New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman has racked up a number of controversial moves so far during his time in the position, but one of the decisions that’s definitely been a hit instead of a miss has been the choice to draft Darius Slayton.
The Giants ended up with a player that was considered a steal but was only supposed to play a role in the rotation of receivers, but what they got in the end was a rising star who led the team in receiving after stepping up for Sterling Shepard when the more experienced veteran had concussion troubles.
Slayton racked up 8 touchdowns and was one of the reasons Daniel Jones was able to have a breakout season even with some of his top weapons having trouble staying on the field last season. According to Bleacher Report, that makes his contract the one that has the best value for the team.
Slayton provided the Giants with something they didn’t previously have on the roster: an outside threat. Veterans Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard are more effective working out of the slot, whereas Slayton is a slightly bigger target (6’1″, 190 lbs.) with the ability to stretch the field and demand safety help… The thought of Slayton’s continued development as New York’s WR1 without a salary-cap number over $1.02 million at any point during the next three seasons is exciting.
The Giants have been mocked to select Ja’Marr Chase for the 2021 Draft by a number of sources so far, and Chase has an impressive resume as the top receiver in the country during LSU’s championship season. However, depending on Slayton’s performance this year, they may not need a receiver enough to draft one with their first pick.
Slayton will face tougher competition this season, of course, as opponents learn more about his playing style and realize that they need to scheme against him to neutralize his threat rather than dismissing him as an inexperienced rookie. But his destiny largely rests in his own hands.
The team is getting a great value out of his contract and if he can keep it up, the Giants will likely have no problems rewarding his good play with further time in the spotlight as one of their top weapons.
The gap left by Odell Beckham Jr. at receiver was noticeable coming into last season. But for now, it still remains to be seen whether that gap will be filled by Slayton or Shepard or someone else entirely.