March 14, 2023 will prove to be a glorius day in New York Giants history. On that day, the G-Men acquired Darren Waller in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick. This really came from out of nowhere. It feels like one of the most underrated blockbuster moves of the offseason.
We must talk more about how tremendous Waller is. The veteran is undoubtedly a top five tight end in the NFL, and by the end of the 2023 season, we could be saying he is the second best, only trailing Travis Kelce. Waller will completely change the dynamic of New York’s offense. Here are three reasons the Darren Waller trade will prove to be gold for the squad:
3. Darren Waller will take Danny Dimes to another level
Daniel Jones had an excellent 2022 season. Jones posted the sixth-best QBR, was a top-10 quarterback, and won a playoff game. Waller can elevate his game even higher. Through his four seasons as Giants quarterback, Jones’ primary tight end posted 467 yards, 654 yards, 408 yards, and 268 yards, respectively.
Evan Engram, the primary tight end for Jones' first three seasons in the NFL, never caught more than three touchdowns in a year from the Giants QB. Jones threw for just 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2022. Waller will alone help Jones' passing yards and passing touchdowns shoot up exponentially in 2023.
In 2019, Waller had 1,145 yards and three touchdowns on 90 receptions. In 2020, Waller had 1,196 yards and nine touchdowns on 107 receptions. Only one New York Giants tight end has amassed 1,000 yards in a single season (Mark Bavaro had exactly 1,000 in 1986). In 2021, Waller played in just 11 games and had 665 yards, which still would have been the best production Jones received from a tight end in his career.
Also in 2021, PFF gave Waller a 74.2 pass-blocking grade, which is very good. If the Giants want to use Waller as a decoy on certain plays, he can serve as a de facto sixth offensive lineman and give Jones more time to work in the pocket.
Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka are two of the greatest offensive minds in football. Those two will scheme up creative ways to feed Waller the ball. Remember, Kafka was a longtime member of the Cheifs offensive coaching staff that turned Kelce into arguably the best tight end in NFL history.