The New York Giants didn’t select an offensive lineman in the NFL draft until their final pick in the three-day event. They traded up in the sixth round for Pittsburgh’s Adam Bisnowaty, a college tackle who may ultimately be a guard at the NFL level.
But they’re also hoping they found some offensive linemen after the draft. General manager Jerry Reese confirmed Monday afternoon during an interview on WFAN that they are signing offensive tackles Chad Wheeler (USC) and Jessamen Dunker (Tennessee State).
Reese was excited about the prospects of both.
Wheeler is a “talented player,” according to Reese, who believes he wasn’t drafted because of “off-the-field issues.” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had Wheeler as his 15th-ranked offensive tackle in the draft.
The Giants made their interest known with Wheeler immediately after the draft. They offered a $20,000 signing bonus and guaranteed another $10,000 in base salary, according to a source.
Teams have a bonus pool of $98,340 to spend on undrafted free agents this year.
Dunker was Kiper’s sixth-ranked guard. He’s known for his quickness and footwork. He ran a sub-5 seconds (4.95) in the 40-yard dash.
The Giants were adamant about staying true to their board in the draft, when they passed on several of the perceived top offensive linemen in the first (Cam Robinson, Forrest Lamp and Ryan Ramczyk) and second (Dion Dawkins) rounds.
“We stuck to our board from the first round until the sixth,” vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross said after the draft. “We're not going to reach. If we feel like there is a player of value and need at the right place and the right time, we are going to take him. We're just not going to jump over players that we feel are better players who can contribute to reach for a perceived position of need.”
Wheeler and Dunker are part of a substantial group of more than a dozen players set to join the Giants as undrafted free agents. Safety Jadar Johnson, defensive end Jarron Jones, wide receiver Travis Rudolph, tight end Colin Thompson and cornerback Nigel Tribune are part of the group, according to sources.
Rudolph appears to have been another post-draft priority. He received a $10,000 signing bonus and had $10,000 of his base salary guaranteed.