The New York Giants made a slew of roster moves over the past weekend, yet none were more closely examined then the releases of projected starting linebacker Ryan Connelly and former first-round draft pick wide receiver Corey Coleman.
While both cuts sent shockwaves throughout the fan base, Connelly’s lack of availability throughout camp while battling his way back from torn ACL, along with the development of linebacker Devante Downs, at least helps paint a better picture of how the Giants may have come to their decision.
However, the same can’t be said for Coleman’s release, whose brilliant play this summer led many to believe he had cemented New York’s WR4 job. With some even going as far as to peg him as the most impressive Giants offensive player in all of camp.
Clearly the Giants didn’t see things the same way, as the team opted to swap Coleman for Ex-Browns wideout Damion Ratley on Sunday, citing speed as one of the main culprits.
Speed Concerns the Reason for Coleman’s Release?
“First off, we’re pleased with the wide receiver depth we have,” head coach Joe Judge told reporters. “I think we’re going into it right now with some speed at the position. That’s something we’re definitely looking to add right there. I think we have good position flexibility with all of our skill players on offense. We feel good with where we’re at right now.”
“The guys that we’ve added to the roster, each one answers specific needs at that position group, really as far as establishing more depth and giving us some versatility within the position,” Judge added. “We were able to add some speed at the skill positions, safety and receiver, obviously.”
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Comparing Coleman & Ratley’s Speed
Coleman has come up short in many areas throughout his NFL career as the bust-label begins to imprint itself on the former Biletnikoff Award winner. With that said, speed had always been on the short-list of reasons to buy into the hype surrounding Coleman, who clocked-in with a blazing 4.37 40-yard dash at Baylor’s pro day back in 2016.
While a torn ACL sustained in last year’s training camp could have certainly knocked Coleman’s elite speed down a peg or two, plays like this one in New York’s Blue-White scrimmage beg to differ:
— New York Giants (@Giants) September 3, 2020
It would be unfair to cherry-pick a play here and there as reason to denounce Judge’s claims, as he enjoyed an up-close and personal view of Coleman on a daily basis over the past few months.
Although it is certainly interesting that the player who was brought in to replace Coleman, Ratley, posted a 4.45 40-yard dash at Texas A&M’s pro day two years ago, obviously slower than Coleman’s aforementioned 4.37 forty.
Texas A&M WR Damion Ratley pic.twitter.com/arNGSCqFWB
— Brian Perroni (@Perroni247) March 27, 2018
A former sixth-round pick, Ratley has appeared in 26 career games, starting three games in each of the past two seasons and hauling in a grand total of 25 receptions. He posted career highs in yards (200) and touchdowns (1) a year ago.
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