Do the New York Giants have a WR1 in Darius Slayton?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

When you compare New York Giants’ wide receiver Darius Slayton’s route chart to 2019, the majority of his action came in the deeper portion of the field. A lot of streaks and hooks are his bread and butter, but in week one of the 2020 regular season, he displayed immense maturity in his route tree.

Slayton finished the contest and the eventual loss of the Pittsburgh Steelers with six receptions, 102 yards, and two touchdowns. He has quickly become quarterback Daniel Jones‘s favorite target and continues to produce on a weekly basis. From the contest, his chart includes posts, hook routes, drag routes, and more. This is a noticeable development in his ability to expand and improve his skill set — a very positive sign for a receiver that was drafted in the 5th round last year.

The New York Giants have a budding star:

With options on the roster like Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram, some might think that more talented players would bury Slayton. Nonetheless, he has turned into a cemented option and potentially a WR1 for Jones in the passing game.

In 2019, Slayton earned a 57.1% catch rate over 14 games. So far, in one contest, he has a 66.7% catch rate and 11.3 yards per target. His sample size is much smaller, but he’s trending in the right direction for the Giants. Dating back to his week 17 performance, Slayton finished his 2019 campaign with 154 yards and two scores. A majority of his routes were deep boundary routes.

Interestingly, Slayton only ran five routes that weren’t beyond 20 yards downfield. On Monday night against the Steelers, he ran seven routes that didn’t go beyond 20 yards. That is a clear indication that they see him as a smooth route runner who has improved during the off-season. That is a huge sign for Jones and his wide receiver corps. If he can continue to produce and improve on his skill set, the Giants might be set on the outside for years to come.

New York Giants: Recapping Today’s Practice

The New York Giants practiced today after taking Saturday off. The offense and defense faced off earlier this Friday for the first intra-squad scrimmage of training camp. Today, though, the team had a standard practice. Despite the COVID scare in the NFL today, the Giants still held their walkthrough.

In the NFL, multiple teams had positive COVID tests from Saturday’s daily testing. The Giants were one of the teams that had staff members test positive. But, according to reports, the tests around the league were false positive. There was an issue at a lab in New Jersey. The Giants and all other teams affected took the necessary precautions, but it appears that these tests were inaccurate and there is not actually a spike in COVID cases within the NFL.

Today’s Practice Recap

The Giants had a light practice today. It was an easy Sunday as the players continue to recover from their hard scrimmage on Friday. The team is likely to speed things up again tomorrow, though, after today’s practice was “little more than a walkthrough.”

Two key players did not participate in today’s practice: linebacker Ryan Connelly and fullback Eli Penny.

Quarterbacks coach Joe Schuplisnki offered some praise for the team’s young quarterback, Daniel Jones, today. Schuplinski explained that he worked out Daniel Jones before the 2019 NFL Draft (with the Patriots) and thought his “arm looked good.” But the quarterbacks coach thinks Jones’s arm “looks even stronger now.” Schuplinski said this has been “eye-opening” for him.

Practice Highlights

Second-year wide receiver Darius Slayton made an impressive toe-tap touchdown catch today:

Post-Practice Quotes

The Giants have practiced hard throughout training camp. It has been high-intensity, but there have not been any fights yet. If fights do happen, though, head coach Joe Judge has a response plan:

“If you fight in a game, you get penalized and get ejected. We’ll play nasty, not dirty. If you get thrown out for fighting in a game, you can get kicked out of practice.” – Joe Judge on team fights during practice via Matt Lombardo

Joe Judge is still delivering on his promises: this will be a disciplined, no-nonsense team under his control. Judge has been receiving plenty of praise and criticism for his hard, disciplined practice style so far. But the players and assistant coaches have all had positive things to say about Judge. Outside linebackers coach Bret Bielema said today: “There’s no falseness to it, there’s no just trying to put a certain look. It’s just him being real.” Judge has made an authentic, genuine impression on his staff.

Is A Breakout Season In Store For New York Giants WR Darius Slayton?

