The New York Giants didn’t exactly replace the production of star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. when they signed Golden Tate to a four-year contract, but they’re putting together a solid foundation of offensive weapons.
In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Giants selected Auburn wideout, Darius Slayton, with the 171st pick. Slayton is a speedster, running a sub 4.4 40-yard dash, but in addition to his blazing speed, he’s an adequate blocker.
Slayton told reporters:
â€œThereâ€™s big-time running backs, so you obviously have to do a little more blocking probably in the SEC as opposed to the Pac-12. I feel like on the pro level, especially somewhere like the Giants when they have a back like Saquon (Barkley), you got to do your part and block for him, as well when it comes time to run routes and catch the ball, then do your own job. I think itâ€™s prepared me to come into this situation and be successful.”
To add to his impressive skill-set, Slayton is more than capable of running every route asked of him and doing it with quality.
â€œIâ€™m a complete player. I think through this process, I was fighting people putting me in a box as just a deep guy, or just a this guy, just a whatever guy. Just to have a complete game â€“ that I can run the full route tree, I can get in and out of breaks, as well as beat you deep with my speed. I think thatâ€™s the biggest thing I have to show as soon as I get there.”
Slayton racked up 670 yards and five touchdown catches at Auburn last season, which didn’t turn any heads but he’s certainly the type of quality the Giants are looking to bring in. He has the intangibles to be a leader and provide that positive locker-room influence fo his teammates.
Despite his positives, Slayton needs more refinement in man-coverage. His separation lacks at times, something he will certainly work on at the next level. At 6’1″, he has the height to contest jump balls and snag it out of the air.
Take a look at this clip against LSU standout corner, Greedy Williams.
— Fair Shake Football (@FairshakeFB) April 28, 2019
Great timing with the quarterback and come back on this route – he turns Greedy entirely and fights him off using his hands. At the next level, he might need to create more separation, but his eye-hand coordination is certainly there. There’s plenty of the optimism surrounding this young pass catcher.