Last season, New York Giants receiver John Ross mightâ€™ve been starting Week 1, but now heâ€™s simply fighting for a roster spot at the back-end of the unit. A lot has happened over the past few months. The Giants bolstered the offense, adding Kenny Golladay and Kadarius Toney to the WR corps.
With only two spots left for the taking, several receivers are gunning for a chance to land on the 53 man active roster. Itâ€™s coming down to Ross, Dante Pettis, David Sills, Austin Mack, and CJ Board.
Ross, Sills, and Board have looked the best thus far during camp, but with only two of the three having real NFL experience, the Giants have a tough decision to make with Sills, who is a traditional wideout dominating in the red zone during specific drills.
The former West Virginia standout has five touchdowns during training camp, the most of any receiver up to this point. He has looked great with his route running and creating separation, including solid vertical hops to leap over defenders.
Head coach Joe Judge raved about Sills, who’s making a strong case for a roster spot:
â€œSills is a guy who does everything you ask and he does it 100 percent,â€ head coach Joe Judge told reporters on Friday. â€œHeâ€™s definitely a guy youâ€™ve got to tell, â€˜Hey, slow it down a little bit.â€™ This guyâ€™s commitment off the field in terms of what heâ€™s done in the offseason, basically this guy followed Daniel around the country. Wherever Daniel was, he was going to be there to catch passes. Thatâ€™s someone who you can tell has really invested in himself to give every shot he has.
The issue here is that both Ross and Board are capable of featuring on special teams. Board is a starting punt gunner and average receiver. That is enough for him to land a roster spot. With only one remaining, Ross is also capable of being a kick returner but has plenty of competition in the category, with Jabrill Peppers and Kadarius Toney taking reps.
Ross has two avenues to securing a roster spot: either he can flash talent as a punt returner during preseason or he can make an impact as a gadget player with jet motions and pre-snap movement.
If the Giants feel as though they can deploy him in unique ways, different than a traditional receiver like Sills, he could provide more value. The team would likely place Sills on the practice squad anyway, but that would enable an alternative team to snag him.
Based on Board’s ability as a gunner, I believe he has a spot locked down, but with Pettis missing time the past few days due to an injury, he has fallen behind in the race. It is quite intriguing to see so much talent fighting for backend positions. Pettis not making the roster should attest to how strong the wide receiver unit looks this season.