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NFL Draft

Did Giants Prioritize ‘Right’ WR When Signing Kenny Golladay?

  • The Draft Network
  • September 17, 2021
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Kadarius Toney isn’t the only New York Giants receiver starting to show frustration with his lack of gameday usage. Kenny Golladay, otherwise known as New York’s $72 million man, appeared to get into a shouting match with Giants quarterback Daniel Jones on the sidelines during Thursday night’s primetime game against the Washington Football Team.

The Giants are 0-2 and Golladay has been a net negative while totaling seven catches through eight quarters of regular season football. Concerns regarding how Golladay fits into this offense have begun to reveal themselves.

The Giants' offense performed at an admirable level on Thursday. They scored 29 points and moved the ball efficiently. Sterling Shepard looked electric while hauling in nine balls for 94 yards. Shepard appears to be Jones’ go-to receiver in the slot and looks primed for a productive season. Darius Slayton continues to operate as the team’s primary downfield threat. Slayton had three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown, and just missed another big play when a deep ball went through his hands late in the fourth quarter.

And then there was Golladay. 

Jones looked his way eight times on Thursday. Golladay dropped two of his targets and left the field with just three catches to his name. The Giants will hope their chemistry is a work in progress, and the next few games should give us plenty of evidence to indicate one way or another.

But what Golladay is supposed to be doing while earning his $72 million is unclear as of now. He doesn’t look like the receiver that totaled 2,253 receiving yards in 2018 and 2019 while playing with Matthew Stafford for the majority of that time period.

During his time in Detroit, Golladay was the team’s main passing threat down the field. The Lions counted on him to make big plays and he specialized in that role while the likes of Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola operated in different manners and areas of the field—and Golladay’s skill-set meshed well with Stafford and his pro-style approach. But in New York, none of that has rung true through two weeks. Jones has another downfield weapon in Slayton, one he appears to prefer over Golladay as of now. The chemistry between Jones and Slayton is there, and that statement hasn’t held true for Jones and Golladay thus far.

And then you have the differences between Jones and Stafford. Jones performed at a high level on Thursday, but his limitations as a quarterback have been evident on plenty of occasions. He is, in many ways, the anti-Stafford. He never quite looks comfortable in the pocket and yet the Giants have asked him to play in a system that requires better pocket awareness than he’s proven capable of showing.

Throughout his pro career, Golladay has done some of his finest work while operating as the slot receiver. He’s not going to play there in New York, and his limitations when faced with press coverage on the outside are becoming more evident by the week.

As of now, there are several signs that point to Giants general manager Dave Gettleman failing to identify the right type of receiver he should have pursued this offseason, and that responsibility doesn’t fall on Golladay’s shoulders. Golladay has to perform at a higher level as well, but we wonder if the fit here is simply wrong.

If Gettleman whiffed on Golladay, like he has on so many other acquisitions during his tenure in New York, it will be one of the decisions that get brought up when he gets handed his walking papers.

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