NY Giants now boast one of NFL’s most improved receiving corps

Florida Gators wide receiver Kadarius Toney (Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports)
Florida Gators wide receiver Kadarius Toney (Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports) /

The NY Giants’ receiving corps went from one of the league’s most inconsistent to arguably among the NFL’s most talented this offseason

The NY Giants said it in words, and more importantly in their repeated actions this offseason; improving the supporting cast of weapons around quarterback Daniel Jones was the top organizational priority.

Jones, entering his third NFL season, has yet to throw more than 25 touchdowns or fewer than 10 interceptions through the first two seasons of his career, but at least part of the reason for his struggles lies in an inconsistent — and oft-injured — supporting cast that surrounded him the past two years.

As a rookie, Jones played just one game with Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton in 2018. Then, last season, Barkley was lost for the season in Week 2 with a torn ACL. Jones also missed two games due to ankle and hamstring injuries.

All of that meant that wholesale changes, and significant resources needed to be invested in the wide receiver position.

Since March, the NY Giants guaranteed upwards of $45 million to the best available wide receiver in free agency, Kenny Golladay, also signed former Cincinnati Bengals first-round draft choice John Ross, and selected Kadarius Toney with the No. 20 overall pick in last weekend’s 2021 NFL Draft.

According to Pro Football Focus, all of those investments have yielded one of the most improved receiving cars in the entire league:

"Kenny Golladay was the last true X receiver on the free-agent market after Allen Robinsonand Chris Godwin had received the franchise tag. He is the kind of player the Giants were missing in 2020. Golladay’s 53 contested catches over the past three seasons are second only to Robinson at the position, even with all the missed time in 2020. He’s a downfield, jump-ball threat Jones can trust in 50-50 situations.The Giants followed that splash free-agent signing by spending their first-round pick on another wide receiver. Per Zack Rosenblatt, Toney said that he models his game after Alvin Kamara, and like Kamara, his after-the-catch ability is rare. That’s something New York needed to add at wide receiver. The Giants’ wide receivers averaged 3.0 yards after the catch per reception in 2020, dead last in the NFL. Toney should help turn that number around.Veteran free-agent additions like Kyle Rudolph and John Ross round out the new incoming class. Now, the Giants have to figure out how to keep Jones upright with a questionable offensive line in front of him."

This upcoming season promises to be a pivotal one for Jones, not just in terms of making a leap in terms of his development, but more importantly, proving to the NY Giants that he has the ability to be one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks and one the organization should be committed to long-term.

A lack of weapons is no longer an excuse for Jones, and if he falters, the NY Giants are now armed with a pair of first-round picks to try to move up to select his replacement in the NFL Draft.

However, if all of the added firepower at wide receiver facilities Jones’ making great strides, not only is this a team to watch in 2021, but the added draft capital will allow the NY Giants to continue surrounding Jones with blue chip talent.

Matt Lombardo is the site expert for GMenHQ, and writes Between The Hash Marks each Wednesday for FanSided. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattLombardoNFL