Daniel Bellinger ready for breakout season with Giants?

How important will Daniel Bellinger’s role be with the 2024 New York Giants? It may not be entirely up to Bellinger, a third-year tight end who appears capable of doing more than the Giants have asked of him in his first two seasons.

Let’s discuss Bellinger as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the Giants’ 90-man roster.

The skinny

Height: 6 feet 6 inches
Weight: 255
Age: 23
Position: Tight end
Experience: 2
Contract: Third year of four-year rookie contract worth $4.453 million | Milestone reached in 2024: $1.183 million | Guaranteed: $0

Career to date

As a fourth-round pick in 2022, Bellinger found himself with a larger role than expected. He started 11 of the 12 games he played in, missing time due to a scary eye socket fracture. He caught 30 of 35 targets, or 85.7%.

In 2023, largely due to the arrival of Darren Waller, Bellinger played less of a role in the Giants’ offense than he probably deserved. He caught 25 passes on just 28 targets, or 89.3%. Bellinger was only targeted five times in the first six games he played. He wasn’t targeted more than once during the game until Week 9, when Waller began a five-game stretch on the bench due to a hamstring injury.

Bellinger has proven to be a reliable, if not dynamic, blocker and a good, if not great, blocker who can be lined up in a variety of ways.

outlook for 2024

If Waller decides not to play, and at this point it would be a surprise if the veteran doesn’t retire, Bellinger would benefit because he would clearly be the team’s No. 1 tight end.

The Giants drafted Theo Johnson in the fourth round, and he appears to have the size and skill set to be a versatile player, either tight end. Eventually. What Johnson will be able to handle early in his career is a question that can’t yet be answered.

Chris Manhertz and Jack Stoll are pure in-line blocking options who won’t add much as receivers. Lawrence Cager is a receiver playing tight end who could be an odd man out.

With Malik Nabers and the other wide receivers, the passing attack appears to be receiver-centric. Still, if Waller doesn’t play and Bellinger can stay healthy, perhaps we’ll see a 40-50 receiving season at tight end in year three.

He’s certainly capable of it, maybe more.