The New York Giants traded for dynamic TE Darren Waller this offseason, hoping to add an explosive 1,000-yard receiver to their offense. Waller already appears to be a game-changing presence in the lineup this preseason, but his dominance is overshadowing the potential breakout of another Giants’ playmaker. Veteran WR Darius Slayton is primed for a big 2023 season and could be a sneaky candidate to top 1,000 receiving yards.
Could Giants WR Darius Slayton crack 1,000 receiving yards in 2023?
In 2022, Slayton was the Giants’ leading receiver, totaling 724 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games. He made only 11 starts, though, as injuries held him back from playing a large role for several weeks of the season. If not for the injury, Slayton was on pace to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career.
This season, Slayton could get back on track and reach that elusive 1,000-yard mark. Despite no longer being the No. 1 receiving target in the Giants’ offense, Slayton still has the potential to have a career year.
Waller will soak up double teams in New York’s offense as opposing defenses focus and attempt to slow him down. This will create more one-on-one opportunities for Slayton this season, affording him more playmaking opportunities than ever before.
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Slayton has worked hard, improved his hands this offseason
This offseason, Slayton worked closely with WR Coach Drew Lieberman to sharpen his skills. Particularly, Slayton and Lieberman worked on improving the receiver’s hands, attempting to get rid of any drops from his game going forward.
Slayton’s goal this offseason was to become a “ball stopper.” He and Lieberman worked tirelessly to make that dream a reality.
“He kind of came to me with this,” Lieberman shared during an interview with Fireside Giants. “He’s like, ‘You know, I’ve been watching film, and the best pass-catchers I see, the ball stops when it touches their hands. Like Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Mohammed Sanu, Julio Jones, some of the best ball catchers you can think of, the ball just stops.’”
In 2023, with less pressure on his shoulders to carry the Giants’ receiving game, Slayton will have an opportunity to put together the most productive season of his career. He may not be the leading candidate to crack 1,000 yards with Waller in town. But if both Waller and Slayton stay healthy and play at a high level this season, the 1,000-yard benchmark could be reached by both players.