From roster bubble to leading receiver: How Darius Slayton is Giants’ top target in Week 6

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Darius Slayton Giants
Darius Slayton during New York Giants training camp in East Rutherford, N.J.
Photo Credit: Nick Faria

The last two years with the New York Giants have been a difficult one to traverse for wide receiver Darius Slayton. After New York drafted two receivers in the first two rounds and signed pro-bowl wide receiver Kenny Golladay, Slayton’s tenure with New York seemed all but doomed heading into the 2022-23 season. 

After his first two seasons of putting up over 700 yards receiving, Slayton has started a total of five games for New York in the last two seasons. During camp, it seemed a bigger question of how the former fifth-round pick would be moved off the team as opposed to if. 

That roster instability can play a harmful game on any professional, but the Auburn standout has had help throughout the difficult process. 

“I think I come from a good background and people. I have a good support system and they help a lot to keep me even through all that.” Slayton said after practice Wednesday. 

Things change quickly in the National Football League. The 4-1 Giants have lost Kadarius Toney, Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Wan’Dale Robinson to injuries over the first five weeks. The Giant’s sixth wide receiver going into the new season is now their top target. 

“I think whether you’re on either side of that fence so to speak, I think at the end of the day you got to focus on your craft and make sure that you perform at a high level.” 

His craft certainly worked on Sunday. 

After catching just one pass in the team’s 20-11 win over Chicago on October 2nd, the slot receiver caught a season-high six passes for 79 yards against a vaunted Packers defense last Sunday in London. It was the first time Daniel Jones had thrown for over 200 yards in a game all season. 

With practice squad call-ups like Marcus Johnson and Richie James also helping, it’s opening the door for more avenues to move the ball through the air. 

“I think the guys we put out there did a really good job. Marcus had done a really good job. The way Slayton produced…we’re confident in those guys.” Brian Daboll said before practice Wednesday. 

A key reason for Slayton’s success last week was his relationship with Jones as well. The two players came into the NFL as part of the same draft class. The work the receiver and quarterback have put together in years past was clearly evident on Sunday. 

“I thought he (Slayton) had a great game Sunday. I have a lot of trust and confidence in him. I’ve played a lot of football with him and to see him go out and have a good game was exciting. I was happy for him and we’ll continue to try and get him the ball.” Jones told AMNY Wednesday. 

The 25-year-old wideout was almost very complimentary of his quarterback as well for Sunday’s performance. 

“He’s playing some great ball right now so it’s pretty easy for us to play receiver at the moment,” Slayton said laughing. “He’s been steady, hasn’t flinched. He’s been a great leader and it’s shown on the field so far.”

At 4-1, the Giants are riding high knowing they haven’t seen the best out of their passing game due to injuries and inconsistent offensive line play. As long as Toney, Golladay, Robinson, and others are injured, New York’s passing attack will appear to be limited going into Sunday. 

But that’s just the opportunity for Darius Slayton to reemerge as an important figure in the future of the franchise for the New York Giants. 

For more Darius Slayton and New York Giants news, turn to AMNY.com