The New York Giants‘ third-round investment to trade for star tight end Darren Waller certainly made headlines, but the rise of second-year player Daniel Bellinger must not be overlooked.
A Strong Rookie Year: Bellinger’s Impressive Impact
During his rookie season, Bellinger made a substantial impact when he was fit, enduring a significant setback with a fractured eye socket suffered against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. Despite the injury, he only sat out four weeks before returning to the field against the Washington Commanders, taking part in 97% of offensive snaps.
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Promising Stats: Bellinger’s Rookie Season Performance
Bellinger’s inaugural professional season saw him amass 268 yards and three total touchdowns, impressively maintaining an 85.7% catch rate. The San Diego State alum is lauded for his superior run-blocking skills but has also demonstrated strong capabilities in the passing game.
Kudos from the Best: Kittle’s Endorsement
One of football’s elite tight ends, George Kittle, has given Bellinger a positive review. Such endorsement from a player of Kittle’s stature solidifies Bellinger’s position in the team and suggests his potential for future growth.
In conclusion, while the addition of Darren Waller is undoubtedly significant, the continued development of Daniel Bellinger could also prove instrumental for the Giants’ offense.
“I like Bellinger out of the Giants,” Kittle said. “I think he’s a good tight end, does a lot of good stuff.”
Looking ahead to his second year, Daniel Bellinger and Darren Waller could form a formidable partnership from the tight-end position.
Waller: A Proven Receiver
Waller is renowned for his receiving skills, modeling his gameplay after the likes of AJ Green. With two seasons exceeding 1,100 receiving yards, including a haul of nine touchdowns in 2020, Waller has firmly established his reputation.
What the Giants are aiming for is wide receiver one (WR1) output from the former Raider, albeit from a slightly different role. Interestingly, Waller spent a significant proportion of his snaps last year in the slot, away from the in-line TE position.
Bellinger: Underneath Security and Run Game Purpose
That in-line TE role will be primarily occupied by Bellinger, who can serve dual purposes: a significant contributor in the run game and a reliable “security blanket” underneath for quarterback Daniel Jones.
Learning from the Best: Bellinger’s Participation in Tight End University
Bellinger has been a regular at the annual Tight End University program, soaking up knowledge from some of the game’s finest. He’s been actively learning from Waller, striving to improve and make substantial developmental strides.
The potential combination of Bellinger and Waller at the tight end position could add a new dynamic to the Giants’ offense, bringing much-needed versatility and depth to their game.
“Really, it’s the same thing I do with Darren (Waller),” Bellinger said. “Just sit down with those guys and, again, pick their brain. I can watch their film all day, kind of try to mimic what they do on the field. At the same time, I have to kind of create my own way of doing it. Really just trying to think about how they think and their process when they’re on the field before play.”