Giants’ veteran wide receiver eyeing top-dog status

Korey Cunningham, new york giants
(from left) New York Giants tackle Korey Cunningham (79), wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) and quarterback Jake Fromm (17) celebrate Slayton's touchdown catch in the second half. The Giants lose to Washington, 22-7, at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. Nyg Vs Was

Since Odell Beckham Jr.’s departure in 2019, the New York Giants have been grappling with a void for a genuine No. 1 wide receiver. No Giants receiver has exceeded 1,000 yards in a season since Beckham’s achievement in 2018. Despite this, Darius Slayton believes he’s ready to step up.

Slayton’s Stint with the Giants

Slayton, who re-signed with the Giants on a 2-year $12 million contract this offseason, has been the go-to receiver for the Giants for the majority of his tenure. He led the team in receiving in three of his first four seasons, albeit without ever surpassing the 800-yard mark.

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A Pool of Talent

In a conversation with Ryan Dunleavy of The New York Post, Slayton hinted that his unremarkable statistics could be attributed to the plethora of talent surrounding him.

Reflecting on his teammates, Slayton said, “You see this guy for 1,010 (yards) or see a guy go for 100 yards every week, and you go, ‘He’s really good.’ Some of these guys play with nobody. I play with Saquan (Barkley). Where do you think the ball is going first? Not me.”

Confidence in the Face of Competition

Slayton is part of a training camp brimming with receiver talent, including Sterling Shephard and Wan’Dale Robinson returning from season-ending injuries, Isaiah Hodgins, and fresh faces like Parris Campbell, Jamison Crowder, and third-round pick Jaylin Hyatt. Despite the crowded field, Slayton remains confident in his ability to be the top option in the Giants’ offense.

“I believe in myself. I believe in my ability. I believe in the work I put in the offseason,” Slayton said. “Whether we add 10 guys, whether we add all of you guys, I believe I’ll find my way on the field.”

The Road Ahead

As training camp opens later this month, it will be interesting to observe how Slayton fares against his fellow receivers. Gaining the trust of Head Coach Brian Daboll will be crucial for Slayton in his pursuit of becoming the top wide receiver he aspires to be.