Eli Manning’s Hoboken camp had a new participant on Wednesday.
Dan DePalma, an undrafted free agent wide receiver out of West Chester (Pa.), joined Manning, quarterback Sage Rosenfels, tight end Kevin Boss and wide receivers Victor Cruz, Darius Reynaud and Samuel Giguere for a workout at Hoboken High School (N.J.).
DePalma, who is from Verona (N.J.), has been working out at the same gym with Boss, running back Brandon Jacobs and Green Bay running back Ryan Grant. Boss invited DePalma to join Manning’s ongoing workouts at Hoboken High.
DePalma, who worked out for the Giants before the draft, is hoping to land with an NFL team once the lockout is lifted as a special teams wide receiver who can return punts and kickoffs and play some slot receiver as well.
Typically after the draft, teams immediately invite several undrafted free agents to participate in rookie camp. This year, hundreds of undrafted players like DePalma are waiting for the lockout to end.
“Been quiet, real quiet,” said DePalma, who played twice on the Hoboken High School field while at Verona. “Stay in touch with my agent. Waiting and hoping. I knew I wasn’t going to be a high draft pick or draft possibility. Looking to go more of the free-agent route. Just to be considered was a goal of mine. I did well on my pro days. My goal was to pretty much show my versatility and what I can do all over the place and kind of be a free agent guy, maybe a last-round draft pick. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way and this lockout is kind of hurting but I just got to be ready.”
DePalma quickly learned what it was like to catch passes from a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Like Cruz, who is taking advantage of extra reps with Manning during these lockout workouts, DePalma got to run several routes for Manning and Rosenfels.
“It was amazing,” the 5-11 receiver said. “It is nice to have a constant quarterback to give you a good ball every time. You know if you are in the right spot, you are going to get a good pass.”
“I’m step for step with the guys in the weight room and agility work,” DePalma added of working out with Grant and some Giants. “And to come out here and run routes and be able to keep up is definitely a big boost.”