The Giants opened their season yesterday in a home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 26-16 on Monday night.
With the Joe Judge era now officially underway, many things could be taken from the week one loss.
The offensive line struggled to open up holes for Saquon Barkley to gallop through, the secondary was shaky at times, and Steelers second-year running back Benny Snell Jr. had a field day against a porous Giants defense.
With all of that said, however, this article will focus on the wide receiver room and what to expect from them going forward.
Another Game Played Without the Full Arsenal
Daniel Jones has now started 13 games for the New York Football Giants, and in not a single game has he had his full assortment of offensive weapons. Evan Engram, Darius Slayton, Golden Tate III, Sterling Shepard, and Saquon Barkley have yet to take the field together with Daniel Jones at the helm.
Wide receiver Golden Tate III was ruled out shortly before the game began on Monday night, a nagging hamstring injury was the cause. As the Giants look ahead to week 2, fingers are crossed Tate can be ready to go against the Bears come game time.
The Giants’ wide receivers room is extremely top-heavy, boasting 3 quality NFL receivers. Sterling Shepard, the longest-tenured Giant, has turned into a more-than-respectable player that can consistently put up good production.
Golden Tate III is a seasoned NFL veteran that does good work out of the slot; and Darius Slayton is an up-and-coming 2nd year player out of Auburn who hauled in 102 yards and 2 touchdowns in the opening matchup against the Steelers. If these three can stay on the field consistently this year, they can be a cause of concern for opposing defensive coordinators.
The main issue with the Giants wide receivers room lies in its depth. The only other receivers on the roster aside from the top 3 are Damion Ratley and CJ Board. This is not a knock on either of those players.
Ratley is an explosive playmaker that didn’t have many opportunities to showcase his skill set in Cleveland, and Board came over from Jacksonville this offseason and had a really impressive camp. The knock here is based solely on the lack of receivers on the roster. Is it safe for the Giants to a role with just 5 active receivers? Time will tell.
The Practice Squad
The Giants quietly have some intriguing receivers waiting on their practice squad. Headlining that group are undrafted free agents Austin Mack, Derrick Dillon, and Binjimen Victor. Johnny Holton also has a spot on the squad.
In a bit of a perplexing move, the Giants cut wide receiver Alex Bachman Tuesday afternoon. Considering the camp he had, many projected Bachman to be on the practice squad, some even had him making the initial 53-man roster.
With the new rules in play, the Giants can call 2 players up from the practice squad every week. In a pinch, Big Blue should be able to call on one, or multiple of these guys to come up and play solid football.
What to Expect
Giants fans should expect high-quality wide receiver play if their top guys can get and remain healthy. In the event, one of those three cannot suit-up, expect the Giants to lean more on Damion Ratley or CJ Board.
If the Giants do decide to call up someone from the practice squad, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod.