New York Giants wide receiver position battle boiling down to four players

david sills, new york giants

The New York Giants have an extremely important week coming up for roster bubble players, and the back end of the wide receiver unit is full of questions.

Against the Cleveland Browns in the second preseason game of the off-season, the only stand-out player in the WR was David Sills, who recorded a touchdown catch in the second half.

Multiple players are on the brink of being released, fighting for an opportunity to spend the 2021 season on the active roster. The Giants will have to cut the roster down to 53-men by August 31 at 4 PM. Sills may have impressed, but he’s no lock just yet.

New York Giants WR position battle boiling down to four players:

1.) Alex Bachman

Unfortunately for Bachman, he had a poor outing against Cleveland this past weekend. He dropped one of his four targets, picking up 6 yards. Unfortunately, there’s no room for error at this point in the off-season, and he’s falling behind quickly, with Sills and Dante Pettis showing stronger performances. He has a total of just one reception and 6 yards over two games, despite earning 46 snaps.

2.) Damion Willis

Willis is another player gunning for a roster spot, earning 50 snaps over the past two games. Willis has hauled in three receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown, showing far more than Bachman. Fortunately for the former Cincinnati Bengal, he has not dropped a pass but offers little beyond his receiving capabilities. The Giants will likely be looking at special team’s value with receivers at the back end of the roster, so the practice squad could be in his future.

3.) Dante Pettis

Dante Pettis is known for his kick returning abilities, but he also contributed nicely toward the end of the 2020 season with the Giants. He hauled in four receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown over the last two games of the season. He was a catalyst against the Dallas Cowboys, but he remains on the roster bubble with Sills pressing him.

So far, during preseason play, Pettis has three receptions on seven targets for 25 yards. Unfortunately, he hasn’t made a significant impact and has earned no snaps on special teams.

4.) David Sills

Sills has been one of the more impressive receivers this off-season but also offers little on special teams. During preseason play, he’s hauled in six receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown, completing over 50% of his opportunities. As a 6’4″ receiver, the Giants may depend on him as a bigger possession option in case Kenny Golladay is forced to miss any time during the regular season. Based on his work ethic, traveling around the country with Daniel Jones to offer a helping hand, he’s already in the good graces of head coach Joe Judge.

Unless Judge sees more value with a player that can serve as a gunner return man, I believe Sills is the favorite to make the roster.

New York Giants: Can Dante Pettis find his way onto the active roster?

dante pettis, new york giants

The back end of the wide receiver corps for the New York Giants is filled with talented players, but the reality is, there are only so many spots on the 53 man active roster. Beyond the regular starters, including Kenny Golladay, a Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton, there may only be one or two spots left for grabs.

One veteran who is eyeing a roster spot is former San Francisco 49ers receiver Dante Pettis, who was picked up by the Giants and spent two games trying to elevate their passing game. With the often sputtering and Daniel Jones struggling to find open targets, Pettis offered athleticism and speed at a position that lacked both during the second half of the season.

With Slayton bogged down by injury and Golden Tate unable to create separation, Pettis recorded 76 yards over four receptions, including a beautiful touchdown catch up the same against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 17.

He caught 80% of his targets, and while the sample size was minimal, he was one of the only bright spots on the offense to close out the year.

The Giants currently have Pettis on a one-year, $1.3 million deal, but without any dead money, they can cut him without any financial implications. That puts him in a tough spot during training camp, but given his close to the 2020 campaign, there’s hope he can re-emerge as an adequate option.

During his time at the collegiate level with Washington University, Pettis was also known for returning punts, an application that could be utilized this upcoming season. Ultimately, if you are a reserve receiver, you must have value outside of your position, otherwise, an option like CJ Board might get the nod (gunner on ST).

Pettis is three years removed from my 467 yard, five-touchdown season during his rookie campaign. Since being a second-round selection, Dante has been a bust, but he showcased some of his flashy abilities last year with Big Blue. He’s a player to keep an eye on, and he is undoubtedly talented enough to grab the No. 5-6 spot in the WR unit.

New York Giants: Kyler Fackrell to IR, three players return from reserve list

New York Giants, Matt Peart

The New York Giants have the odds stacked against them when they face Seattle on Sunday, to try to remain in first place in the NFC East. However, they’ll have three players back even as they lose one player to the injured reserve list after their last win.

The player that’s headed to the IR is outside linebacker and pass rusher Kyler Fackrell, who went out during the Bengals game with a calf injury. The more significant injury from that game was of course the one that took down QB Daniel Jones, but Jones didn’t need to be placed on the IR because it’s believed he could still return for the Seahawks game – and if Jones doesn’t come back then, his return should be shortly after.

