New York Giants: Darius Slayton’s stock dropping with every passing week

New York Giants, Darius Slayton
Dec 27, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Darius Slayton (86) cannot catch a pass in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the 2020 season, most believed the New York Giants‘ wide receiver Darius Slayton would make a significant jump. So far this season, Slayton has struggled to improve his route running and hands, completing just 52.2% of his attempted catches.

On the year, he has 729 yards and three touchdowns, down from his 2019 statistics, where he posted 740 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Giants’ offense has been struggling all year to get things going, and Darius hasn’t been the only disappointing player. Offensive playcalling has been lackluster from Jason Garrett, following a disappointing year from Pat Shurmur and his schematics.

Quarterback Daniel Jones has suffered through multiple injuries, including a pulled hamstring and left ankle issue, which has kept him out of two games this year so far. Against the Baltimore Ravens this past weekend, the Giants posted just 13 points, totaling 26 over the last three games. If there’s any indication of lackluster performance, it is that statistic. Jones has only thrown for nine touchdown passes this year, indicating poor efficiency in the red zone, but an uptick in running the football has been a major cause for his minimal production.

Who’s to blame for the New York Giants’ inept on offense?

Jason Garrett is to blame for most of the Giants’ issues, but we can’t forget about the playmakers and their inability to separate on routes. It seems as if their opponents know what is coming on any given play, just take a look at the clip below, as Slayton lines up in man coverage, and the cornerback brakes on the slant and nearly causes a turnover.

Whether it be Jones staring down his receivers and avoiding reads on the opposite side of the field, or Slayton’s poor sell on the route, things aren’t clicking. Slayton’s decreasing efficiency makes acquiring a wide receiver this upcoming off-season a necessity.

Whether it be a free agent or draft prospect, the Giants would benefit from adding an elite route runner to their receivers’ core. For example, let’s say they manage to grab Allen Robinson in free agency, pairing him with a dynamic slot receiver like Sterling Shepard, and deep threat like Slayton would completely open up the field.

With Saquon Barkley also expected to be back in 2021, the offense could be entirely different. However, it starts with the play calling and route concepts, which are criminally undeveloped and predictable.

Following back up on Slayton, I believe he’s lacking confidence, and when Jones is staring him down on slants and the only opportunities he gets downfield are in man-coverage and not exposing cover-2, his abilities are limited. It’s tough to say, but Shurmur actually utilized this offense more adequately, and he was bad from what we remember.