The New York Giants may not have found themselves an elite wide receiver this offseason, but they still did add a dynamic playmaker to their receiving game. Darren Waller may be listed as a tight end, but he has the ability to provide true WR1 value to the Giants’ offense.
How the Giants can get WR1 value out of Darren Waller:
The Giants acquired Waller via trade this offseason in a blockbuster move that gives their offense the dynamic receiving threat it was missing. Despite the fact that Waller is a tight end, he could still provide the offense with similar value to that of a top-tier wide receiver.
Throughout his career, Waller has played a versatile role on offense. He has played an only 44.6% of his career snaps in line with 31.7% of his snaps from the slot and 23.1% out wide. NFL Live’s Dan Olovsky recently highlighted the impact that Waller’s versatility will have on the offense to the New York Post.
“You can’t say Waller is going to play tight end,” Orlovsky said to the New York Post. “That’s where he will be on the roster, but they will use him like the Raiders did two years ago or like Kansas City uses Kelce. They will make sure they create the matchups for him. He is the do-it-all pass-catcher for the offense.”
Last season, the Raiders actually had Waller align primarily in the slot.
Darren Waller receiving alignment in 2022 (According to Pro Football Focus, per PFF):
- Inline TE: 17.4%
- Wide: 20%
- Slot: 61.9%
He may be listed as a tight end, but Waller is truly capable of far more than his position designation suggests. From 2019 to 2020, Waller was considered a top-three tight end in the NFL. He totaled 1,145 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 and 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020, respectively.
According to Next Gen Stats, Waller ranked second among tight ends in receiving yards from the slot or wide alignments those seasons, totaling 1,476 yards as a receiver.
The key to implementing Waller into an offense is to emphasize his versatility and align him all over the field. This will allow him to produce WR1 value for the Giants this season.