The Giants’ final safety talks after their first day of rookie mini-camp
The New York Giants selected Houston safety Gervarrius Owens with the 254th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Owens was a team captain for the Cougars who started 42 of 46 games after arriving on campus as a JUCO transfer from Northeast Oklahoma A&M.
Owens has utility as a defensive player, especially in coverage, but he needs to improve his chasing angles and tackling to earn a defensive role. However, he has 361 collegiate special teams snaps to his name, with two blocked punts. Owens’ ability to positively affect the Giants’ special teams might be his least impeded path to the 53-man roster.
Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey’s son Trent is a tight end at the University of Houston and was a teammate of Gervarrius Owens. When asked if he knew Thomas McGaughey before the draft, this is how Owens responded,
“Some people definitely told me he was here,” Owens said. “He came over there after practice and talked to me, just letting me know everything. But yeah, his son, Trent, is one of our relatives in Houston, definitely good people too. But yeah, Coach came over there, talked to me. He told me he was also playing safety in Houston, so yeah, I’m definitely going to talk to him a lot.
It’s an interesting connection for McGaughey and Owens. Not only was McGaughey’s son a teammate of Owens, McGaughey was also a safety for the Houston Cougars in the mid-’90s.
Owens later said he could play any role on special teams and used to play kickoff, punt and punt block early in his career. career in Houston – a career where the coaching staff insisted on attention to detail.
When asked if what he learned in Houston was transferable to the NFL, Owens replied, “Yeah sir, we’re just proud to be able to make plays at the back. If we get it wrong, it will show up on the dashboard, so just try to be as detailed and polished as possible. That’s kind of what coach (Doug) Belk and coach (Brian) Early and coach (David) Rowe and all preached in Houston, so just being able to transition, talked to coaches a few times. They looked like real detailed guys, so I felt like we could take advantage of that.
The 23-year-old adopts a blue-collar mindset. “Someone who’s ready to come in from day one, a guy with a helmet,” Owens replied when asked what kind of player the Giants were getting. “Do the work every day, make corrections, clean up the footwork and things like that. Just learning defense and all that and just preparing everybody.
It’s the desired mindset that NFL coaches and fans want in every player on the roster. For a seventh-round pick, the uphill battle is a steep one; Owens will have little room for error to earn a 53-man spot. Still, the departure of Julian Love has left a possible long-term role in defense open if players like Dane Belton can’t. A7X work and Seize the day.
Right now, Owens is reveling in the moment. He deserves A little piece of paradisebut make the Giants say welcome family at the end of training camp would be his Sunny layout.
“It was just crazy,” Owens said of his first day of mini rookie camp, “just the first day, like I said, you dream about this moment for so long and then it hits you. Like day one, me, (Deonte) Banks and Trey Hawkins running around the field like, man, it’s time, we’re really here I’m just trying to take it all in, but at the same time, it’s all so fresh, so it’s just all over the place.
The first day was definitely a blessing. I came in, I did a good job together, so I just acclimated to everything, but it’s a blessing. That’s all I can really say.
Owens was also asked about his relationships with fellow DB rookies Deonte Banks and Trey Hawkins III. He said, “We already have a good relationship. Me and Trey actually trained together, combining prep and stuff like that, in Fort Lauderdale, so we kind of got to know each other over the last few months. Tae, he’s just one of those guys that you can walk into on day one and it’s just good vibes, good people. There is no ego or nothing. You can simply say that you are surrounded by good people for sure.
It seems that Owens is connected and has integrated well into his environment. He has a long summer of work ahead of him. Let the competition begin!