When you compare New York Giants’ wide receiver Darius Slayton’s route chart to 2019, the majority of his action came in the deeper portion of the field. A lot of streaks and hooks are his bread and butter, but in week one of the 2020 regular season, he displayed immense maturity in his route tree.
Slayton finished the contest and the eventual loss of the Pittsburgh Steelers with six receptions, 102 yards, and two touchdowns. He has quickly become quarterback Daniel Jones‘s favorite target and continues to produce on a weekly basis. From the contest, his chart includes posts, hook routes, drag routes, and more. This is a noticeable development in his ability to expand and improve his skill set — a very positive sign for a receiver that was drafted in the 5th round last year.
The New York Giants have a budding star:
With options on the roster like Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram, some might think that more talented players would bury Slayton. Nonetheless, he has turned into a cemented option and potentially a WR1 for Jones in the passing game.
In 2019, Slayton earned a 57.1% catch rate over 14 games. So far, in one contest, he has a 66.7% catch rate and 11.3 yards per target. His sample size is much smaller, but he’s trending in the right direction for the Giants. Dating back to his week 17 performance, Slayton finished his 2019 campaign with 154 yards and two scores. A majority of his routes were deep boundary routes.
Interestingly, Slayton only ran five routes that weren’t beyond 20 yards downfield. On Monday night against the Steelers, he ran seven routes that didn’t go beyond 20 yards. That is a clear indication that they see him as a smooth route runner who has improved during the off-season. That is a huge sign for Jones and his wide receiver corps. If he can continue to produce and improve on his skill set, the Giants might be set on the outside for years to come.
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