Last year, FB Henry Hynoski made the club as a UDFA out of Pitt. Like most rookies, he didn’t get his number called as much as expected. As he enters his second season with the Giants, his body look more NFL-ready after an intense off-season workout regimen.
The Giants began to trust Hynoski as the season unfolded last year, and now they will expect more from him. From Steve Lloyd of WNEP in Scranton / Wilkes-Barre:
Hynoski still weighs the same as he did last year, but now he is down to 4% body fat a more chiseled look which should allow him to be more mobile in the giants offense.
“I just want to go in establish that I’m more of a physical presence as a blocker this year. I think that was my forte last year, but I feel so much bigger, stronger, and faster this year. I want to go in and obviously show my blocking skills right away, but also show that I can run the ball and catch the ball too and just show that I can be utilized in a variety of ways,” again said Henry.
Here’s the segment courtesy of WNEP 16:
Counting down Jerry Reese’s eleven best draft picks/ undrafted free agents
Henry Hynoski: Undrafted, 2011
It took all of my strength to quiet the voice inside my head that said I couldn’t rank a fullback this high. Don’t tell me what to do, brain! Instead, I went with my gut and doled out this top-five ranking to a player who was quietly a key piece in the Giants’ championship offense. I’ll admit that this ranking is extremely aggressive, but it’s based on the fact that I strongly believe Hynoski will be a huge factor in turning the Giants’ running game around and allowing the Giants’ offense to become the football equivalent of a well balanced breakfast. Anyway, what fun is a top ten (or eleven) list without any controversy?
Many draft experts considered Hynoski to be the best fullback in the draft, and no one would have batted an eye if he were a taken in the fourth round. Seven teams drafted fullbacks, yet for whatever reason, Hynoski was passed over by every one of them. We here at Giants Football Blog agreed that Hynoski would be a perfect fit for the Giants, and Jerry Reese was happy to scoop him up as an undrafted free agent. Whether Reese was able to read the market on fullbacks, or if he just lucked into this steal is impossible to determine. Either way, the Giants found a young cornerstone for their running game.
To the casual fan (if you feel like this is a subtle dig at you for disagreeing with me, you are correct), Hynoski is a marginal player with a funny name at an unimportant position. But if you’d just look a little deeper, you’d realize that Hynoski has given the Giants the type of old-school blocking fullback they haven’t had since Madison Hedgecock’s breakout season (hint: they stocked up on confetti that year as well).
It may seem ridiculous to laud Hynoski’s contributions as a run-blocker, considering that the Giants finished dead-last in rushing yards, but it would have been a lot worse without the talented youngster fromPittsburgh. Like most rookies, Hynoski had his inconsistencies, but it all came together for him in the playoffs, a big reason why the team was successful rushing the ball during the postseason (3.5 yards per carry during the regular season, 4.2 yards per carry during the postseason). He’s also a sneaky good receiver for a fullback, an area in which he should continue to improve.
And like many other players on this list, Hynoski made one important play that helped the Giants win a Super Bowl. What could have been a deadly turnover was merely a bullet dodged when the fullback fell on Hakeem Nicks’ fumble late in the third quarter. The drive resulted in a field goal, the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl, and Hynoski was named the MVP…I remember it well.
But imaginary MVP trophies aside, being nicknamed “The Hynoceros” is enough to justify this ranking.
According to Mike Garafolo, Tom Coughlin has ruled out Justin Tuck, Chris Snee, Brandon Jacobs and Henry Hynoski for Sunday’s match with the Bills.
To say the Giants are bit by the injury bug is an understatement. The absence of Tuck has hit the Giants hard this year, as teams have been able to run amok on the Giants’ ravaged defense thus far. The pass rush has been able to sustain itself without its leader, thanks to fantastic performances from Pierre Paul and Umenyiora, but this is a different team when Tuck is on the field.
Likewise, the offensive line simply cannot afford for Snee to miss an extended period of time. He has been this team’s best offensive lineman for a few years, and with the wholesale changes made along the left side and at center, Snee (and Kareem McKenzie) were expected to be the rocks that held the line together. We all saw how the line performed last week…
The losses of Jacobs and Hynoski are not quite as damaging, but their absence certainly won’t help the struggling running game. Bear Pascoe will fill in at fullback, and Ahmad Bradshaw will again garner a majority of the carries, while Danny Ware and Da’Rel Scott back him up.
