The New York Giants have made significant strides in reconstructing their wide receiver unit this off-season, bringing aboard speedy talents like Parris Campbell and Jalin Hyatt. They also landed star tight end Darren Waller, who, due to his snap count and traditional roles, essentially functions as a wide receiver.
Giants: Better Positioned than 2022 but Facing Skepticism
The Giants’ current offensive lineup is markedly superior to their 2022 roster. Yet, some remain doubtful about the team’s capacity to perform at an elevated level, despite their offensive scheme exhibiting potential and entering its second phase under Brian Daboll’s first-year head coach tenure.
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Red Zone Improvement: A Sign of Optimism
There’s an optimistic aspect to consider: the substantial enhancement in the Giants’ red-zone performance. Although they ranked last in touchdown conversion rate in 2021, the team leaped to fifth-best offense in this regard last season under the guidance of Daboll and Mike Kafka.
However, it’s fair to note that this revamped unit has yet to demonstrate any output, prompting valid caution against overrating them prematurely.
Pro Football Focus’ Ranking: Giants’ Receivers Disappoint
Pro Football Focus has assigned a somewhat disappointing ranking to the Giants’ wide receiver corps.
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The Giants receiving room is deep, but the ceiling feels limited, at least compared to other teams. Isaiah Hodgins came on strong at the end of last season, earning a 74.5 receiving grade from Week 13 on. They also have Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard, and the newly-drafted Jalin Hyatt. Daniel Bellinger was a reliable tight end option but wouldn’t be categorized as a focal-point player. It’s a deep room that is still searching for its star WR1.
The Giants are endeavoring to fill the WR1 role with Waller, who has chalked up two seasons with over 1,100 receiving yards and reached a career-high nine touchdowns in 2020.
Waller’s Impact: Up-and-Down Career but 100% Ready
Granted, Waller’s career has been a roller-coaster ride due to injuries, but he’s now in full health and keen to contribute significantly to his new team, having been traded from the Las Vegas Raiders.
“I believe so. I always believe my best days are ahead of me. I still believe I have a lot left in the tank. And as long as I’m out there on the field and I’m available, I believe that great things are gonna happen,” Waller told The Post as minicamp ended.
Assessing the Giants’ wide receiver group without accounting for Waller would be a mistake, as he played over 60% of his snaps in the slot last year with the Raiders.
Speed, Field Expansion, and Success without Premium Receivers
The Giants are undoubtedly set to employ Waller similarly while also leveraging the exceptional speed they’ve added to their team. This speed will aid in stretching the field and excelling in crossing concepts.
Although the Giants lack a high-end receiver, the Kansas City Chiefs demonstrated in 2022 that this isn’t a prerequisite for success, securing a Super Bowl win without Tyreek Hill. A lot of that success can be attributed to Patrick Mahomes’ super-human talents.
Undeniably, possessing an elite pass-catcher simplifies matters, but the Giants are in a rebuilding phase and aiming to manage finances wisely. Nevertheless, they’re evidently moving in the right direction and committing to sensible contracts that won’t impede their future progress.