New York Giants countdown to camp: Challenges for WR corps

Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard, New York Giants. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Eli Manning, Sterling Shepard, New York Giants. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
Corey Coleman, New York Giants. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

Wild cards

There are two receivers who may surprise everyone and make an impact in camp. The first is Corey Coleman who joined the team last October off of New England’s practice squad. He was drafted by Cleveland, 15th overall in 2016. in college, Coleman was a big playmaker at Baylor. At the NFL level, he’s fast enough to burn defenders with his 4.37 speed, should he catch the ball in space.

Also in the fast category is New York Giants 2019 fifth-round draft pick Darius Slayton. The former Auburn wideout has been clocked at 4.39. In three seasons with the Tigers, Slayton averaged over 20 yards per reception. If either of these receivers can effectively stretch the opponents secondary, they will get consistent playing time.

Big Blue will probably keep a sixth receiver out of camp. Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, Brittan Golden, Reggie White Jr., and Alex Wesley will be fighting for the opportunity to be inactive most weeks. The runner up is likely headed for the practice squad and the honor of catching passes in practice from Eric Dungey.

Help from other positions

Ironically, the Giants two best weapons in the passing game aren’t wide receivers, but they are former first-round picks. As a matter of fact, PFF ranked them as Big Blue’s best offensive players last year. One is a tight end, Evan Engram and the other is running back Saquon Barkley. Last year they combined for 136 receptions, 1298 yards (9.45 yards per catch), and 7 TDs. They are outstanding in the short passing game.

Maybe this year Engram and Barkley will be enough to suck the linebackers and safeties up closer to the line of scrimmage. That will open the middle and deep routes, but again it won’t matter if the wide receivers can’t get open or Manning can’t get the ball where it needs to be.

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