Since the departure of Odell Beckham Jr., a trade that will forever be linked to Dave Gettleman, the Giants have lacked a true number one receiver. Eli Manning always had major playmakers, including the likes of OBJ, Plaxico Burress, Victor Curz, Mario Manningham, Amari Toomer, and Hakeem Nicks. The biggest name Daniel Jones has had was Golden Tate. The Giants are privileged to have two cornerstone offensive players on rookie contracts (Jones and Saquon Barkley), moves needed to be made now before the window closed.
Dave Gettleman's top priority was to give Daniel Jones the keys to succeed. With so many top talent receivers on the market, there was no excuse not to spend big on a playmaker. Arguably the best wide receiver in this year's free-agent board, the Giants land one of the most underrated wide receivers in the league, Kenny Golladay.
Golladay brings size and physicality to the Giants' offense. He also carries a track record of success from his four seasons with the Detroit Lions. His career totals include 183 receptions for 3,068 yards (16.8-yard avg.) and 21 touchdowns, with a long catch of 75 yards in 47 games. For Giants fans, this gives a Deja Vu flashback to Plaxico Burress, who help lead the Giants to a Super Bowl.
What the Giants are getting in Golladay?
The 2019 Pro Bowl receiver was the top receiving option the past three seasons for the Lions. In 2018-19, Golladay totaled 135 receptions, 2,253 yards – exceeding 1,000 yards in each season – and 16 touchdowns. He led the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions in 2019. He also has had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons and 21 career touchdowns. Not only has he had prior success, but he is also an elusive deep threat, which pairs nicely with Jone's style of play. If you aren't sold on Golladay, take a look at his stats, and also his comparison to another Lion great, Calvin Johnson. You know, Megatron?
How does this help Daniel Jones?
As mentioned prior, Daniel Jones in his two seasons have never had a playmaker like Golladay, even while at Duke, he never had any true star power. Pairing the two together immediately makes Daniel Jones a dangerous quarterback. KenNYG plays to all of DJ's strengths. According to PFF, Jones had the highest passer rating in the NFL on throws 20+ yards downfield in 2020 (132.5). In 2018 & 19 Golladay had 3rd-most deep (20+) receiving yards, with 930, and he tied for first in contested catches with 43.
What does this mean for the offense?
Not only did the Giants land the services of Golladay, but they also added two nice pieces in speedy receiver John Ross and former Pro-Bowler, Kyle Rudolph. Daniel Jones now has a flurry of weapons, which gives no excuse for him, Coach Joe Judge, and offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. The Giants finished 31st in total offense (299.6 yards per game), which wasn't entirely on Jones since Saquon Barkley suffered a torn ACL.
The addition of Golladay helps the entire offense in many factors. First, it takes the focus and stress of star running back Saquon Barkley. Coming off an ACL Injury, the pressure and burden can be taken off of Barkley as the primary offensive piece. Developing a threatening passing game should allow for fewer crowded boxes for the run, and creates space for short underneath routes and options.
It also allows Sterling Shepard to transition back to the slot, which is where he is more effective. This also allows Darius Slayton to shine, as he won't get double-teamed as often. With a solid two-tight end tandem of Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph, having the deep threat of Golladay creates a perfect mismatch for tight end short and long passes.
Impact on the Draft?
Sitting at the eleventh pick, prior to this signing, the Giants were in a conflicting spot. Nobody knows who would fall to that spot, but all eyes have been on the trio of receivers in Devonta Smith/Jaylen Waddle/LaMare Chase and stud tight end, Kyle Pitts. I am a strong believer in drafting the player and not the position, and if any of those guys are available, particularly the receivers, I would be happy to have them for an ultimate offensive scheme.
The smarter choice is to focus on either the offensive line or the defense. They could pair Penn State Linebacker Micah Parsons with Blake Martinez, or improve the edge with Miami's Gregory Rousseau to fill the void of Dalvin Tomlinson. If Penei Sewell is available, that would be a huge boost for the offensive line, or in a shocking move, they could even trade back.
At the end of the day, the Giants got better, a lot better, with Kenny Golladay. It is now up to Daniel Jones and Company to take Kenny Golladay and shoot for the stars. Welcome to New York Kenny G, let's get this bread!