Giants’ Mike Kafka has big plans for Darren Waller in 2023

darren waller, new york giants
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) reacts against the Miami Dolphins during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka has big plans for the team’s biggest offseason acquisition. After pulling off a blockbuster trade for tight end Darren Waller, the Giants are mapping out ways to creatively incorporate the versatile talent into their offense. In a recent appearance on the Giants Huddle Podcast, Kafka shed some light on the exciting plans he has for Waller in Big Blue’s offense.

Mike Kafka has big plans for Darren Waller in the Giants’ offense

Adding speed and athleticism to the Giants’ offense was a priority for general manager Joe Schoen this offseason. Along with Waller, New York also added speedy receivers, Parris Campbell and Jalin Hyatt. When asked about Waller’s speed, Kafka expressed excitement about the tight end’s ability to attack all three levels of the field.

“Yeah, he’s a tremendous athlete,” Kafka said on the Giants Huddle Podcast. “He makes you defend really all the depth of the field and width of the field. He can get over the second level and work second-level defenders. He can get into the third level because he has tremendous athletic ability and speed.”

One knock on Waller in the past has been his lack of strength and efficiency as a blocker. Kafka has a different opinion, however, listing Waller’s run-blocking capabilities as a strength.

“He is a really good blocker too, so you can get him in the mix in the run game,” Kafka said.

One of Waller’s most exciting attributes is his versatility. Despite being listed as a tight end, Waller frequently aligns as a receiver both in the slot and on the outside. Waller (1,476) ranked second among tight ends in receiving yards from the slot or wide alignments from 2019-2020, per Next Gen Stats.

Waller’s ability to lineup all over the offense will give Big Blue opportunities to create matchup advantages. As Kafka describes, “[Waller] adds an element that gives the offense a little bit of an edge to move him around and mix and match him with different matchups.”

Kafka is planning to get creative with his newest talent. Despite being listed as a tight end, Waller has the ability to produce like a No. 1 receiver in New York’s offense. If Kafka’s recent comments are any indicator, Waller’s athleticism and versatility will be put on full display during the 2023 season.