Not much went well for the New York Giants against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. New York suffered a 28-10 defeat, dropping them to 2-3 on the season. Big Blue’s defense gave up 490 total yards, while the offense recorded just 211. The offensive line allowed four sacks, and RB Wayne Gallman left the game early with a concussion. It was clear the Giants weren’t as good as we thought they were. Very few positives came out of the defeat, but there was one player who shined. Rookie WR Darius Slayton broke through and had the best game of his young career.
Why Darius Slayton was the bright-spot of the loss against Minnesota:
He was the leading receiver of the game
Rookie QB Daniel Jones threw for a career-low 182 yards in his third start on Sunday. Fellow rookie Darius Slayton contributed 62 of those yards on four catches. He led the entire team in receiving yards for the day. He also scored the only touchdown of the day for Big Blue.
He is already proving to be a steal
Slayton was drafted in the fifth round of this past year’s draft, lower than many thought he should have gone. There were concerns about how good his hands were, something vital to success as a receiver. He was profiled as a big-body speedster who could run the deep route. His 4.39 second 40-yard-dash and 6’1″ frame proved he had the athleticism and size to be a great player in the NFL.
Through three games this year, Slayton has looked like a steal. He has averaged 17.4 yards per catch, the fourth-most of any rookie receiver. He also has tallied 157 receiving yards, the ninth-most of any rookie. He has had three plays go for more than twenty yards. For the eighteenth receiver selected in last year’s draft, he has been outstanding.
He is the deep threat the team has been missing for years
Perhaps most importantly, Slayton showed on Sunday that he has a skill the Giants have missed for years – the ability to catch the deep ball. In the second quarter, Slayton caught a 37-yard-pass from Jones for a touchdown. It was the Giants’ first passing touchdown that traveled more than 35 yards through the air since 2015.
Having an offense with players that thrive off of quick-passes (Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate), Slayton’s skillset becomes that more valuable. The ability to push the ball downfield opens up an entirely different part of the playbook. Through Slayton’s first three games, it looks like the Giants have found their deep-threat.