Wide receivers could be a make or break position for the New York Giants this year, as the team attempts to bounce back from the disaster of a 2018 season with a very different looking roster. Some of the biggest changes are at the position of wide receiver, where they moved on from star wideout Odell Beckham Jr. There’s various players stepping up to fill the missing role of Beckham, and the Giants could either be a deeper team at receiver or they could suffer from poor performances.
It all depends on how a few players manage to do, and whether or not they live up to the expectations set for them.
“I feel like last season with Odell going out for those last [four] games kind of prepared me for what I was going to get into. The season before that as well with him going down with an ankle injury. I feel like it prepared me for this moment,” Sterling Shepard, who received a large contract extension soon after the Beckham trade, told the New York Post.
Shepard will have a larger role than he’s ever had before with the Giants, after signing a deal that’s worth $41M and four years. The deal, however, also comes with larger expectations that Shepard has ever had – and may force him to perform with more passes coming his way than before, as his role shifts from that of a clear number two receiver.
Shepard isn’t the only player the Giants are counting on, though. Cody Latimer has the potential to have a breakout year after getting healthy, and looks confident going into this season, claiming the team can be dominant at the position.
“Anybody can get the ball. You’re open, you don’t get it, that means somebody else is getting it and you’re hoping they make a play. We got an unselfish room in there. We don’t really care or actually don’t talk about it at all, who’s getting the ball,” Latimer stated. “It’s a group effort. The group can be dominant, period.”
Is Latimer right? That will depend on a number of factors, including play at both receiver and quarterback. The Giants do have the pieces to be one of the better offenses in the division, but as seen last season, putting together a new group of players in the starting lineup for the first time doesn’t always have the intended effect. When the preseason comes around in a couple of months, we’ll get a first look at just how well this group should mesh together on the field.