Can the Giants get WR1 production from TE Darren Waller?

new york giants, darren waller

After pulling off a blockbuster trade for star tight end Darren Waller, the New York Giants seem to still be in the market for a true number-one wide receiver. The Giants have been meeting with the 2023 NFL Draft’s top receiving prospects. But with Waller, a dynamic receiver from the tight end position, now in the fold, do the Giants still need that top wide receiver? Or could they get WR1 production out of Waller?

Can Darren Waller be the Giants’ WR1?

Few tight ends in the NFL pose a greater threat as a receiver than Darren Waller. During his time with the Raiders, Waller established himself as one of the most dynamic players in the league at his position. Rarely do tight ends surpass 1,000 receiving yards in a single season, yet, Waller achieved this feat in back-to-back years.

Waller posted over 1,100 receiving yards in 2019 and 2020. After hauling in 107 receptions for 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns in 2020, Waller was selected to the Pro Bowl and established himself as a true offensive weapon. Injuries have gotten in the way the past two seasons, however, it is still obvious how much receiving talent Waller possesses when he is on the field.

During the 2022 season, the Las Vegas Raiders’ new coaching staff moved Waller all over the field. In fact, Waller primarily lined up as a slot receiver in Raiders HC Josh McDaniel’s offense:

Darren Waller receiving alignment in 2022 (According to Pro Football Focus, per PFF):

  • Inline TE: 17.4%
  • Wide: 20%
  • Slot: 61.9%

Waller (1,476) ranked second among tight ends in receiving yards from the slot or wide alignments from 2019-2020, per Next Gen Stats. The Giants didn’t just trade for an elite tight end in Darren Waller this offseason. They also acquired a premiere receiving threat with the potential to post numbers comparable to a WR1.

The New York Giants may still be in the market for a WR1, however, Darren Waller has the potential to produce at a similar level in Brian Daboll’s high-flying offense.

For more on how Darren Waller might fit into the Giants’ offense, check out the video below:

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