As the New York Giants move forward through the offseason after finishing mini-camp, some players expect to see an increased role in the months ahead. Primary slot receiver Sterling Shepard is one of those players.
Shepard is the Giants’ go-to pass-catcher in the slot, providing a dearth of talent for Eli Manning to revert back to in the interior. Slot receivers usually expose shallow routes toward the middle of the field or the boundaries. That has been his calling calling card since his inception in the NFL in 2016.
Interestingly enough, Shepard has enjoyed a lot of work as a wide-out for the Giants this offseason. His role on the team is changing, and after the departure of Brandon Marshall, he might be expected to make a big jump in 2018. It’s also possible Cody Lattimer plays the exterior role as Shepard remains inside, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him begin to take on some of the league’s more experienced cornerbacks.
Shepard has enjoyed 330 snaps as an outside receiver – a bunch of them during the 2017 season where Odell Beckham Jr. and Marshall went down with injuries.
All 10 of the young receivers touchdowns have come from the slot, attesting to the narrative that coins him as a short yardage, crossing pass-catcher. Shepard believes he’s worth more and is out to prove his expanded value this season.
“That’s been that way since college,” Shepard said. “I feel like I’ve proven that I can play outside and just try to handle my business. I know that I can play outside, and we will soon see.”
Sterling has already racked up 1,141 yards on 124 receptions with 10 touchdowns in his two year career. With running support and a developing Evan Engram taking on a big role, he will get the opportunity to show his worth in more than just the slot.