Giants Rookie Travis Rudolph’s Stock Rising

Heading into his third preseason game, Travis Rudolph wanted further solidify his status with the New York Giants. He understood the depth at wide receiver and wanted to enhance his position.

Rudolph fulfilled his wish and captured the highlight of the night, accenting his already rising stock.

The former Florida State standout leaped high in the air to reach a sailing pass from Josh Johnson, taking the ball away from Jets’ cornerback Darryl Roberts. Rudolph stayed on his feet and scooted for a 57-yard gain.

It was the longest play of the preseason for the Giants, and it boosted his chances of gaining a final roster spot. He played 33 offensive snaps, most of them as a third wide receiver with the first-team offense.

Rudolph, who started the game due to injuries to Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, had three catches for 81 yards. Going into the final preseason game, Rudolph shares the team lead with six catches and has a team-high 111 yards.

For an undrafted rookie, the 6-0, 190-pound Rudolph isn’t short on confidence in his abilities and chances.
“I just want the coaches and the players to notice me,” said the soft-spoken receiver who signed as a free agent. “I timed my leap well and stay focused. I am looking to make plays and use my speed. Every time I get the ball, I feel like I have a chance to score.

“I know I am capable of making plays like that, and I just have to take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way.”

His peers and coaches have recognized his progression.

“He made a hellava play,” said Smith. “He really got into the flow of the game. (Rudolph) is young, but he is professional. He comes to work every day, he listens, he asks questions, and goes out there and does his job.”
“He made the most of his opportunity,” added head coach Ben McAdoo said. “He had a chance to shine, and he took advantage of it. Rudolph has had a good camp and has made strides.

Rudolph admittedly has learned to take a subtle approach to camp. Not only does he lead the team in receptions and yards, Rudolph has been returning punts and kickoffs, the latter leading the team with a 22.0 return average.

“Everything seems to be falling into place,” he said. “I am not thinking about everything as much as when I first got here. It is about understanding the offense completely. I have really undergone the process of learning here.
“Returning kicks and punts is another challenge and opportunity that I want to undertake.’

Whatever the final outcome when the Giants set their final 53-player roster this weekend, it has been a memorable experience. There is a strong feeling around camp that Rudolph will either make the roster or be a member of the practice squad.

He is expected to see plenty of action in the team’s final preseason game Thursday in New England.
“It has been overwhelming,” stated Rudolph about his experience. “It has been everything that I expected and more. I’m coming out every day and having fun with my teammates.

“It has been a blessing being around veterans like Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard taking me under their wing and showing me things that I can work on. I don’t look at going into the last preseason game as anything different than the first day of practice.

“I have to go out there and work and take advantage of every opportunity.”

If he continues to follow that path, Rudolph likely will find a home in New Jersey.

About the Author

Jeff Moeller

Jeff Moeller has been covering the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and college football and basketball as well as high school sports on a national and local scene for the past 39 years. He has been a Jets and Giants beat reporter for the past 13 years.

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