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Can David Sills V break through in Giants’ crowded wide receiver competition?

Sills spent most of 2019 on Giants’ practice squad

NFL: Buffalo Bills-Minicamp
David Sills V during 2019 training camp with the Buffalo Bills.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

More than likely one or more young, unproven wide receivers are going to make the New York Giants’ season-opening 53-man roster. Could David Sills V be one of them?

Let’s take a closer look.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 211
Age: 24
Position: Wide receiver
Experience: 1
Contract: Year 2 of two-year, $1.08 million contract

How he got here

Sills, trying to make it with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent out of West Virginia, was cut at the end of the preseason. The Giants added him to their practice squad, then elevated him to the active roster late in the year when Evan Engram was placed on IR. Sills never appeared in a game for the Giants.

You might also remember that when Sills was a 13-year-old quarterback prodigy Lane Kiffin, then head coach at USC, offered him a scholarship. The quarterback thing obviously didn’t work out for Sills.

Here is what Chris wrote about Sills when the Giants signed him a season ago:

“Just based on the eye test, David Sills V looks like an “X” receiver at the NFL level with a 6-foot-3 inch, 210-pound frame, 37-1⁄2 inch vertical jump and a stat line that reads like something out of a video game: 125 catches, 1,966 yards, and 33 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

“But the game tape doesn’t match the hype with Sills.

“His size is readily apparent, but he doesn’t have the play strength to bully defensive backs, nor does he have the lower body fluidity to to be smooth off the line or in and out of his breaks. The result is a player who struggles against press coverage, can be knocked off his route at the line of scrimmage, and tends to round his breaks at the top of his routes.

“And while he was often cited as a deep threat, WVU QB Will Grier actually averaged nearly two yards fewer when targeting Sills than his other receivers.

“That being said, just because a receiver is big, doesn’t mean he has to be an “X.” More likely, Sills’ best spot on the offense is as a “big slot” (a la Jordan Matthews or occasionally A.J. Green), or as a flanker. Either position would allow him to use his size and tendency to present a clear target to the quarterback to his advantage as a possession receiver.

“Of course, if he is going to be a possession receiver, Sills will need to be more consistent catching the ball. Drops were a problem with him, as sometimes he would pluck the ball out of the air, while other times it would slip through his hands or bounce off his fingers.

“As he develops, Sills should work on running his routes with precision, improving his play strength, and becoming a more consistent catcher of the ball. There is the potential there for Sills to become a productive player for the Giants, and given their luck with receivers this year, he might get the chance sooner rather than later.”

2020 outlook

Beyond Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate no Giants’ wide receiver should feel like he has a job sewn up heading into training camp. Sills has some intriguing tools that make him a player worth watching as he tries to become a guy who catches NFL passes rather than throws them.