New York Giants: Can Darius Slayton be a WR1 for the Giants?

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants could elect to invest in a wide receiver in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, however, they have plenty of talent at the position they should be confident in.

Second-year player Darius Slayton is one of the pass-catchers who I believe can develop into a WR1 for the Giants, who are looking to make up the lost production ever since Odell Beckham Jr. was traded to the Cleveland Browns.

Slayton’s inception into the NFL was rocky coming out of Auburn. He started rookie camp dropping everything in sight, instantly starting off on a bad note with the coaching staff. However, he picked up his performance and went on to establish himself as one of the best rookie pass-catchers in the league, as a fifth-round pick. initially graded him as a good backup or chance to become a starter, noting his speed and potential to dominate the route tree. His biggest knock was his inability to create separation in man coverage, but he showed that he can make plays against NFL-level corners and produce on offense.

The question now is:

Can the New York Giants find a WR1 in Darius Slayont?

Let’s start off with a simple play that generalizes Slayton’s ability as a wideout.

Slayton runs this slot vertical route perfectly, beating both the cornerback and deep safety with his blazing speed. This is why the Giants drafted Slayton in the first place — note Daniel Jones’ absolute dime of a throw.

In this clip, Slayton runs a comeback route in the middle of the field after directing Sterling Shepard at the line of scrimmage. This is a route Slayton rarely experienced at Auburn, so we can already see his development in the firs quarter of the season.

Next up is a quality deep IN route that finds Slayton with ample space on the sideline to make the grab. Just from the three clips mentioned, we can see that Slayton pieces together an extremely diverse route tree combination in week three of the regular season. We can already justify that his potential is far greater than previously anticipated, based on his progress from vertical and bubble screens.

I anticipate the Giants continuing to test and challenging him in the passing game in 2020. Having pieced together 740 yards and eight scores last year, he has the capabilities to become a WR1, however his floor so far is a quality WR2.

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