent defender from reaching the play.
Pulling/trapping: Quick enough feet to trap around guard to meet linebackers in the hole. Gets low to engage and push back his man, keeps churning to the whistle to sustain. Adjusts well to oncoming inside defenders, keeps them from reaching the ball from behind.Initial Quickness: Comes off the ball really well on most run plays, driving average ends back and moving even stout linemen in the needed direction. Average pass set and kick-slide after snap, may struggle to get hands on quicker NFL ends to prevent them from using their pass rush moves. Forced to reach against blitzing linebackers.
Downfield: Has the mobility to get downfield to block, but ducks his head and bends at the waist trying to reach defenders at second level instead of moving his feet and extending his arms to engage. Usually finds a target, and hits the inside man.
Intangibles: Extremely durable, reliable lineman with excellent work ethic. Gives his all on every play. Coach Joe Paterno lauds Landolt for his discipline and for being assignment-sure. Took on vocal leader role as a senior.
He's durable, too, having started 39 straight games. He was a big part of that line allowing just 17 sacks in 13 games, and helped the Nittany Lions rush for 169.8 yards per game, fifth best in the Big 10.
Because of that and the Giants' obvious interest, he has to be looked at as having the best chance of the undrafted signees to latch on to the roster.
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