Is The NY Giants Receiving Corps Ready To Fly?

June 18, 2022

The NY Giants have been forever known as a power running team, hard-nosed, based on defense. The two latest Super Bowl runs (42/46) had the base running game with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. However, they showed they could also get it done in the air. Receivers Amani Toomer, Steve Smith, Victor Cruz, and Plaxico Burress shined to receive passes from legend Eli Manning. Although the NY Giants did win a Super Bowl in his tenure with the team, you cannot forget Odell Beckham, who probably would have re-written the leaderboard for receiving had he been kept around.

 The NY Giants have tried to beef up the receiving corps but have failed. High-priced free-agent pick-ups in Golden Tate and Kenny Golladay have not lived up to the contract. In addition, draft picks in Darius Slayton have shown inconsistent results. With second-year receiver Kardarius Toney attempting to stay healthy, the same with long-tenured Sterling Shepard, the Giants added rookie Wan’dale Robinson in hopes another shot of youth will spark some life into the passing game.

We take a look at what Daniel Jones has to throw to in 2022.

NY Giants WR Sterling Shepard

Shepard is the most tenured receiver on the team. He was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Plagued by concussions and other injuries, Shepard had his best year in 2018 when he tallied 66 catches for 872 yards and four touchdowns. A team leader has been a consistent target for his quarterback when on the field. He has 349 catches in his career for 3,884 yards and 21 touchdowns. If Shepard can stay healthy, he can be an excellent third-down safety valve for Daniel Jones, but I do not think the Giants will get much more out of him.

NY Giants WR Kenny Golladay

When you have a 6’4 218 pound receiver, you expect him to outmuscle, outjump a smaller defensive back to make a contested catch, correct? You expect it when you pay that same receiver $72 million over four years. Yet, that is what the NY Giants signed Golladay to on March 20th, 2021. They expected down-the-field contested catches and maybe some touchdowns. Instead, they got an oft-injured receiver who, in his first four games, had zero catches and tallied no touchdowns on the 37 receptions. Golladay, if healthy, can be what the Giants thought he would be. With new coach Brian Daboll and a new offensive coordinator, the Giants will throw the ball downfield, and Golladay can make himself a household name in New York.

NY Giants WR Darius Slayton

A fifth-round pick in 2019, Slayton and Daniel Jones developed some excellent chemistry in their respective rookie years. Slayton looked like a steal posting 48 catches for 740 yards and eight touchdowns. He showed a unique ability to get behind the defense, and Jones found him. Expectations were sky-high in 2020, and Slayton put up very similar numbers (50/751/3). Unfortunately, he seemed to regress last year, posting a 26/339/2 season with six dropped balls. This regression puts the Giants in a precarious position because Slayton is due $2.5 million in salary. If the Giants choose to cut him, they save all that towards the cap. They only gain $58,000 in dead money, so even though Slayton has looked good at OTA’s, the possibility looms large that he may become a salary cap casualty.

NY Giants WR Kadarius Toney

Toney was selected 20th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. He started the season on the COVID-19/Reserved list and ended the season on the same list. In the middle, he put up 39 catches for 420 yards. When the Giants got him the ball in space, Toney was electric. There is no doubt about his talent, but the questions remain about his durability and commitment to the NFL as an aspiring music star.

NY Giants WR Wan’Dale Robinson

The 43rd pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Robinson is essentially Kadarious Toney, only about an inch shorter and fifteen pounds lighter. The Giants can use him the same way they use Toney and be successful. He is fast, shifty in space, just downright hard to find. He and Toney on the field at the same time will create the kind of mismatches the Giants will need to be successful in the passing game.