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants’ offense showed an abundance of potential in 2019. The Giants had young playmakers make an impact, like Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, and Darius Slayton. But they were never all on the field together at the same time last season. Each player dealt with an injury at one point or another, keeping the team’s offense from maximizing its true potential.

Entering 2020, everyone seems to be healthy. Even Evan Engram is healthy along with the rest of the offensive playmakers. Hopefully, it will stay that way. One of the Giants’ playmakers who stayed healthy for the majority of the 2019 season was Darius Slayton. Big Play Slay appeared in 14 games for the Giants and quickly emerged as one of the team’s best players.

Darius Slayton Stats And Highlights

The 2019 fifth-round pick out of Auburn was a true diamond in the rough in last year’s NFL Draft. Initially touted as a deep-threat receiving prospect, Slayton quickly expanded his game in the pros. At the beginning of his rookie season, Pat Shurmur utilized Slayton as a pure deep-threat. The overwhelming majority of Darius’s routes were vertical/go routes. But as the season progressed, so did Darius Slayton, and he really expanded his route tree. This lead to success for the speedster from Auburn.

Darius Slayton led the New York Giants in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns as a rookie in 2019. The rookie totaled 48 receptions for 740 yards and 8 touchdowns (tied for the most receiving touchdowns by a rookie in the NFL). Heading into his second season, Slayton looks prepared and ready to take that next step as the Giants’ WR1. Check out this fire touchdown catch Slayton made in training camp:

New York has lacked a big-body outside receiver in recent years. Darius Slayton started to fill that role last season and looks ready to thrive in that role this season. The Giants will be implementing a new offensive scheme under Jason Garrett. Outside receivers were featured heavily in his offense in Dallas, such as Dez Bryant and Michael Gallup. Darius Slayton should fill that Bryant/Gallup role for the Giants in 2020.

New York Giants: Darius Slayton Excited For Explosive Offense

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Offense might be one of the bright areas for the New York Giants this year. That’s not to say that everything is perfect for them on that side of the ball. However, the future looks bright based on the pieces the Giants have there.

Quarterback Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley are major young pieces on the offense that will probably have better numbers next season. And of course, Darius Slayton has emerged as the top receiver on the team. Slayton is one of the players the most excited about the new offense the team has this year. While the personnel hasn’t changed entirely, the team has a new coaching staff and new schemes.

According to Slayton, there’s big things to expect from this new offense.

Slayton makes claims of an explosive offense

The Giants have a good chance to be explosive this year. At least, that’s what Darius Slayton claims.

“I think we just have a really good chance to be explosive. I think we have a chance to be an explosive offense, a really efficient offense. I just look forward to playing this year,” Slayton said to the team website, as training camp moved into its second phase.

He would go into more detail about what the Giants are doing right. That involves changes to the schemes from new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.

“I think it just does a really good job of harnessing all of our weapons on our offensive skill set…  I think the offense does a really good job holistically of getting everyone involved. Everybody will have a chance to get the ball and have the opportunity to make plays,” Slayton continued.

Slayton led the team in touchdowns last season. This year, it looks like he’ll be in the running to do the same. And like the other receivers, Slayton may just have better odds under more competent coaching than the previous regime.

New York Giants: Corey Coleman Healthy And Ready To Earn WR4 Position

New York Giants, Corey Coleman

The New York Giants‘ offense has battled injuries over the last couple of seasons. Last year, all of the Giants’ top playmakers missed time with injuries at some point or another. Saquon Barkley, Daniel Jones, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, and Sterling Shepard were all absent at one point or another. All of those players suffered injuries midseason and did get regular-season action. But the Giants have another playmaker on their roster who suffered an injury prior to the start of the regular season, keeping him sidelined the whole year.

Wide receiver Corey Coleman tore his ACL in training camp last year. He missed the entire 2019 season. The Giants certainly felt Coleman’s absence as the season went on, seeing multiple injuries arise in the receiving corps. But entering the 2020 season, wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert says that Corey Coleman is healthy and ready to go.

