East Rutherford, NJ – The New York Giants have a lot Skill In their skill positions this year, with the wide receiver being the deepest group on the offensive depth chart, also a question mark around the league.
Their wide receiver may not contain the cutting-edge talent that the running back and tight end do on this team, but they have far more depth at wide receiver than almost any position on their roster. This is a great situation to be in in general, but it will be interesting to track exactly how this room is rocked.
Concludes Why The Giants have a stock wide receiver talent that isn’t exactly complicated. They didn’t have much production from this position last season. Saquon Barkley led the team in both receptions and goals, Richie James was the only wide receiver with 50+ receptions, and Sterling Shepherd and Wan Dale Robinson both suffered season-ending injuries in 2022.
Robinson remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list, but beyond that, the Giants team, which also includes re-signed Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins, free agent signings Jamison Crowder, Parris Campbell and Cole Beasley, and third-round pick Jalin Hyatt, are available. so far. Shepard is moving well coming out of a torn ACL that ended his 2022 season in Week 3, winning a handful of one-on-one Tuesday against the minor league giants that feature huge investments between drafting and free agency.
Shepard, easily the taller giant of the bunch, has the opportunity to play a big role on this team as they sort out the types of receivers they want to hire on their offense. Shepherd will likely remain in the slot, as he has played for the majority of his NFL career.
“Shep continues to put together really good workdays,” said Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. “He’s growing within the system; he’s doing a good job with rehab, rehab and running.”
Kafka is entering his second year with the Giants and he will be as important as anyone in terms of moving this receiving team in the right direction. Kafka and the Giants face an interesting challenge in terms of developing a life they have chosen outside of Tennessee. The Volunteer offense is one of the most prevalent in college football—one that doesn’t really exist in the NFL. Hyatt’s great playing ability on the field gives the team another deep threat to pair with Slayton, but it could take some time to develop into this player.
“When we went through a process of exploring with him and identifying the things we thought he did well,” Kafka said of his speedy apprentice. “So, just putting him in those positions rather inside and out – all different areas of attack that we can get him into, so he’s one of those players who, again, is growing and developing a role for himself and trying to do what’s best for him.”
Any collapse of Giants passing catchers that doesn’t feature Pro Bowl-caliber tight end Darren Waller is incomplete. Waller won’t spend all of his time detached, but he’s a moving chess piece that starts and completes the Giants’ potentially renovated receiving room. Waller is the oddity in this group—no other receiver can match his combination of size, speed, and cutting ability at this point. Having Waller as a force of attraction creates a barrier where the rest of the Giants’ wide receivers can focus on doing what they do best.
Waller is a do-it-all weapon, guys like Slayton and Hyatt are more than vertical threats, Hodgins is a physical receiver who isn’t afraid of contact, and Shepard and Beasley are typical slot receivers. Quarterback Daniel Jones isn’t just a huge fan of the diverse talents the team has acquired, but he believes it’s important to have different skill sets to approximate what’s possible for the Giants offense.
“I think we have a variety of players that do different things,” Jones said, “and I think (head coaches Brian Dabul and Kafka) and all of our offensive staff are doing a really good job of building what we do to our guys’ skill set and what they’re good at. We did that last year and we did that.” This year too so far.”
A few players on the Giants roster are booked at wide receiver areas, but for those who aren’t, special teams may boost their chances of actually playing for the team.
“You’d like to think (special teams) are very important, especially when it comes to the fifth and sixth guys,” said special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey. “You only get 46 players on game days. Everyone has to contribute in one way or another.”
McGaughey noted that certain body types lead to certain spots being featured on special teams.
“They’re all different,” McGaughey said. “Depending on position and body type, sometimes you know you have a big guy who’s 6-5, 230 pounds who can play safety or linebacker. Then you have a real fast guy who might be a small with some running back skills. Maybe he can play as a baseman or gunner. – It just depends on the man and the type of body.
McGaughey joked that fans shouldn’t expect to see Waller on special teams, but Hyatt plays a role as a running back as the preseason progresses.
It’s a crowded wide receiver for the Giants that lacks star power, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing — and the coaching staff will have plenty of opportunities to showcase the group’s wide range of skills and accomplishments as New York tries to make it back to the playoffs.