Before the NY Giants selected Kadarius Toney, head coach Joe Judge made a point to call one of his veterans potentially impacted by the choice; Sterling Shepard
Last spring, the Green Bay Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first-round of the NFL Draft, without the courtesy of a phone call to Aaron Rodgers, who went on to win the MVP last season but that decision has at least partially opened up a sizable divide between the organization and its star quarterback.
About 1,000 miles away in East Rutherford just one year later, NY Giants head coach Joe Judge took the opposite path ahead of selecting wide receiver Kadarius Toney No. 20 overall in April’s draft.
Judge called NY Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard.
“I felt it was necessary to talk to [Shepard],” Judge said Thursday. “Specifically because when we drafted Toney, the word in the press was he was reading the headlines that said specifically ‘he’s a slot receiver,’ which, we’re not bringing someone in to play one position.”
Toney, 6-feet and 193 pounds, is viewed by many evaluators as a prototypical slot receiver in the NFL, but as judge points out, the NY Giants plan on maximizing his versatility by lining him up outside or at times even in two-back sets to dictate to opposing defenses.
Still, it says something about how much Judge values Shepard and values the relationships within his locker room and with his players that he would call the veteran receiver ahead of choosing Toney, especially because Shepard is most productive from the slot.
“I thought it was relevant to contact Shep,” Judge said. “Because out of respect for how important he is within our program and how relevant that was to him.”