One of the weakest position groups last season for the New York Giants was their wide receiving core. Poor free-agent acquisitions, disgruntled stars, and a rash of injuries ultimately sunk the group while being a key cause of their divisional-round playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Since their season-ending blowout loss, though, general manager Joe Schoen has been busy in improving the group to be more respectable across the league. Many newcomers have their own questions to their name, but at the very least, they are more complete than last year’s group.
As training camp fast approaches, today’s breakdown consists entirely of the receiving group and the questions they still have to answer.
WRs on current roster: Parris Campbell, Darius Slayton, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepherd, Isaiah Hodgins, Jailyn Hyatt, Jeff Smith, Colin Johnson, Jamison Crowder, David Sills V, Kalil Pimpleton, Makai Polk
Is there a #1 receiver in this group?
Dallas has Ceedee Lamb. Philadelphia has AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith. Even Washington has Terry McLaurin. New York’s additions to wide receiver (and tight end) have left a good core of receivers that complement each other’s skillsets.
There doesn’t appear to be a #1 target in the group though.
Slayton has been the most consistent receiver for the Giants over the years, Campbell is a free agent signing coming off a very nice season in Indianapolis, and Wan’Dale Robinson is the kind of shifty playmaker that could alter a game. Many of the names on the Giants’ roster could grow into the type of top receiver needed to win in the modern age of football.
As training camp begins though, the question of who the top target will be is still very much up for debate.
Can the group stay healthy?
The biggest problem facing the Giants next season is keeping their key positions healthy. They did not do that in 2022. Injuries to Kadarius Toney and Wan’Dale Robinson severely hampered the abilities of the offense and has top stars like Saquon Barkley overused down the stretch.
Campbell and top tight end Darren Waller are newcomers who also have their own deep list of historical injuries.
Keeping the group healthy will make or break Big Blue’s season in 2023. If they can stay healthy, it will allow Daniel Jones to have a better rapport with his pass catchers than he has had in recent years while also improving on his own. If any injury is sustained though, the depth in the group as a whole should be enough to keep pace and make life difficult for any opponent on the Giants’ schedule.
Are they enough to match up against the division’s top secondaries?
In a similar way to their comparison against the rest of the NFC East, the receiving core in New York will be tested against some of the best secondaries in football right now. Philadelphia’s secondary returns both All-Pro corners while Dallas has paired Trevon Diggs with former Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.
In short, if this group and team are to be successful in 2023, they need to be able to win consistently against the best secondaries in the league. If they are unable to, the development of Jones will be very short-lived and New York could be in for a very long season.