Tyke Tolbert On Corey Coleman

New York Giants wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert spoke with the media today as the team begins full-squad practices. Tolbert has been a coach with the Giants since 2018, making him one of the few coaches leftover from Pat Shurmur’s staff. Tolbert has done an excellent job with the Giants’ wide receivers and has received plenty of praise from his players.

Tolbert discussed wide receiver Corey Coleman today, saying Coleman is “pretty much back to what he was before he was injured.” Coleman has struggled with injuries throughout his career, so it is encouraging to hear he is healthy and ready for 2020.

Tolbert also had this to say about Darius Slayton:

Corey Coleman’s Return

Corey Coleman has been with the Giants since 2018. Since then, he has only been active for 8 games and started in 1 game. Last offseason, former head coach Pat Shurmur expressed confidence in Coleman, saying he had big plans for the receiver. Unfortunately, Giants fans never got to see those plans put into place as Coleman suffered a torn ACL early on in training camp.

Coleman is a former first-round pick that has struggled to stay on the field in his career. He has never played more than 10 games in a season. Corey was electric during his collegiate career at Baylor and has certainly flashed potential in the NFL. But he has never been able to put it all together.

Now that Corey Coleman is fully recovered from his injury, he can finally return to the field and prove the doubters wrong. The Giants have plenty of depth at the wide receiver position. They recently signed three undrafted free agents to compete for the backup wide receiver positions. Coleman will need to impress in training camp to prevent one of the rookies from taking his spot.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones talks new offense and progress

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have reported to East Rutherford, New Jersey for NFL Training Camp. Among the many storylines surrounding the Giants is the progression of quarterback Daniel Jones.

Jones impressed in his rookie season under center for Big Blue. Across 13 games, 12 of which were starts, Jones threw for 3,027 yards while posting a 24:12 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Jones also ran for 279 yards and two touchdowns.

The Duke product is learning a new offense with former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett taking over as offensive coordinator under new head coach Joe Judge.

Jones finds Garrett to be “extremely detailed” (quotes are all courtesy of tweets by Giants.com’s Dan Salomone).

“He’s extremely detailed in his teaching and what he expects on the field.”

Jones says he and the Giants are taking training camp “day to day.”

“We’re taking it day by day, install by install, trying to learn [the offense] as quickly as we can.”

“My focus is on this camp and making sure I’m prepared mentally. … My focus is what we’re doing day to day here.”

Jones mentions how he has grown stronger.

“I feel like I’m as strong as I’ve been. … I wanted to get stronger.”

Jones’ receiving core is headlined by veterans Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard and the second-year Darius Slayton, who lead the Giants in receiving yards (740) and touchdowns (8) last season.

Jones commends what Slayton brings to the table.

“He’s a guy that comes to work every day and knows what to do…He can really get out and run, a big frame, a big target…I know he’s excited going into this year.”

The Giants have a lot of new faces on their offensive line: rookie tackles Andrew Thomas (4) and Matt Peart (99), rookie guard Shane Lemieux (150) and former Cowboys tackle Cam Fleming.

Veteran tackle Nate Solder, though, opted out of the 2020 NFL season. Jones supports Solder’s decision.

“He’s got an extremely tough circumstance. He’s got to do what’s best for him and his family. All the respect and support to him.”

Will the New York Giants Have A 1,000-Yard Receiver In 2020?

The New York Giants have put together an offense with a multitude of talented playmakers. Entering his second NFL season, Daniel Jones will be sharing the football with the likes of Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, and others. On paper, this is a pretty solid stable of playmakers.

This is the same group that the Giants put on the field in 2019. But, with a new offensive scheme under Jason Garrett, will this same group of playmakers improve in 2020?

One area of the Giants’ offense that has been heavily discussed this offseason is the receiving corps. Many have criticized the Giants’ offense, citing a lack of a true number one receiver as a major weakness. Even former Giants Super Bowl champion wide receiver Amani Toomer stated this to be a weakness. With that being the case, what will the wide receivers be able to accomplish in 2020 with Daniel Jones and Jason Garrett?

