Is Andy Isabella an eventual successor to Sterling Shepard?
The New York Giants have a decision to make after the 2019 season regarding their offense. They will have to decide whether or not they want to sign Sterling Shepard to a second contract after making Odell Beckham Jr. one of the most highly paid players in the NFL.
Shepard is an under-appreciated player who is reliable as a possession receiver, productive when the offense flows through him, and utterly selfless when it comes to helping his teammates produce. That being said, he is smaller than Dave Gettleman has preferred in receivers and his ability to play multiple roles in an offense largely gets overlooked. The Giants could opt to let him leave via free agency and draft another receiver to fill the spot for much less money.
The Giants also need to secure their depth chart behind Beckham and Shepard for the 2019 season.
Is his production enough for the Giants to overlook his size?
- Very good release. Drives off the line of scrimmage with little wasted motion.
- Sharp and sudden out of cuts and breaks.
- Highly productive despite defenses keying on him.
- Adjusts well to off-target throws.
- Powerful lower body lets him weather poor tackle attempts.
- Quick feet lead to yards after the catch.
- Played all over the offensive front, out wide, in the slot, as well as a ball carrier on jets and sweeps.
- Former track star.
- Undersized by NFL standards. Thickly built, but short.
- Small hands and a limited catch radius.
- Willing blocker, but size limits him.
- Much of his competition was at a lower level.
- Will likely be pigeonholed as a slot receiver at the next level.
What They’re Saying
Competitive, well-rounded slot target possessing both elite quickness and long speed to go with above-average play strength. Isabella has the feet and fakes to uncover in a hallway closet and the former high school sprint champion proved to Georgia that his ability to win deep should not be underestimated. Isabella could step into a high-volume slot role as a menace on option routes with the ability to add verticality from the slot. While the step up in competition will be pronounced, he has the traits to transition nicely into the NFL.
- Lance Zierlein (NFL.com – Scouting Report)
Does He Fit The Giants?
Isabella does fit with what the Giants want to do on offense. He is a precise route runner who’s ability to get himself open then produce yards after the catch would play well in Pat Shurmur’s passing offense.
The bigger question is whether he is big enough for the Giants. Many fans want the team to draft a big receiver to contrast Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard — and Isabella’s game is very similar to Shepard’s. However, as depth, a third receiver, and special teams contributor, he would be able to find plenty of snaps.
If Isabella happens to drop to the third day of the draft he could be a solid addition to the offense. Not to mention potential insurance for the possible loss of Shepard after the 2019 season.