Darius Slayton was a fifth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft and was not really known for his production coming out of college. He had no more than 35 receptions per season in his three years at Auburn. The New York Giants decided to take a chance on the speedy receiver and it sure paid off in the end. Heading into his second year in the league, expect Darius Slayton to breakout and become a primary, dynamic playmaker for the Giants.
Darius Slayton Will Continue His Breakout in Year Two
Slayton missed the first two games of the 2019 season due to a hamstring injury, so he made his NFL debut alongside quarterback Daniel Jones in Week 3 on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones and Slayton then established a connection from the start. In 14 games, Slayton tallied 48 receptions for 740 yards and eight touchdowns. His eight scores tied for the most among rookie wide receivers in 2019. Another accomplishment that jumps off the page is that Slayton became the first rookie wide receiver since 2014 to have multiple games with 100+ yards and at least two touchdowns, joining the likes of Mike Evans, Allen Hurns and Odell Beckham Jr. Slayton also proved that he has big-play ability, averaging 28 yards per touchdown reception. Slayton’s rookie year was nothing but extraordinary and the Giants certainly got great value out of their fifth-round pick.
Threat Giants Have Been Looking For
It is obvious that Slayton proved that he is one of the top playmakers on the Giants offense. Being surrounded by Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate will certainly help elevate a wide receiver’s game. But Slayton is not like the others in the receiver room, he is an outside receiver, not a slot receiver. A true outside threat is something the Giants have been looking for a long time, and they may have found one in Slayton. The 6’2″ receiver is bound to keep producing at a high level, granted he stays healthy for a full season.
Now, there are some challenges facing Slayton has he heads into his second year. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, teams are not yet allowed to be in their training facilities. And with new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, Slayton, along with the rest of the Giants offense, will have to learn a completely new playbook without being in the same place or on the field. But Slayton should be able to overcome this.
“They throw another dictionary at you and the new dictionary has some of the same words with different meanings,” Slayton said on an interview last month with SiriusXM NFL radio. “It’s like rookie year all over again.”
It certainly seems that Slayton will learn the offense rather easily, but is clearly itching to get back onto the field along with the rest of the league.
What to Expect in 2020
Look for the 23 year old to stay fully healthy this year, along with the rest of the playmakers on offense. Jones, Barkley, Shepard, Slayton, Tate and Engram still have yet to play in the same game together. With everyone healthy, they will only elevate each other, which will allow Slayton to take his game to the next level. Darius Slayton could really become a household name this season if he tops his stats from last year.
Slayton will have his first 1,000+ yard season in 2020. No Giants receiver has had a 1,000 yard receiving season since OBJ back in 2018, but with a full season under his belt, Slayton can breakout and turn even more heads with his play.
Darius Slayton will prove he can be a dynamic player on the Giants offense for years to come. With one season in the books and a continued strong connection with second year quarterback Daniel Jones, he will only get better from here.