The New York Giants may not have a winning season to their name over the past three seasons. Yet, what they do have is loads of promising young talent.
There’s, of course, all-world running back Saquon Barkley, potential franchise quarterback Daniel Jones as well as big-man Dexter Lawrence, each of whom headline a group that has Giants fans realistically thinking postseason for the first time in a long time.
However, a case could be made that none of these former 1st-round picks carry as much intrigue heading into the 2020 NFL season as 2019 5th-round standout, Darius Slayton, does.
In fact, Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski believes the receiver may just be one of the most enticing players in all of football, and even envisions a scenario where he develops into “one of the NFC’s top pass-catchers.”
Darius Slayton surpassed expectations last season, but he’s far from a finished product. The 2019 fifth-round pick snagged 48 receptions for 740 yards and eight touchdowns. He led the New York Giants in the latter two categories.
Coming out of Auburn, Slayton ran a limited route tree. But that’s not to say Slayton will never be a complete receiver. Instead, it should be viewed as a positive. He’ll continue to grow in the nuances of route running and improve off his stem.
Plus, he’ll always be a vertical presence because of his 4.39-second 40-yard dash speed.
As Slayton’s relationship with quarterback Daniel Jones grows, he could develop into one of the NFC’s top pass-catchers.
Follow the Heavy on Giants Facebook page for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!
Is Darius Slayton on the Fast-Track to Stardom?
Darius Slayton entered the NFL with little fanfare, and it’s easy to see why.
In his four years at Auburn, he never caught more than 35 passes in a single season. The 5th-rounder was projected to be nothing more than a one-trick pony, namely due to his exceptional long speed (4.39 forty), yet limited route tree.
However, fast-forward a few months and Giants fans are now hopeful that he can be a massive catalyst, if not the key catalyst, in replacing the production left behind from trading Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason. Leading the team in receiving yards (740) and tieing for the league-lead in receiving touchdowns (8) amongst all rookie wideouts will do that.
The G-Men have a plethora of talent pass-catchers. However, Slayton is by far the lone option who presents legitimate WR1 upside. His blend of size, speed and ball skills drastically separates him from the likes of New York’s other slot-dominant receivers.
Slayton Has the Makings of an Elite Deep Threat
No statistic may speak to Slayton’s upside more than his 15.4 yards per reception from 2019. According to Pro Football Focus, that’s the most yards/reception for any qualifying Giants wide receiver since Hakeem Nicks in 2013 (16.0). Slayton’s 265 receiving yards beyond 20+ yards downfield also ranked within the top-3 of the NFC East.
Slayton’s ability to take the top off of opposing defenses takes New York’s offense from good to potentially dangerous. If he can elevate his game in year two, there’s no reason to think Sobleski’s bold claim of Slayton developing into one of the division’s top pass-catchers won’t reign true.