Giants sign Kayvon Thibodeaux, Evan Neal; RB Jashaun Corbin stands out – The Mercury News

Giants first-round picks Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal both signed their rookie contracts on Saturday after rookie minicamp practice. Their deals are determined by their draft slots.

Thibodeaux gets four years and $31.3 million fully guaranteed as the No. 5 overall pick. Neal receives four years and $24.5 million fully guaranteed as the No. 7 overall pick. Both contracts come with a fifth-year team option for 2026.

This is much earlier than the Giants typically sign their first-round picks.

Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas all signed in July of their respective draft years, and Kadarius Toney signed last June after a holdout.

Thibodeaux and Neal are represented by the same agency, Klutch Sports Group. First-year GM Joe Schoen and the Giants front office, together with Klutch agents Kelton Crenshaw and Damarius Bilbo, made sure the Giants’ blue-chip draft picks were locked in early.

This timeline may represent a new normal for the Giants under Schoen.

“It feels great,” Neal said Saturday of being on the field for the Giants. “To go out there and get back in the right tackle stance, I haven’t played right tackle since my sophomore year. So it brought back some pretty good nostalgia. It’s really good. Practicing on an NFL team? It don’t get better than that.”

The news of their agreements was reported by NFL Network while Thibodeaux and Neal both were still on the field taking team pictures, prepared to sign once they walked inside.

DABOLL: CORBIN STANDS OUT

Giants coach Brian Daboll said undrafted free agent RB Jashaun Corbin (pronounced JAY-shawn) “kind of stood out a little bit” during Friday’s first rookie minicamp practice.

“Athletic, quick twitch, good in individuals,” Daboll said. “The individual drills, a lot of them, you’re almost going out there on pro days or individual workouts. Some of the drills that we even do out here are some of the drills that we do when we work guys out, so you get a good feel for them. You can compare kind of apples to apples.”

Football Gameplan’s Emory Hunt, a draft guru who also works for CBS Sports HQ, told the Daily News he thinks Corbin “will be RB2 behind Saquon” Barkley this fall.

“He has vision, elusiveness, footwork,” Hunt said. “He can be Daboll’s jet sweep guy.”

The Giants showed how much they valued Corbin when they gave him $110,000 guaranteed at signing, a significant amount for an undrafted free agent.

The 5-10, 203-pound back suffered a bad 2019 hamstring injury at Texas A&M. He recovered, transferred to Florida State, and led the Seminoles in rushing last fall in his second and final season with them: 887 rush yards (6.2 per carry), seven rushing TDs, 25 catches, 144 receiving yards and a receiving score.

On Saturday, Corbin also demonstrated an ability to return punts. The Giants might have found another playmaker.

MORE NAMES TO WATCH

The Giants had 84 players at rookie minicamp this weekend: 53 tryouts, 13 undrafted free agent signings, 11 draft picks, three 2022 free agent signings, two 2021 free agent signings, and two international player pathway program players.

The News caught up with Football Gameplan’s Hunt and Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline to highlight some more names to keep an eye on:

CB Darren Evans, LSU, UDFA: Long. 6-2, 179. “Will make the practice squad,” Pauline says. Transferred from Nicholls State to LSU. Hunt: “If he’d stayed at Nicholls and been a big fish in a small pond, he would have been drafted.” An outside corner who played at LSU with Giants third-round CB Cor’Dale Flott, who is more of a slot. So they have some chemistry/familiarity. They lined up that way in some 7-on-7 at Saturday’s practice, too.

FB Jeremiah Hall, Oklahoma, UDFA: 6-2, 239. Hunt’s No. 1 fullback in the class. Think of the Sooners tight end more as an H-back in Daboll’s offense who could block and carry the ball, as well. Received $30,000 guaranteed.

FB Isaiah Johnson-Mack, Saginaw Valley State, tryout: super athletic, 6-3, 227, played WR, LB and TE while bouncing around in college from Washington State to Bowling Green to Southern Miss to SVSU. He Could be a “core special teamer,” in Hunt’s words, with offense / defense flex, “a chess piece on game day.”

S Yusuf Corker, Kentucky, UDFA: 6-0, 199. Julian Love projects as the Giants’ starting strong safety. But fourth-round pick Dane Belton (Iowa) and Corker give the Giants some young, sub-package options and challengers in their young, thin, developing secondary. Corker has blitz ability and “plays fast all the time,” Hunt says.

TE Austin Allen, Nebraska: 6-8, 253. “Could be a UDFA steal,” Pauline says. Set Nebraska’s single-season receiving record for a tight end as a senior (38 catches, 602 yards, two TDs). He was named Big 10 ‘s tight end of the year. Good on contested catches.

Other UDFA signings: DT Chris Hinton, Michigan ($115K guaranteed); CB Zyon Gilbert, Florida Atlantic; S Trenton Thompson, San Diego State; TE Andre Miller, Maine; OLB Tomon Fox, North Carolina; DT Antonio Valentino, DT, Florida; OL Josh Rivas, Kansas State; DL Jabari Ellis, South Carolina.

Pauline says “Rivas was better in 2020 than 2021 but is “definitely a Bills-type O-lineman.” Also says tryout OL TJ Storment (6-6, 322) was a “decent OT” at Texas Tech who “projects to OG.”

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