New York Giants: Da’Mari Scott Opts Out As Season Stands On Shaky Ground

The NFL is making its best effort to continue as usual with the 2020 season, but around the time of training camp, things aren’t off to a great start. No New York Giants members have tested positive for COVID-19, but two players have already opted out and the Giants aren’t the only team to have players leave so far.

The second opt out is Da’Mari Scott, a wide receiver whose absence won’t be significant to the Giants one way or another. Scott only has a couple of career receptions and previously bounced around between the Browns and Bills after going undrafted. It’s not the on the field impact that makes Scott’s withdrawal significant, though.

The current situation

While Nate Solder is the first player to opt out, Scott is the first one to do so without having a clear reason – at least a reason that’s visible to the public. Solder chose to opt out to protect the health of his son, while Scott is opting out for a reason that isn’t so clear and is joining a number of other players doing the same thing around the league.

Players opting out, such as Scott, is a trend going around the league rather than something exclusive to the Giants. Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley, Chiefs running back Damien Williams, eight players on the New England Patriots, and Packers receiver Devin Funchess are among those that opted out so far.

And Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for the virus, which throws things into question for one of the teams in the Giants’ division. It’s only the offseason right now, after all. What’s going to happen is players and coaches around the league start coming down with the virus during the season?

We can all hope for the 2020 season to happen – after waiting through free agency and the draft, all of us want to see how the Giants actually do with their new look and new additions. However, the situation isn’t going to look good headed into the season if more personnel around the league come down with the virus and if more players opt out.

After all, the first thing needed to play the game is players and coaches, and replacing talent isn’t easy in a high level league such as the NFL.

Debate: Should the New York Giants take a WR at 4?

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

As the NFL season comes to a close, fans of the New York Giants have already begun speculating moves that their beloved team should do this offseason.  Something that has become all too familiar over the last few seasons.

One position of intrigue and debate is wide receiver.  After trading away Odell Beckham Jr. and being thin at the position, many wonders if the Giants will take an elite receiver at the top of this April’s NFL Draft.  Others, on the other hand, believe this would be a mistake. Which side are you on?

Making the case for a WR in Round 1

With the 4th overall pick in hand and considering the needs of Washington and Detroit in front of them, the New York Giants very likely could miss out on a premier defensive talent yet again.  Chase Young seems bound for Washington. Isaiah Simmons’ performance has made him a strong candidate to go 3rd overall. So, what does that mean for the Giants?

Popular options include trading back to a quarterback hungry team, taking a young offensive tackle or grabbing another cornerback.  However, many others think the New York Giants should be taking a wide receiver. 

Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb have been considered by some to be ideal selections for the Giants.  Jeudy has been compared to the Cowboys’ Amari Cooper and can be the outside receiver New York covets. His speed and agility make him a threat at all levels.  

Then there is CeeDee Lamb.  Lamb has incredible ball skills and control of his 6’2” frame.  Many compare Lamb to Houston’s Deandre Hopkins or even 6-time Pro Bowler, Reggie Wayne.  How could the New York Giants pass on that?

Even if the Giants were to trade down, the talent in this draft class at the receiver is very deep.  Clemon’s Tee Higgins, Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III, LSU’s Justin Jefferson, and Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. are just some of the names that could be called in the 1st round.

Making the case against a WR in Round 1

The depth of this receiving class may be the strongest case against taking a receiver in the first round.  It is no secret that the New York Giants have needed all over, especially on the defense and offensive line.  Is taking a receiver in the Top 5 really the best use of draft capital?

Without trading out, the Giants are sitting in a great position to address many needs with premier talent.  Isaiah Simmons is an ideal fit, but may not be available. Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah is another top prospect that will be available with the 4th pick.  The tackle position is very top-heavy, with Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas all being considered as the best tackle prospect in the class. 

The Giants have a talented group of receivers already, but they are thin at the position.  With the injuries they suffered last season, having depth is critical. Taking a wide receiver later in the draft may be their best option.  Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk, Southern Cal’s Michael Pittman Jr. and Ohio State’s K.J.Hill are just some of the names the Giants could call at any point in the later rounds.  Temple wide receiver Isaiah Wright has been impressing scouts this week at the Shrine Bowl and could very well be a breakout player in the NFL.