It’s not all bad news for the Giants. The team does gain three players back after they were previously placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Those players are tight end Kaden Smith, offensive tackle Matt Peart, and receiver Dante Pettis.

The most significant of the players to come back may be Peart, who was in direct competition with top draft pick Andrew Thomas earlier in the season. Considering his status as a third round pick, Peart has been one of the overachievers for the Giants this season.

Kaden Smith, on the other hand, has seen less use this season compared to Evan Engram but offers further depth at the tight end position.

The latest round of roster moves also includes dropping punter Ryan Santoso, who was primarily signed to the team due to the temporary loss of Graham Gano.

Can the New York Giants extract the best version of Dante Pettis?

New York Giants, Dante Pettis

When the San Francisco 49ers waived former second-round pick Dante Pettis, after just three seasons in the NFL earlier this week, there was always going to be teams interested in his services. The New York Giants, just slightly below the New England Patriots in the waiver wire, was able to secure Pettis and his services. However, he has fallen off significantly since his dominant days back in college.

Pettis has had his issues in San Francisco, not taking to head coach Kyle Shanahan’s methods and failing to compete at a high-level. After a successful 2018 rookie campaign, Pettis was injured after seven games and returned the next off-season overweight, missing out on big opportunities. He never fully recovered from his injuries, and as a result, his quality of play fell off.

It simply didn’t seem as if the 49ers got to him and extracted his motivation and confidence, but Joe Judge in New York might be able to do just that. Every team has different ways of managing their club, and this is a fresh start for Dante with one of the biggest and most successful franchises in sports history. If there’s anyone who can whip him into shape, it is a coaching staff composed of veterans and disciplinary teachers.

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How will the New York Giants factor Pettis in?

The Giants will likely have a spot for Pettis next season if he still on the roster, as they are preparing to release Golden Tate and his inefficient contract. Tate was actually disciplined for yelling “throw me the damn ball” on national television against Tampa Bay. He missed Wednesday’s practice as a consequence, and it is possible the Giants move on from him to maintain their culture in the locker room. This is by no means a guaranteed roster spot for the young receiver, who carries demons in his baggage with him to the Big Apple. He will need to earn his spot on the Giants, and it won’t be easy based on the expectations of Judge and co.

Back in his rookie season, Pettis finished with 467 yards and five touchdowns, showing his incredible abilities after the catch. He was college’s most dynamic return man, but since then, he has only recorded 109 yards receiving.

He’s played in just one game this season, earning just 11% of offensive snaps. Pettis has mainly been factored out of their offense, and the 49ers haven’t looked back, despite his talent. New York will be a fresh start for Pettis, and based on his recent history, I don’t think it will amount to much, or you don’t simply give up on talented football players after just three seasons. If the Giants manage to extract his quality, they will have gotten a steal off waivers.

New York Giants claim former 49ers WR Dante Pettis off waivers

New York Giants, Dante Pettis

The New York Giants stood still at the 2020 NFL trade deadline, holding onto trade-candidates like Golden Tate and Kevin Zeitler. It was a quiet deadline across the league with minimal trades made this season. But after the deadline, plenty of teams reshaped their rosters, cutting players that they were unable to trade before the deadline.

The San Fransisco 49ers were one of the teams that made a surprising cut this week, waiving wide receiver Dante Pettis. Pettis is a former second-round draft pick that has now been claimed off of the waivers by the New York Giants, according to Adam Schefter.

This roster acquisition comes in the wake of the news that the Giants have told veteran wide receiver Golden Tate to stay away from the team for disciplinary reasons. Tate has been frustrated with his role in the Giants’ offense and has made his frustration public. Now, it does not look like his role will expand anytime soon with the acquisition of Dante Pettis.

Dante Pettis Stats and Highlights

Dante Pettis is 25-year-old, third-year wide receiver that was waived by the San Fransisco 49ers after a few disappointing seasons. Pettis was an exciting prospect coming out of college that many 49ers fans believed could be a true weapon in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Unfortunately for Pettis, he never put the talent together in San Fransisco. But he will now have a chance to turn things around in New York.

The New York Giants claimed Dante Pettis off of the waiver wire on Wednesday afternoon. New York’s lowly 1-7 record placed them high on the waiver priority. The Giants’ offense has been missing an outside receiving threat opposite of Darius Slayton.

Dante pettis has not seen the field much this season. He has had only one target thrown his way and 0 receptions to show for it. San Fransisco had made Pettis a healthy scratch for a few games this season, as well, so the writing was on the wall.

Pettis is also a player who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his young career, injuring his knee on multiple occasions. But in his first two seasons, Pettis flashed potential when on the field. In his rookie season, Dante recorded 27 receptions for 467 yards and 5 touchdowns, including a 75-yard touchdown reception. Pettis could be a new home-run hitter for the New York Giants’ offense.