There were plenty of wide receivers in this year’s NFL Draft the New York Giants could have jumped on as they faced life without Odell Beckham Jr. They chose to pad their roster in other ways in the first four rounds, waiting until the fifth round to select Auburn speedster Darius Slayton with the 171st overall pick.

Slayton (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) ran a blistering 4.39 40-yard dash at this year’s NFL Combine, which was good enough for eighth best at the event. His vertical jump was measured at 40.5 inches, placing him sixth overall.

No question he’s a gifted athlete. As a football player, Slayton has a ways to go. He’s missed some time at training camp with a sore hamstring, but is back practicing with the team.

Slayton’s return couldn’t come at a better time. The Giants learned this week that Golden Tate will miss the first four games of the regular season after losing the appeal to his PED suspension.

Slayton may be called on to display his wares early on. But will he have enough time to help the Giants early on this season?

“He’s made good progress,” head coach Pat Shurmur said early in the week. “He’s been out there the last couple of days, which is good. We’ll just see where he is with this (week’s) game moving forward. He’s got plenty of time in my mind.”

After a few practices, Slayton began to move up in the eyes of the coaches, exhibiting the traits of a deep-threat wideout.

“He’s a fine receiver,” Shurmur said on Wednesday. “He has speed, obviously. Through the OTAs and the time he was on the practice field, he displayed the ability to go down the field and make a catch. We anticipate that he’s going to have a bright future. He just needs to get out there.”

By admission, Slayton does have some catching up to do after missing a few eke of practice and the Giants’ first preseason game.

“I feel like I have most of (the playbook) down but there’s some plays here and there, some things you have to beat into your brain,” Slayton said. “If you’re injured and not physically playing, it’s even more important that you’re staying sharp.”

It would be ideal if Slayton could come in and give the Giants’ receiving corp a sorely needed boost this season. They need to finally put these questions about their post-OBJ offense to bed for good.