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NFL free agency: 5 ‘discount’ wide receivers the Giants could pursue

Washington Football Team v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has already put the precedent on the receiver position. If the Giants don’t sign a big name like Allen Robinson, or even a middling name like Curtis Samuel, then they may look to add a veteran wide receiver on a cheap deal to pair with an inevitable receiver draft selection. Below are five names that may fit that description.

Marvin Jones Jr., Lions

Jones Jr. is a big-bodied 6-foot-2, 198-pound receiver who spent his last few seasons with the Detroit Lions. Quietly, he’s coming off two consecutive 9 touchdown seasons. Jones recorded 76 catches, on 114 targets, for 978 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2020. Although it may seem like Jones has been in the league forever, he’s still only 30 years of age, and he still has value at a cheaper price.

Jones Jr., much like teammate Kenny Golladay (only to a lesser extent), is a vertical threat who wins contested-catch 50-50 balls. He plays with exceptional body control, concentration, and possesses good lower body explosiveness. Jones uses his big catch radius, and frame to out-position defensive backs and win at the catch point.

He’s coming off a season during which he was targeted the most in his career, had the most receptions, and had the third-highest yardage total of his career. Much of this was a product of Kenny Golladay’s injury creating available targets for a team that was constantly trailing, but it still speaks to what Jones can offer.

Daniel Jones could use a bigger-bodied receiver who thrives at the catch point like Marvin Jones Jr. He could be the X in the offense, be a true red-zone target, and even have success in Jason Garrett’s system. Jones Jr. ability to run the stick/curl, turn, box out, and use his strong hands to pluck away from his frame, would give the Giants a more reliable big body than Evan Engram. I wouldn’t hate this signing at the right price, and I still see the value with Jones Jr.

Keelan Cole, Jaguars

The Division II product out of Kentucky Wesleyan had an up and down time with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He busted onto the scene in his rookie season as an undrafted player to the tune of 45 catches for 830 yards and 3 touchdowns. That was the Jaguars AFC Championship 2017 season where they lost to the Patriots 24-20. Since 2017, Cole has been up and down - hit or miss - hot and cold. Throughout his career, he’s lined up in the slot and on the boundary, but mostly in the slot during the 2020 season. He had 55 catches for 642 yards and 5 touchdowns during that campaign.

Cole is still only 27 years of age and he has solid size at 6-1, 194 pounds. The Jaguars re-signed him to a one-year deal last year when he was a restricted free agent, and he filled in valiantly for the often-injured Laviska Shenualt and D.J. Chark. He’s struggled with drops in the past, but he has the vertical element to his game that the Giants should be looking to add. In that 2017 season, Cole averaged 18.4 yards per catch with Blake Bortles tossing him the pigskin. Cole doesn’t offer the same type of contested catch ability as Jones Jr, but he could help the receiving corps at a reduced price.

Breshad Perriman, Jets

The former first-round pick never lived up to his expectations coming out of UCF back in 2015, but he was able to reclaim his career outside of Baltimore with Jameis Winston and the Buccaneers. His 36 catch, 645 yards, 6 touchdowns 2019 season led to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Jets. The Jets had an unfortunate season and Perriman dealt with concussion issues for most of the year.

Now, at only 27 years of age, the 6-2, 215-pound receiver is back on the market and looking for a new team. With the influx of new talent at the wide receiver position and the skilled free-agent class, Perriman may be forced to settle for another one-year prove-it deal.

Perriman is more of a height/weight speed type of player who was a bit over-drafted to be a deep threat for Joe Flacco and his cannon of an arm. Perriman purportedly ran a 4.24 at his Pro Day, which ranks in the 99th percentile for wide receivers. He still possesses a lot of speed and can help stretch the field for Daniel Jones and the Giants. On a cheap deal, Perriman makes sense.

Josh Reynolds, Rams

The production isn’t there for Reynolds, but he’s 6-3, 196 pounds, and he was in a system that was predicated on running the football and being in 12 personnel. Reynolds has 124 catches, 1,636 yards, and 9 touchdowns in his career - that’s modest, to say the least. Many in the draft community, and who are affiliated with the NFL, speak highly of Reynolds; but with the cap going down, Reynolds may have to sign a smaller deal.

The Rams passing game went through Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, so Reynolds wasn’t tasked with a large role - that doesn’t mean he can’t do it, though. Reynolds failed to have a 100-yard game in his career and he only had two touchdowns in 2020. Reynolds isn’t a burner, but he has the size and he’s only 26 years of age. He would give the Giants a larger target on the boundary if they decided to go in this direction.

David Moore, Seahawks

This is a bit more of an upside selection, but it makes sense. The Division II product out of East Central Oklahoma has a very nice frame. He’s only 6-feet, but he’s a sturdy 215 pounds. Russell Wilson was allowed to cook a bit this season and Moore actually benefited. He had 36 catches (on 47 targets) for 418 yards and 6 touchdowns for the Seahawks behind D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Seattle’s offense gets its running backs involved a lot in the passing game, as well as the tight ends. The third receiver in 11 personnel isn’t meant to be a focal point, especially not with Metcalf and Lockett on the field. I see Moore as a solid addition that could be signed relatively cheap, and there could be untapped potential. The 2017 seventh-round pick could carve out a solid role with another team, maybe that team could be the Giants.