Will There Be A 1,000-Yard Receiver?

From 2014 to 2018, the Giants had one primary receiver running the show and dominating the competition. Odell Beckham Jr. managed to surpass 1,00 receiving yards in every season he played with the Giants (except for 2017 when he only played in 4 games before suffering a season-ending leg injury).

Odell’s departure in the 2019 offseason came as a huge surprise for most Giants fans. Beckham had been the team’s best and most consistent player over the past five seasons and his absence was felt on Sundays in 2019. The Giants did not have a 1,000-yard receiver in 2019 and the team’s receivers struggled to fill the void that the Odell trade left behind.

Will that change in 2020? Will one of the Giants’ receivers crack 1,000 yards? Based on the career history of the Giants’ receivers, it is not very likely.

Sterling Shepard?

Sterling Shepard has never totaled 1,000 receiving yards in his four-year career. His career-high is 872 yards in 2018. Additionally, Shepard spent much of the 2019 season off the field due to injuries. It is unlikely that Sterling Shepard will net his first 1,000-yard season in 2020. Jason Garrett will be running a run-first offense that will use slot receivers like Shepard and Golden Tate as reliable chain movers and underneath route-runners. Shepard likely will not have enough big-play opportunities to have a chance at 1,000 receiving yards.

Golden Tate?

Golden Tate likely will not reach the 1,000-yard milestone this season for the same reasons as Sterling Shepard, though he seems to have a better chance than Sterling. Tate did manage to total 676 receiving yards in 11 games last season. Golden has had three 1,000-yard receiving seasons in his career, but not since 2017. At nearly 32-years old, it is hard to imagine Golden Tate having a career resurgence and becoming anything more than a reliable number two receiver with the Giants this season.

Darius Slayton?

Of all the Giants’ receiving targets, Darius Slayton has the best chance to total 1,000 receiving yards. Slayton flashed tons of potential in limited playing time in 2019. The rookie racked up 740 yards and 8 touchdowns, which was the most of all rookie receivers. Big Play Slay proved to be a big-time playmaker. If Slayton develops in year two he could have a breakout season and become that number one receiving threat that the Giants currently do not have. An expanded role as Daniel Jones’s favorite receiving target in 2020 gives Darius Slayton the best chance to top 1,000 receiving yards.

New York Giants: Darius Slayton Named Most Cost Effective Giant

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

New York Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman has racked up a number of controversial moves so far during his time in the position, but one of the decisions that’s definitely been a hit instead of a miss has been the choice to draft Darius Slayton.

The Giants ended up with a player that was considered a steal but was only supposed to play a role in the rotation of receivers, but what they got in the end was a rising star who led the team in receiving after stepping up for Sterling Shepard when the more experienced veteran had concussion troubles.

Slayton racked up 8 touchdowns and was one of the reasons Daniel Jones was able to have a breakout season even with some of his top weapons having trouble staying on the field last season. According to Bleacher Report, that makes his contract the one that has the best value for the team.

Slayton provided the Giants with something they didn’t previously have on the roster: an outside threat. Veterans Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard are more effective working out of the slot, whereas Slayton is a slightly bigger target (6’1″, 190 lbs.) with the ability to stretch the field and demand safety help… The thought of Slayton’s continued development as New York’s WR1 without a salary-cap number over $1.02 million at any point during the next three seasons is exciting.

The Giants have been mocked to select Ja’Marr Chase for the 2021 Draft by a number of sources so far, and Chase has an impressive resume as the top receiver in the country during LSU’s championship season. However, depending on Slayton’s performance this year, they may not need a receiver enough to draft one with their first pick.

Slayton will face tougher competition this season, of course, as opponents learn more about his playing style and realize that they need to scheme against him to neutralize his threat rather than dismissing him as an inexperienced rookie. But his destiny largely rests in his own hands.

