The New York Giants undertook a complete overhaul of their wide receiver corps this off-season, incorporating Parris Campbell, Jalin Hyatt, Jamison Crowder, and tight end Darren Waller, all of whom are anticipated to bolster the passing game significantly.
However, the Giants expended their 2022 second-round pick on nimble receiver, Wan’Dale Robinson. At 5’8″ and 185 pounds, Robinson participated in six games during his rookie season before succumbing to an ACL tear against the Detroit Lions in Week 11.
Despite entering the league with a clean health record from Kentucky, Robinson quickly fell victim to the brutal realities of the NFL and ill-fated luck.
Wan’Dale Robinson made an early impact for the Giants:
Out of 31 targets, Robinson secured 23 receptions, translating to a commendable 74.2% catch rate and a total of 227 yards. He also scored once, averaging 9.9 yards per reception.
At just 22 years old, Robinson is poised to play a significant part in the Giants’ offense going forward, notwithstanding the team’s addition of several slot contributors.
The decision to keep Sterling Shepard on a one-year veteran minimum deal, to sign Campbell and Crowder, and to draft Hyatt undeniably encourages competition.
Big Blue will benefit from an abundance of depth in the slot, although Robinson likely won’t return until after the first few weeks of the regular season, considering that ACL injuries typically necessitate around a year for a full recovery.
Armed with exceptional agility and a rapid change of direction, Robinson is projected to be a dynamic force in an offense that seamlessly blends West Coast and Spread concepts.
Examining his receiving range in 2022, Robinson predominantly caught his passes in the short portion of the field, 0–9 yards from the line of scrimmage. In fact, he secured 17 of his 23 receptions in that area, amassing 154 yards and a touchdown. He was targeted only five times 10–19 yards away from the line of scrimmage, indicating that his greatest impact is likely to be in the shallower regions of the field.
While retaining Darius Slayton and acquiring Hyatt infuses a considerable dose of speed into the Giants’ wide receiver unit, the team needs agile playmakers like Robinson to exploit space and take advantage of defensive backs retreating deeper into the secondary.
Although the ACL injury undoubtedly presents a significant hurdle in his comeback, Robinson is expected to make an immediate impact, particularly as more attention is diverted elsewhere. While he may not emerge as the breakout star of the full season, it wouldn’t be surprising if he made a significant impact in the latter half of the 2023 campaign, especially considering the Giants had begun to heavily utilize him in the red zone.