The Giants’ offense works best with a true fullback – a player that can open up holes for the featured backs and catch the occasional pass out of the backfield.
They may have found that in UDFA Henry Hynoski of Pitt. He is a throwback of sorts, and perhaps the physical player the Giants need to help them open up the offense. He spoke with reporters yesterday, just 36 hours after beating the odds and making the Giants’ 2011 roster….
The Lions will be releasing FB Jerome Felton today in order to get down to the 80 man roster limit. Felton is entering his 4th year in the league and was actually handed off to 22 times last season. He amassed 76 yards.
Felton might be an option for a Giants team that lacks a veteran presence at the FB position. Their lone true FB, Henry Hynoski, is an undrafted rookie free agent pick-up out of PITT.
He showed improvement last night against the Jets but the Giants might benefit from putting their valued rushing attack in the hands of a more experienced pro.
With many NFL offenses phasing out the fullback position, there is less and a calling for those traditional, hard-nosed players who play that thankless position come draft day. Such was the case of Henry Hynoski, a highly-regarded, yet undrafted all-purpose fullback from the University of Pittsburgh.
Hynoski left Pitt after his junior campaign, which maybe wasn’t the wisest of moves in retrospect. Many felt he would still be drafted (in the later rounds), but he pulled up lame with a hammy at Pitt’s Pro Day, leaving him unable to work out and dropping him way down on many teams’ draft charts.
Hynoski didn’t stay on the market very long once he became available again, getting gobbled up Day One of the UDFA Frenzy by the Giants after the NFL Lockout ended. The Giants see him as a multi-faceted threat that can block and catch the ball out of the backfield, something his predecessor, Madison Hedgecock had difficulty doing.
The 6’2″, 260lb Hynoski, who is the only FB listed on the Giants’ roster, held his first media session this afternoon…
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According to Mike Garafolo’s twitter, the Giants have released Fullback Madison Hedgecock.
This is not a total surprise, given his slipping performance and injury issues, but he was only set to make $1 million. It is believed that Hedgecock failed his physical yesterday.
Bear Pascoe was a solid replacement last year, but the Giants signed Henry Hynoski out of Pitt to possibly replace him, which would allow Pascoe to shift back to backup tight end. Although it is risky to trust an undrafted free agent with a starting job, Hynoski was expected to be one of the first fullbacks drafted.
If the Giants’ coaching staff could turn Pascoe, who had never played fullback in the NFL before last year, into an average starter, I have confidence in what they can do with a talented natural fullback like Hynoski.
According to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York, all pro fullback Vonta Leach has the Giants on his wishlist, along with the Seahawks and Chargers. He played with the Houston Texans last season but is likely looking to be paid like the best fullback in the game.
I wanted the Giants to sign Leach a few years ago when he was a free agent, and I’d love for them to add him now, as long as the pricetag isn’t ridiculous. The Giants would benefit from a true fullback, as Madison Hedgecock’s play has slipped over the years, partially due to injuries. Bear Pascoe was a solid replacement, but he is much more suited to be a backup tight end.
Youngmisuk agrees that Leach would be a very nice pickup, but points out that the team should have higher priorities.
While Leach would be a great addition, the Giants have more pressing needs such as re-signing as many of their own free agents as possible first. They did try to add Leach in 2007 when they signed him to a restricted free agent offer sheet worth $8 million, including $1.6 million in guarantees.
Leach is an absolute beast, and a top three fullback at the very least. The addition of a dominant fullback would help mask some of the deficiencies with the offensive line.
Another name floating around that I would like to see the Giants bring in is undrafted free agent Henry Hynoski out of Pittsburgh. He wouldn’t have the immediate impact of Leach, but if Leach’s asking price is astronomical, Hynoski would be a perfect silver medal.
Although the lockout will stop teams from signing free agents, it can’t stop us from identifying some of the top undrafted free agents that the Giants should consider targeting.
Here are six names to keep an eye on:
C Jake Kirkpatrick, TCU
The Giants could have taken Kirkpatrick in the fourth round, and no one would have batted an eye. For whatever reason, Kirkpatrick is still without a team, and would make for a great addition to this year’s rookie group. Kirkpatrick did not start playing football until his senior year of highschool, but he is a late bloomer with legitimate talent.
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