The team is getting a great value out of his contract and if he can keep it up, the Giants will likely have no problems rewarding his good play with further time in the spotlight as one of their top weapons.

The gap left by Odell Beckham Jr. at receiver was noticeable coming into last season. But for now, it still remains to be seen whether that gap will be filled by Slayton or Shepard or someone else entirely.

New York Giants: Darius Slayton shows off route running on Instagram (WATCH)

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants are entering the 2020 season with an unpredictable wide receiver corps. Currently, the unit consists of Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Darius Slayton, Corey Coleman, and a bevy of undrafted free agents.

Predicting what the production will look like from this group is difficult since Shepard is one concussion away from potentially ending his career, Tate will be 32 years old, and Slayton is coming off his rookie campaign.

However, Slayton had a fantastic first season in the NFL, posting 740 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games. He played in just 66% of offensive snaps, and expecting an increase in 2020 is predictable. If he can build off his first year numbers, Slayton can quickly become the Giants’ top wideout.

While at Auburn, Darius was known for his straightaway speed and ability to blaze by opposing cornerbacks. Having one move simply doesn’t work in the NFL, though, and he started his rookie minicamp, dropping everything in sight. He quickly left those issues behind, shaking off the jitters and adapting to a more physical style of play. He added several routes to his repertoire, including slants, out, and post routes, which saw smoother transitions into his break.

The Giants retained Tyke Tolbert, their wide receiver coach, who helped Slayton develop last season. This was a fantastic decision considering the excellent work he constructed with the former Auburn standout.

On Thursday, he posted a video on Instagram running an out-route with an inside step. He looks good in his transition into his break, stopping on a dime and accelerating quickly toward the boundary. The speed and change of direction really stand out here.

Improving his fundamentals will be a priority for the young pass-catcher moving forward, but he has all the potential in the world to develop into the Giants’ number one wide receiver.

New York Giants: Darius Slayton Ready To Hit The Ground Running

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Last season, the New York Giants expected Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate to be their leading receivers, and ended up with a surprise as Darius Slayton had a breakout performance filling in for both players at different points in the year.

Slayton was the leading receiver on the team as a rookie, during their first season in recent years without Odell Beckham Jr. headlining the wide receiver position as the number one option. While no Giants receiver broke 1,000 yards receiving last year, Slayton came the closest with 740 yards and also led the team in touchdowns with 8, after appearing in 14 games and starting 9 of them.

To make the numbers more impressive, it’s worth noting that Shepard, Tate, and Corey Latimer each had one more start than Slayton did. Going into the second season, of course, it looks like the young receiver is primed for a jump forward as one of the main weapons on a team that’s still looking for a prolific option at wide receiver.

“My confidence is something that built as the year went on last year. Hopefully this year, I’ll be able to hit it Week 1 running. It’s mostly internal. It’s just all in your head to me. Especially for receivers, to get the ball you’ve got to catch it, catch it low, high, behind you. I think it just starts from having unwavering faith in your hands basically,” Slayton said in an interview with Giants.com. 

Unfortunately, the usual offseason training for both Slayton and other members of the Giants has been disrupted by the current pandemic. While training camp is set to happen next month, the Giants have had to run a virtual offseason program up to this point, and it remains to be seen how the lost in-person training time will affect the team when the season does finally come.

“You just start to feel the need for it,” Slayton said, referring to the face to face training that’s been skipped so far during the offseason. “Even with fans, I think you start to feel the need for it after a while. So my body is itching to get back out there, itching to compete and just trying to see and meet my teammates in the flesh and be able to hang out with them again – all those things that come with it.”

He says that both he and Daniel Jones are working hard and that both players will be ready when they make it back to the training facility.

Whether the duo will improve through the 2020 season remains to be seen, but with the Giants not having fully replaced Beckham yet and with Shepard’s concussion problems from last year, it’s not unreasonable to think Slayton does have a big chance to assert himself as the team’s top receiving threat this year.