Traina: Driven Kyle Lauletta ready to grasp his chance with Giants

May 10, 2018 | by Patricia Traina, The Athletic

New York Giants rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta, the team’s fourth-round draft pick this year, might not be as heralded as his first-round contemporaries, but the former Richmond Spider signal caller is a guy who is devoted to becoming just as good, if not better than those quarterbacks chosen ahead of him in this year’s draft class.

“The Giants are getting someone who is very serious about football,” Aaron Corp, the quarterbacks coach at the University of Richmond, told The Athleticby phone. “He studies the game, he’s going to work at it, and I think that’s what the guys on our team respected and what the guys on the Giants are going to come to respect.”

In 40 games for the Spiders, the 6-3, 222-pound Lauletta completed 758 of 1,194 pass attempts for 10,465 yards, 73 touchdowns and only 35 interceptions. He topped the 3,000-yard passing mark in each season from 2015 through 2017, this despite having multiple offensive coordinators who ran different concepts and schemes throughout Lauletta’s college tenure.

“I’d say between his sophomore and junior years, between John (Garrett) and Charlie Fisher, now the receivers coach at Arizona State, the systems were probably very similar,” Corp said.

“This last year (under Jeff Durden) was completely different for Kyle because it was more of a spread offense with some pro style throwing concepts. He wasn’t under center all the time like he was most of his first two years when it was more of a typical pro-style offense. But I think the different styles that Kyle has been exposed to is going to be an advantage at the next level.”

So too is the fact that Lauletta comes from a rich football background. His father, Joe, was a quarterback at Navy; his older brother, Trey, played center for Bucknell; his uncle, Lex, took snaps for Navy; another uncle, Lance, played his football at Bucknell; and his grandfather played football for the University of Delaware.

Corp said that Lauletta’s football family background helped put the rookie ahead of the class in term of his understanding of the game.

“From a coaching perspective, it was awesome. Kyle has been coached by other good coaches before me, but when I first started working with him, the thing that stood out is that he has such a quality knowledge of the game to where the stuff we’re talking about—it was like we’re speaking the same language even before I walked into the meeting room.

“The concepts I was communicating with him are upper level stuff, whereas with another guy who played high school football for four years and maybe had a couple years of experience as a college quarterback might not be as advanced in some of the game’s little things. You could tell Kyle has studied and been around the game a lot.”

Corp opined that between his family background and being exposed to different systems, Lauletta’s success for Richmond speaks volumes about the young man’s commitment to the game.

“A lot of times you come in and you get a different offensive coordinator and now you have to completely relearn everything, and that can throw off your progression as a player,” Corp said. “He kind of just took [the changes] in stride, and I think he progressively got better each year.

“I think that speaks to his knowledge and willingness to learn and the time it takes to put in the grasp the system he’s playing in. You can go learn another system and it can really stunt your growth a little bit, and for him, he just kept it in stride and kept moving.”

Corp described Lauletta as “a fiery competitor” who is “very intense and very in tune to what’s going on” around him.  When asked about what kind of passing game concepts he would recommend to Giants head coach Pat Shurmur to help optimize Lauletta’s strengths, Corp said.

“I think any play action or deep throws is something he’d be very good at. A post route—I think he completed a number of those for us last year—and anything where those safeties are coming down.

“Kyle has good ball mechanics where he can do a good play action fake and that’s always been good for him, and he’s also good throwing on the run. I think, to be honest, he’s going to excel at a lot of different things He really is a student of the game and he understands going through a progression, taking what the defense is giving to you, so as long as it’s a sound football play, he’s going to make it work.”

Corp disagreed with those scouting reports that claimed Lauletta lacked NFL-quality arm strength.

“He can throw the ball 65 yards which is pretty deep enough,” he said. “He’s not going to throw it 80 yards, like some guys can do, but he can throw it far enough, and he was able to make all the throws we asked him to do.

“The college hashes are wider, and he was able from one hash to make the long throw the long out-route or the long comeback route to the opposite side of the field fairly regularly. I think his arm strength will definitely translate to the NFL and I think he’ll be able to make all the throws.”

What will also help Lauletta as he transitions to the NFL are his instincts.

“He is very good at anticipating throws,” Corp said. “That comes down to the things he was studying in the film room. He lets the ball go fairly quickly, and that’s something that allows him to make some of those throws they ask him to make.”

With Lauletta presumably set to do battle with Davis Webb, last year’s third-round pick, for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart, Corp advised that people not sleep on Lauletta’s ambition.

“He is going to put in the effort behind the scenes and the one thing is that if he doesn’t get it right the first time, he’s going to do it until he gets it right if given the opportunity,” he said. “He doesn’t want to leave the field, the weight room or the practice session without getting something right. He’s very competitive that way.”

Lauletta, who earned a degree in business and leadership, is also very much a leader off the field. The Exton, Pennsylvania native co-founded the “Pass It On Program,” which donates new and gently used sports equipment to the Boys and Girls Club of Philadelphia. He also served as a part-time intern for the Commonwealth of Virginia’s state treasurer.

“He knows what he wants, and I think he’s taken to heart what being a quarterback and a leader is,” Corp said. “From a value standpoint, the Giants are getting someone that hopefully they can hang their hat on a couple years down the road.”