Giants sign 10 rookie free agents, waive six others

The Giants today made their first post-draft roster moves when they claimed one player off waivers, released six others and announced the signing of 10 rookie free agents.

The signings of the new players are contingent on the passing of physicals that will be conducted after travel restrictions are lifted.

The Giants’ roster currently stands at 85 players, five under the current limit.

The newest Giant with NFL experience is safety Monte Hartage, who played in four games last season for the Miami Dolphins, including their Dec. 15 loss to the Giants in MetLife Stadium. He was credited with seven tackles (five solo), one pass defensed and one special teams tackle.

Hartage, 6-0 and 190 pounds, joined the Dolphins as a rookie free agent from Northwestern on May 9, 2019. He was waived at the end of training camp and spent most of the season on the Dolphins’ practice squad before joining the active roster for the first time on Nov. 30. After he was waived and did a nine-day stint on the practice squad, Hartage rejoined the roster on Dec. 14 for the rest of the season. He was released on Monday.

Hartage’s defensive coordinator in Miami was Patrick Graham, who now holds the same position with the Giants.

The Giants’ rookie additions are quarterback Case Cookus of Northern Arizona; wide receivers Derrick Dillon of LSU and Binjimen Victor of Ohio State; tight end Kyle Markway of South Carolina; tackle Tyler Haycraft of Louisville; defensive ends Oluwole Betiku, Jr. of Illinois and Niko Lalos of Dartmouth; linebacker Dominique Ross of North Carolina; and defensive backs Christian Angulo of Hampton and Malcolm Elmore of Central Methodist.

Those waived were tight end C.J. Conrad, center Tanner Volson, defensive back Derrick Baity, punter Sean Smith and long snappers Colin Holba and Drew Scott.

Holba played in the final five games for the Giants last season. None of the other players has appeared in an NFL game.

A look at today’s additions:

Case Cookus, QB, Northern Arizona, 6-4, 205
Cookus played in 41 games for the Lumberjacks and completed 891 of 1,430 passes (62.3%) for 12,057 yards, 105 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. He twice suffered season-ending shoulder injuries, limiting him to four games in 2016 and two in 2018. But he rebounded last year to finish with career-high totals of 290 completions, 4,095 yards and 31 touchdown passes.

Derrick Dillon, WR, LSU, 5-11, 186
Dillon played in 48 games with 11 starts in four seasons at LSU. His career totals included 51 catches for 634 yards and four touchdowns. In 2019, he played in 13 games with three starts for the national champion Tigers and caught 15 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns from quarterback Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall draft choice.

Binjimen Victor, WR, Ohio State, 6-4, 200
Victor played in 47 games for the Buckeyes and concluded his career with 83 receptions for 1,340 yards and 18 touchdowns. As a senior in 2019, he played in all 14 games and finished with career-high totals of 35 catches for 573 yards and six touchdowns.

Kyle Markway, TE, South Carolina, 6-4, 250
Played in 39 games as a tight end and on special teams with 14 starts for the Gamecocks. His career totals included 37 receptions for 459 yards and three touchdowns. In 2019, he ranked third on the team with a career-high 31 catches, for 349 yards and two scores. Markway was on the SEC’s academic honor roll every year of his career.

Tyler Haycraft, OL, Louisville, 6-3, 293
Haycraft arrived at Louisville as a walk-on. He was redshirted in 2015 and did not play the following season. Haycraft saw his first action in 2017, when he played in six games. In 2018, he earned a scholarship and played in all 12 games, primarily on special teams. Last season, he started all 13 games at right tackle opposite Mekhi Becton, the 11th overall selection in the draft.

Oluwole Betiku, Jr., DE, Illinois, 6-3, 249
Betiku (buh-TEE-koo) played one season at Illinois after transferring from USC. Despite missing three games due to injury, he led the team with 9.0 sacks. Betiku made 36 tackles (19 solo), including 13 for loss, and had seven quarterback hits and two fumble recoveries. He did not play in 2018 after undergoing hip surgery. Betiku played in 24 games in 2016-17 at USC. Betiku was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and moved to the U.S. as a high school sophomore. Though he had never played football before, he played two seasons of football at Serra High School (Gardena, Calif.), recording 11.5 sacks as a junior and 17.0 as a senior.

Niko Lalos, DE, Dartmouth, 6-5, 270
Lalos played in 24 games in three seasons for the Big Green. He recorded 59 tackles (32 solo), including 17.5 tackles for loss and 11.0 sacks. Lalos added one interception and one fumble recovery. In 2019, he was selected first-team All-Ivy League after posting career-high totals of 35 tackles (10 solo), 10 stops for loss and 5.5 sacks. Lalos was chosen his team’s MVP at the Hula Bowl after notching two sacks and a forced fumble.

Dominique Ross, OLB, North Carolina, 6-4, 228
Ross played in 42 games with 20 starts in four seasons for the Tar Heels. His career totals included 126 tackles (64 solo), 11.0 stops for loss, 4.0 sacks, one interception, 10 passes defensed and one forced fumble. As a senior in 2019, Ross played in 12 games with a career-high 11 starts and had his most productive season with 60 tackles (30 solo), six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

Christian Angulo, DB, Hampton, 6-2, 190
Angulo played one season at Hampton after transferring from Cincinnati. He played in 10 games and led the Pirates with three interceptions and 14 passes defensed, the latter figuring tying for the lead in the Big South Conference.  He totaled 18 tackles (14 solo), including two for loss. Angulo was selected second-team all-conference.

Malcolm Elmore, CB, Central Methodist, 5-11, 185
Elmore spent four seasons at Central Methodist in Fayette, Mo. His career totals included 133 tackles, 15 pass breakups, and eight interceptions for 223 yards. In 2019, he recorded 58 tackles, including two for loss, and a team-high four interceptions which he returned 144 yards.  Elmore was selected all-second team Heart of America Conference.

(Michael Eisen/NY Giants)

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