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2022 NFL Draft: How big a need for the Giants is wide receiver?

Giants got very little production from this position in 2021

New York Giants v Los Angeles Chargers
Kenny Golladay
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Wide receiver is perhaps a bigger need for the New York Giants than we have previously acknowledged. Despite signing Kenny Golladay to a free-agent mega-contract and drafting Kadarius Toney in Round 1, the 2021 Giants had arguably the least productive group of wide receivers in the NFL.

Giants’ wide receivers caught only 5 touchdown passes the entire season. Darius Slayton (2) was the only wide receiver with more than one touchdown reception. There were 31 wide receivers in the NFL who caught at least 6 touchdown passes.

Neither Golladay nor Toney caught a single touchdown pass.

Golladay led the Giants with 521 receiving yards, 84th in the league.

Injuries and general offensive dysfunction were partially to blame. The Giants, though, currently have serious questions at wide receiver.

The current depth chart

Starters: Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepard (when healthy)

Backups: Darius Slayton, Collin Johnson, Alex Bachman, C.J. Board, Robert Foster, Richie James, Austin Proehl, David Sills V, Travis Toivonen

On paper, a Golladay-Shepard-Toney triumvirate looks like a nice beginning to a wide receiver depth chart. All, though, come with questions.

Can Golladay stay healthy? Oh, and what the heck happened to his performance last season? Zero touchdowns? Career lows in catch percentage, yards per reception, yards per target, passer rating when targeted and yards receiving per game? Whatever the reasons, that isn’t what the Giants gave him a four-year, $72 million contract to produce.

What’s the deal with Toney? Can he stay healthy? Is he really committed to being the kind of player his college tape, and last year’s 10-catch, 189-yard Dallas Cowboys game, hint he can be? Will he grow up?

What can the Giants get from Shepard? He is coming off yet another injury-riddled season that was ended by a torn Achilles tendon. When he will be ready to play is uncertain. How long he will stay on the field, given his history, is also uncertain.

Darius Slayton has seen his performance steadily go backwards since a promising 2019 rookie season. The rest of the group is a collection of maybes.

2022 draft class

Day 1 possibilities

(Using rankings on the NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board)

Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
Drake London, USC [Prospect profile]
Jameson Williams, Alabama
Chris Olave, Ohio State
Treylon Burks, Arkansas [Prospect profile]
Jahan Dotson, Penn State [Prospect profile]

Could the Giants select a wide receiver in Round 1? That doesn’t seem likely unless they trade down with one of their two top-10 picks.

Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) possibilities

Christian Watson, North Dakota State [Prospect profile]
George Pickens, Georgia [Prospect profile]
Skyy Moore, Western Michigan [Prospect profile]
John Metchie III, Alabama [Prospect profile]
Calvin Austin III, Memphis [Prospect profile]
Wan’Dale Robinson, Kentucky
David Bell, Purdue [Prospect profile]
Alec Pierce, Cincinnati [Prospect profile]
Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama [Prospect profile]
Khalil Shakir, Boise State
Justyn Ross, Clemson [Prospect profile]

There are a ton of good options here. I am partial to Pickens, but I also like Watson, Moore, Pierce, Shakir and Ross. That doesn’t mean I’m right, those are just the guys I was drawn to when watching them play.

Day 3 (Rounds 4-6) possibilities

Romeo Doubs, Nevada [Prospect profile]
Velus Jones Jr., Tennessee
Danny Gray, SMU
Tyquan Thornton, Baylor
Bo Melton, Rutgers
Kyle Philips, UCLA [Prospect profile]
Erik Ezukanma, Texas Tech
Charleston Rambo, Miami [Prospect profile]

Giants 2022 draft picks

Round 1 (No. 5)
Round 1 (No. 7)
Round 2 (No. 36)
Round 3 (No. 67)
Round 3 (No. 81)
Round 4 (No. 112)
Round 5 (No. 147)
Round 5 (No. 173)
Round 6 (No. 182)

Final thoughts

I really don’t know who Joe Schoen, Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka will like. I would be surprised, though, if the Giants don’t add to their wide receiver depth chart at some point in the draft.