By Michael Stewart/@TheTruthNYG
This will be part 2 in an 11 part series as we spotlight the wide receivers for the Giants. This off season, GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Joe Judge embarked in improving the talent and production level at the wide receiver position and their efforts were rewarded with two free agent signings of Kenny Golladay and John Ross and their 1st round selection of Kadarius Toney after a trade back with the Chicago Bears. Although we could see changes before the start of training camp; let’s take a look at the projected starters, backups and long shot receivers by opening day.
- Kenny Golladay: Golladay gives the Giants offense a much needed security blanket and a reliable weapon that should garner attention from opposing secondary’s. Golladay’s main presence will be in the red zone as the Giants have struggled in that category for the past several seasons.
- Darius Slayton: Slayton had a solid rookie season and started out strong in 2020, but faltered in the 2nd half of the season as many believed Slayton was playing with an injury. When healthy, Slayton is a vertical threat that should improve with the presence of Golladay on the other side of the field.
- Sterling Shepard: Shepard was the Giants most reliable receiver in 2020 and their best blocker as well. However; Shepard could see his snaps drop a bit as well as Slayton is healthy and with the arrival of Kadarius Toney.
- Kadarius Toney: The Giants made a bold move in the draft by trading back with the Bears for additional picks in the 2022 draft. The selection of Toney gives OC Jason Garrett a fun gadget to work with and create specific plays for him at various positions (outside, slot, backfield). Garrett could even put a few wild cat formation plays in for Toney as he did play quarterback in high school.
- John Ross: Ross is arguably the fastest receiver for the Giants and that will be his role for the majority of his snaps. Ross is most effective stretching field; which will create more space for the other receivers. Ross should see about 10-15% of the offensive snaps.
- Dante Pettis: Pettis was signed mid-season in 2020 and improved as the season progressed. Pettis skill set is worthy, but he is not a lock to make the roster as he needs to have a solid camp to make the final roster.
Long Shots (Outside Looking In)
- David Sills: The Giants coaching staff likes Sills overall game and he has the best chance among this group to make the final roster. Sills has good size, hands and can play on special teams.
- C. J Board: The Giants re-signed Board to compete for a roster spot on special teams. Board didn’t overly impress in 2020 and would need to have an outstanding training camp to make the final roster and even that may not be enough.
- Austin Mack: Mack was an UDFA signee in 2020 and split his time in 2020 on the practice squad and on the game day roster. Mack would need a monstrous camp to make the roster or he could find himself back on the practice squad.
- Derrick Dillon: If there’s anyone who can challenge Ross in a race, it’s Derrick Dillon. Dillon was also a UDFA signing in 2020 and spent the majority of his time on the practice squad. The odds are stacked heavily against him to make the final roster.
- Alex Bachman: Bachman became a fan favorite in 2020 as he had a very impressive camp, but failed to make the final roster and was regulated to the practice squad. Bachman could suffer the same fate this year as well as there’s too much talent ahead of him.
Over the past several seasons the Giants final rosters before opening day produced no more than 6 wide receivers as last season saw only 5 making the final roster. Again, we are still a long way from training camp and opening day and with many teams preparing to make cuts in their rosters; the Giants might be tempted to claim one if they feel the talent is too high to pass up. What was once considered a weak link in the Giant’s offense in past seasons is now arguably their most talented position in 2021.
GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Joe Judge did their part in providing Quarterback Daniel Jones the weapons he needs to succeed. Now it’s up to Jones to convince the Giants organization that he is their Quarterback of the future.