What about the free-agent market?

The New York Giants are going to have a ton of money available for free agency.  If they prioritize the offensive line and defense in the NFL Draft, they have some options in free agency in order to build out the depth at wide receiver.

New York can definitely bring back guys that WR Coach Tyke Tolbert is familiar with.  Cody Latimer, Cody Core, and even Da’Mari Scott would all be unsurprising returns to the Giants.  If the G-Men dip elsewhere in free agency, they do have options. They could look to add a veteran with a one year deal, much like Randall Cobb, Demaryius Thomas or Danny Amendola.  The veteran option giving them depth, talent, and experience as a stop-gap for the season.

What about a younger option that could be signed for a longer deal?  WR Amari Cooper hasn’t be resigned by Dallas… yet. The Jets Robby Anderson looks to be headed to the open market and will be sought after.  There are also options like Rashard Higgins, who showed flashes with his time in Cleveland before the Browns brought in Landry and Odell.

Whatever the case may be, the New York Giants will have to address the lack of depth at wide receiver.  The talent is there, especially with the emergence of Darius Slayton, but there is a longevity concern that will need to be taken into consideration.  

New York Giants: Rookie receiver Darius Slayton needs to step up

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants are dropping like flies at the wide receiver position. On Monday, WR Amba Etta Tawo has carted off the field with an apparent leg injury. It has since been confirmed that he tore his Achilles tendon.

Etta Tawo was a fan favorite from 2018 and was looking to make his mark on the team once more this season. With pass-catchers dropping, the Giants brought in the speedster to add depth to the unit, but even the depth is prone to the injury bug.

The Giants now have Sterling Shepard (thumb), Golden Tate (potential suspension), Cody Latimer, TJ Jones, Brittan Golden, Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, Allonzo Russell, Da’Mari Scott, Alex Wesley, Reggie White Jr., and Darius Slayton.

Slayton, who was selected in the 5th round, has been nursing a hamstring injury the past few weeks, failing to feature against the New York Jets last week and missing out on essential practice time. However, he’s one of the young bright spots on the offense that offers potentials.

The Auburn product’s primary strength is his impressive speed. Entering mini-camp and OTAs, Slayton looked awful; dropping passes left and right. Once he shook off the rookie jitters, though, he became one of two players to earn first-team reps before training camp.

His most recent injury has held him back significantly.

“It stands out,’’ Giants WR coach Tyke Tolbert said. “It’s noticeable all the plays he was making throughout the spring.’’

The Giants desperately need their speedy pass-catcher on the field, especially with all of the recent injuries popping up. He will likely make his preseason debut against the Chicago Bears on Friday, allowing him to showcase his abilities against professional talent.

Expect head coach Pat Shurmur to utilize him as a wide receiver-screen target and quick slant option. Having great speed and agility off the line of scrimmage will make him deadly within 10 yards. His yards after catch will be the fun part to watch.

 

New York Giants: Corey Coleman tears ACL in first training camp practice

New York Giants, Corey Coleman

Prior to New York Giants No. 1 receiver Sterling Shepard fracturing his thumb midway through the first training camp practice, it was thought that Corey Coleman and Cody Latimer were battling it out for the No. 3 spot on the team.

However, it has been revealed that Coleman tore his ACL as well, sending two promising pass catchers for the Giants to the sidelines. Sterling will likely return before the start of the regular season but Coleman will miss the entire 2019 season.

After making comments of breaking out, head coach Pat Shurmur must be disappointed:

“We are going to see the best of [Coleman],” head coach Pat Shurmur said. “He’s the first one to tell you when he came in the league, he had a lot to learn. Now he’s got an opportunity to maybe be a front-line player.”

This injury dampens the mood for a receiving corps that’s extremely thin behind Shepard and Golden Tate. They do have Latimer still available, but it seems rookie Darius Slayton may get more reps after the injury to Corey.

On the bright side, Shepard will not require surgery and will be watched on a week-by-week basis. Unfortunately for both pass catchers, but the better of the two will be okay, so it seems.