A look at the New York Giants 2023 NFL Draft class from a betting perspective
BetOnline patrons may have observed, the New York Giants had a wide receiver problem last season. As in, they didn't really have much in that department. Injuries robbed them of Sterling Shepard and, early in the campaign, Wan'Dale Robinson. Kenny Golladay, who they spent a lot of money on, didn't perform. Kadarius Toney's personality just didn't fit in with the "culture" under first-year head coach Brian Daboll and he was traded to Kansas City, where he could easily have been named the Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl.
The team was able to squeeze some production out of no-names Richie James and Isaiah Hodgins (who had played under Daboll, in his role as OC in Buffalo). But the closest thing they had to anyone explosive was Darius Slayton, who averaged almost 16 yards a catch.
Saquon Barkley, who led the NFC in rushing, was tied for the team lead in receptions with 57. But Barkley may not be in the fold beyond the 2023 season, because of a stalemate in contract negotiations. So Big Blue needs some weaponry to support quarterback Daniel Jones, in whom they have made an investment for the future.
They got started with that by acquiring Darren Waller, who had worn out his welcome in Las Vegas (if we knew more, we'd say, but whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas).
However, wide receiver was still a place they needed help, badly.
The over-under on total wins for the Giants for the 2023 season is 8.5 at BetOnline. The under is priced at -145, with the over at +115. So expectations aren't particularly high for a team that made the playoffs and beat Minnesota, before falling to Philadelphia.
With the 25th pick, the Giants thought they might be in a position to improve themselves. But then a cruel thing happened. The first four wide receivers taken - Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers, Quentin Johnston, Jordan Addison - disappeared in the time it took to go from picks 20 to 23.
So the Giants were out of luck on that front. The possibility was strong that they would have taken one of those guys.
When the receivers were off the board, the Giants did not want to miss out on another area of need, which was in the secondary. So they made a trade with Jacksonville to move up one spot and took cornerback Deonte Banks of Maryland, who is said to be a great man defender and thus an ideal fit for Wink Martindale's pass coverage scheme.
The Giants then made another trade to move up into the 73rd spot (in the third round) and grabbed wide receiver Jalin Hyatt out of Tennessee.
Hyatt is unquestionably a beneficiary of Josh Heupel's high-intensity, no-huddle offense with the Volunteers. And he went through two seasons of relative non-production, with a little over 500 yards.
But in 2022 he exploded. Hyatt racked up 1267 yards, good for 18.9 yards per catch, and scored 15 touchdowns. He put forth what may have been the most outstanding one-game performance of 2002, as he had 207 yards and FIVE touchdowns in an upset over Alabama. His efforts were enough to win him the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's outstanding wideout.
Hyatt runs great vertical routes and has blazing speed. He ran the 40 yard dash in 4.4 at the combine. He is a guy who has the ability to keep the safeties back, which can only aid the Giants' efforts to run the ball with Barkley.
But he drops the ball way too much, and these guys have to work on that.
Still, you've got a guy who can beat a lot of people downfield, and arguably may turn out to be more useful than one or two of the WR's who were chosen in the first round.
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