With the acquisition of receiver Golden Tate, the New York Giants attempted to fill the role of Odell Beckham Jr., who was traded to the Cleveland Browns in a deal that shook the NFL.
Tate is the league’s top yards-after-catch receiver, but he’s not nearly as talented and explosive as Beckham, yet in the reality of the Giants offense, that might not be a bad thing. Often times, quarterback Eli Manning was found forcing the ball to Beckham and he would demand targets simply due to his electrifying nature.
The future of the offense for Big Blue is designed to burn time off the clock and maintain possession. Signing Tate and extending Sterling Shepard was a fantastic move, money aside. Both receivers can play in the interior and exterior, allowing head coach Pat Shurmur to move them around the field and create unpredictability.
It will ultimately allow Manning to spread the ball around the field without feeling the need to force the ball to one specific target. Shurmur’s scheme will finally open up and the possibilities will expand. However, there are several players fighting for starting roles on the receiver corps, so let’s see how the unit could shake out.
How will the New York Giants receiving corps look come September?
We can assume that Shepard and Tate will act as the No. 1 and 2 pass-catchers for the Giants, but beyond them, it’s a tossup. Personally, I feel that Corey Coleman can finally reach his potential and act as a true wideout. He only corralled five receptions for 71 yards in 2018, but he was featured mostly in a reserve role. With Beckham gone, Coleman has the opportunity to move up in the ranks.
I wouldn’t rule out Russell Shepard moving to the No. 3 spot, though, as he caught 10 balls for 188 yards and two touchdowns last season. He’s a solid red-zone threat in addition to his possession skills. Additionally, he averaged 18.8 yards-per-reception, compared to Coleman’s 14.2.
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It should be an interesting position battle between those two players — Coleman is a former first-round pick that has plenty of value on the offense, he just has to find a way to access it. Shepard is dependable in specific schemes but only featured a 52.6% catch-rate — Corey earned 62.5%.
Behind those two options, the Giants have draft pick Darius Slayton who apparently has feet for hands so far in OTAs. He has a lot of work to do before becoming a dependable receiver at the NFL level, however, he is extremely athletic and could develop into a solid target given a successful development.
Don’t forget about Cody Latimer. The five-year veteran played in just 6 games last year before succumbing to injury. He’s a talented player that can make contested catches. He’s mostly a deep-ball threat, but if healthy, he can easily steal the No. 3 job away from Coleman and Russell Shepard.
Latimer earned 11 catches for 190 yards and a score on a 68.8% catch-rate.
Predicting the Giants’ receiving corps:
1.) Sterling Shepard
2.) Golden Tate
3.) Cody Latimer
4.) Corey Coleman
5.) Russell Shepard
Comment your prediction below!