The New York Giants tried desperately to upgrade their wide receivers a season ago, signing Kenny Golladay and John Ross as free agents and using a first-round pick on Kadarius Toney. For a myriad of reasons, that did not work out.
Ross is gone after his one-year flier flopped. The Giants added second-round pick Wan’Dale Robinson to this group, and took fliers on players like Richie James and Robert Foster, but many of the key players are still the same.
Will the 2022 Giants be better or worse at wide receiver than they were a year ago? Let’s discuss.
Why the Giants could be better
The Giants have to be better at wide receiver in 2022, don’t they? It is, honestly, hard to imagine that they wouldn’t be. There are several reasons.
The Giants did not have a single wide receiver play 17 games last season. Golladay played 14, and was playing at less than 100 percent in several others. Toney played 10. Ross, continuing a long history of injury, played 10. Shepard, with his own lengthy injury history, played seven. Collin Johnson played 12. C.J. Board played 6.
That left Daniel Jones play — and practicing — with a cast of characters that changed on a weekly basis.
It is impossible to produce when you don’t play. It is more difficult to produce when you are playing if your injuries have severely limited your practice time, and your reps with the quarterback.
There is no excuse for Golladay, a 6-foot-4 receiver the organization gave a four-year, $72 million contract, to only get two red zone targets all year.
There is no excuse, even though the Giants gave several, for only getting Toney seven targets over the first three weeks. How much practice time or knowledge of the offense does it take to run a bubble screen?
There is no excuse to go halves of games without wide receivers catching a pass, or maybe even being targeted.
The Brian Daboll/Mike Kafka offense has to be better at figuring out what players do well and giving them opportunities to do it than the Joe Judge/Jason Garrett/Freddie Kitchens offense. Doesn’t it? Hard to imagine it won’t be.
This is not a prediction that Jones will morph into an All-Pro in 2022. I do believe that Jones’ 2022 production is going to more closely resemble his 24-touchdown, 12-interception rookie season than his 21-touchdown, 17-interception combined total of the last two seasons.
I believe Jones will be at least competent.
Saying that quarterback play will help the receivers be better in 2022 is also about a belief that the Tyrod Taylor/Davis Webb backup duo is far superior to the Mike Glennon/Jake Fromm duo. How often were you afraid of what was going to happen when Glennon or Fromm threw the ball a year ago? How often did the Giants play offense like they were also afraid of what might happen?
I don’t think that will be the case this year should Taylor or Webb have to play.
I am not predicting rookie stardom for the surprise second-round pick out of Kentucky. I am predicting he will be a useful part of the Giants’ offense. GM Joe Schoen said the organization had a “very clear vision” for Robinson when the team drafted him. As we watched the offense begin to unfold during the spring was a quick-throw, RPO-style, get the ball to playmakers and let them create style that Robinson is perfectly suited for.
Why the Giants could be worse
Honestly, I don’t think that is possible. An even worse rash of injuries and Robinson flopping in his rookie year are about the only things that could cause that to be the case.