Darius Slayton has been a pleasant surprise for a 2019 fifth-round Dave Gettleman selection. Coming out of Auburn, many draft pundits didn’t expect much from the 6-foot-1, 190- pound, wide receiver, yet he was able to team up with Daniel Jones, as rookies, and have a very respectable season for the Nerw York Giants.
Slayton didn’t perform as well last season, though, and after the Giants added several receivers this offseason Slayton was asked Thursday if he worried about possibly being pushed aside.
“No, not really. I wouldn’t really worry about it,” Slayton said. “I try to go out and be the best I can be and I’m excited for what this team has in store.
“I’m excited about all the guys; KT (Kadarius Toney), and John Ross, and KG (Kenny Golladay). I’m excited about all the guys. I think you just think the more the merrier should be the mindset.”
That’s the type of mentality a football coach should always strive to instill in his players. Slayton is heading into his third season and has two years left on his contract. He had 94 targets last season on 887 snaps; those numbers may go down with all the additions, but Slayton should still be an important part of this offense.
Slayton was also asked about Daniel Jones’ development, and the young receiver chuckled about Jones’ body transformation while raving about the quarterback’s leadership
“I think he’s grown tremendously, physically in his body, it’s almost like this last offseason, he was all of a sudden jacked and actually had cuts in his arms and stuff,” Slayton said. “He actually made a physical change and he’s grown as a leader - as well as physically developing - he’s become a better football player.”
Slayton, and Giants’ fans, are hoping he can shrug off the slight sophomore slump that he had in 2020. Although he had a few more catches and yards in 2020, his touchdowns dropped from 8 to 3 (2 being scored in week one). Touchdowns can honestly be fluky, but the drops were also a problem last season, and he struggled in contested catch situations.
All the additions the Giants made could benefit Slayton. He won’t have to see primary outside coverage anymore and safeties, as well as the defense, will be much more focused on their run fits against Saquon Barkley, and clouding the primary receiving option in Kenny Golladay. It’s a great “problem” for the Giants to have, and Slayton seems to have the right mentality to handle the extra talent that the Giants added this off-season.