The Giants offense has been hampered by injuries through the first seven games of 2021. The injuries have certainly been felt on the offensive line due to the lack of depth at that position. Another spot where there have been injuries is in the receiving core; but the impact of these injuries haven’t been felt as much. This is due to the fact that the Giants have built good depth at the wide receiver position. Due to this depth, the Giants should be looking to shop the guy that for a minute, looked like their future at this position.
Darius Slayton was a 5th round draft choice of the Giants in 2019, and he turned heads that year. He finished the year with 740 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns, which led all rookie receivers. Going into the 2021 season, Slayton was looking like he could be the Giants new number 1 target. After a strong start to the season against Pittsburgh, it became clear that Slayton wasn’t a number 1 wide receiver. He never quite took that next step, and some drop issues began to rear their ugly head. Despite the disappointing season, he still finished with 751 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns, whilst playing through injuries. Although his subpar season was one of the reasons that the Giants went out and signed Kenny Golladay, it also offered him a great opportunity to excel while coverages looked more toward Golladay. Well, this has yet to happen. Slayton has missed three games due to a hamstring injury, and has produced just 190 yards receiving and 1 touchdown, along with one huge drop against Washington. Slayton still has a lot of potential in this league, but the fact of the matter is that the Giants have plenty of depth behind Slayton, which makes him an expendable player.
As mentioned earlier, the Giants paid Kenny Golladay 72 million dollars this past offseason to be their number 1 receiver. He has had his own struggles, but has flashed this year at times, and showed that he is an Alpha receiver in the past. The Giants also invested a first round pick in Kadarius Toney, who has shown MAJOR potential in his rookie year. Both of these guys have had their own injuries, but the Giants have much more invested in these players than Slayton. Sterling Shepard has also been injured, but has been nothing but productive when on the field. This has largely been a theme of Sterling Shepard’s career. Some would say Shepard is also expendable, but he has shown to be far too valuable of a player when healthy, and it is too early to completely bet on Kadarius Toney to take his spot. Guys like Dante Pettis and John Ross have also stepped up in the absence of the Giants top receivers. Unfortunately for Slayton, he has become a victim of the numbers game.
I hate to break up what has shown to be a very solid group of receivers for the Giants, but this team has too many holes to not be looking to gain some draft capital. With the season ending injury to Jabrill Peppers, Darius Slayton has become one of, if not the top players the Giants should be looking to shop.
Goodbyes are never easy, but sometimes they become necessary.
(Photo:Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)