By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
In a year where the WR depth was arguably the best in recent years in the draft, the Giants chose to pass on one with their 10 picks, but immediately signed four UDFA (Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, Derrick Dillon and Rysen John).
There is an argument that many of these prospects would have been selected within the 7 rounds if not for the depth at the WR position and now they will have the opportunity to compete for a roster spot against the likes of Corey Coleman, Da’Mari Scott, Reggie White Jr, Cody Core, Alex Bachman and David Sills. Keep in mind that Core and Coleman were brought back more for their special teams play.
The Giants’ top three wide receivers are Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Darius Slayton. Among the three, only Slayton played the majority of the season as Shepard suffered two concussions and Tate serve a four-game suspension for PED violation.
Crowded WR Room:
So unless the Giants make any other changes from now until the start of training camp, they will have a total of 12 wide receivers in camp to compete for possibly 6 spots on the roster. Of course, the Giants could place a few on the practice squad as they did in 2019 with White and Sills.
Keep this in mind, the Giants two highest paid wide-outs (Shepard and Tate) are perhaps either one hit away of having their career threatened or are closer to retirement. So my point is that we could see major changes at the wide receiver position quicker than expected where Darius Slayton would be the elder statesmen on the team by 2021 or 2022.
Tate and Shep:
In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Giants are looking ahead at the possibility of both Shepard and Tate, not on the roster entering the 2022 season. The trade for both would considerably low due to Tate’s age and Shepard’s two concussions in 2019. The last time Tate was traded (2018) by the Lions to the Eagles, the compensation was a 3rd round pick. If GM Dave Gettleman and Head Coach Joe Judge believe that the group of wide receivers are talented enough to absorb the departure of either Tate or Shepard, the likely candidate to trade would be Tate after June 1st; which would add $8M to the cap space and only $2.3M in dead money. The compensation would likely be somewhere between rounds 5-7 if they could find a willing trading partner.
Getting back to the UDFA signings, all four receivers has a certain skill set as Victor has the size, Dillon the speed, and Mack the physical element. John will more than likely be a consideration as a transition over to tight end with his 6’7 frame and weighing nearly 240. I believe all three wide receivers have a good chance to un-seed the list of the current wide receivers; which would give the Giants a younger and more talent group to work with.
Final Thoughts: The current list of wide receivers will more than likely change from now until the start of training camp. However; the Giants did do well with these UDFA signings and the fact the 2021 draft class is arguably as deep and talented as this year’s class, then we could see the Giants focus on the wide receivers as one of their main positions of interest in 2021. Over the next few months, I will be spotlighting certain wide receivers with more detailed analysis leading up to the start of the season.