The New York Giants entered this offseason in need of depth at the wide receiver position. GM Joe Schoen addressed this need by adding veteran wide receivers Cole Beasley and Jamison Crowder and bringing back a healthy Sterling Shepard.
However, after adding Parris Campbell via free agency, drafting Jalin Hyatt, and trading for Darren Waller, New York created a steep competition for roster spots this summer.
Beasley and Crowder were impressive in their first preseason game
Beasley made his presence felt early in the Giants’ first preseason game against the Detroit Lions last week. In one of his first plays, he created tons of separation with a nifty spin move and burst of speed after the catch.
The 34-year-old would finish the game with a team-high four receptions with zero drops for 33 yards, showing that he can still provide valuable production out of the slot.
Crowder also had a solid performance, as he recorded two receptions, zero drops, and a total of 32 yards. It was an impressive performance for Crowder in his debut with Big Blue.
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Sterling Shepard may have to earn his spot back
Entering last season, the expectation was that Shepard was going to be Daniel Jones’ top receiving target. That was until a torn ACL ended his season prematurely in Week 3.
The injury history of Shepard, who is the longest-tenured player on the Giants, was a big reason why GM Joe Schoen and the front office wanted to bulk up the WR room.
Shepard may now be fighting to win his job back on a crowded depth chart this preseason. It will be paramount for Shepard to stay healthy and prove that he can remain a dependable player for the Giants.
The amount of experience Shepard has with the organization gives him some leverage in keeping his spot on the roster, but his role in the team’s offense could diminish rapidly, especially if he struggles to stay healthy.
Who will make the Giants’ final roster?
Given the amount of experience they have, Beasley and Shepard are the most likely candidates to earn a role in the Giants’ offense. Beasley could have an advantage in receiving playing time, given that he does not pose an injury risk. His performance in his first preseason game proved to the coaching staff that Beasley is still a dependable receiving option at this stage in his career. But that does not mean Shepard will be left off the roster entirely.
Shepard will likely still find his way on the roster and earn a considerable amount of playing time this season. However, he may struggle to play a consistent role in the offense after the team loaded up on skill position players this offseason.
It will be interesting to see how the Giants can split reps between this group of veteran receivers, but it is a good problem to have, considering the lack of depth they had last season.
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