Giants: Donnell's growing pains
In Week 13 the New York Giants slumped a seventh consecutive defeat and are now destined to finish with a losing record in 2014. The team’s general malaise has been reflected in the declining form of many players; such as the alarming slump experienced by starting tight end, Larry Donnell.
Donnell impressed through the opening four weeks of the season, catching 25 of 31 targeted passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns. It gave him a +8.7 overall grade, and a +6.1 receiving grade, the best at the position during that span. His 2.05 Yards per Route Run ranked eighth out of 34 qualifying tight ends. However since then Donnell has graded out at -5.0 as a receiver and -12.1 grade as a run blocker. He’s caught only one more pass during his last eight games (26) than he did during his first four (25), and his Yards per Route Run have fallen to 1.34, 20th among 41 qualifying tight ends.
It’s not all been negative for Donnell, his 1.92 Drop Rate is fourth-best at the position, however he is clearly experiencing the growing pains that are often part of being a young player in the NFL.