Giants must find out what TE Beckum can do

Posted Aug. 27, 2011 @ 5:13 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Down the list of concerns for the suddenly shaky Giants is the matter of the tight end. Losing Kevin Boss, GM Jerry Reese has pointed out, is not that big a deal because Boss' 35 receptions and good-but-never-great blocking can be replaced.

This is true — but there also is the matter of who exactly will replace Boss and whether it's actually a one-man operation.

Travis Beckum has been sent to the front of the line as the first option, and the general consensus based on his three nondescript seasons is that he has a chance of filling the receiving part of the role better than as a quality in-line blocker. One reason is his size, which at 6-3 and 234 pounds is very restrictive, but also because Beckum showed some quality receiving skills in college.

So far in the preseason, the results have been shaky. He missed an assignment in practice, which caused coordinator Kevin Gilbride to explode, and Beckum has yet to catch a pass in two preseason games, despite having a few plays designed to go his way.

The blocking end of things likely will be handled by others. Bear Pascoe has shifted over from fullback and can chip in. He'll be vying for reps with Jake Ballard, who spent most of last season on the practice squad, and newcomers Daniel Coats and Christian Hopkins. Coats has stepped up of late and might be on his way to earning a roster spot.

The team is likely to keep three tight ends, but four might be too many. Pascoe is almost certain to stick because of his versatility at two positions.