From an outside perspective, it might seem as if Tate would be the top option considering his past success and trustworthiness. However, Shepard is familiar with the playbook and has chemistry with starting quarterback, Eli Manning. Those two factors might be more determining.
The New York Giants are in good hands with Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate:
As a duo, I believe they will be extremely effective, especially when you consider their ability to play on the exterior and interior. Flip-flopping and moving around on the line of scrimmage will be a frequent action on the Giants offense, keeping the opposing defense on its heels and forcing them to adjust, pulling players away from Saquon Barkley.
One of the methods of success I anticipate from Shep and Tate is their innate ability to catch the ball. They both have stellar hands, both securing over 61% of balls thrown their way in 2018.
Tate is one year removed from a 76.7% catch rate, and Shep 70.2%. Eli Manning’s days of heaving passes into triple coverage in hopes of Beckham coming down with it are over, and that’s a positive thing.
Often times, we would see Manning force the ball to OBJ, causing turnovers and incompletions. Relying on your top pass-catcher isn’t a bad thing, but he was so dedicated to finding him he would often miss wide open receivers in the flat.
That negative response will now be eradicated after his departure. The position battle that will ensure to replace the No. 1 spot will be fierce. Both Giants receivers haven’t dropped a ball this spring and are showing they’re capable of handling the load. It’s possible the Giants simply consider them both a No. 1 receiver and utilize them in a similar fashion.