Following the news that the New York Giants have locked up quarterback Daniel Jones long-term, and franchise-tagged Saquon Barkley, the team must now address their biggest issue from last season and find some reliable wide receivers with upside.
In one fell swoop on Tuesday, the New York Giants resolved their two biggest free agent problems heading into the 2023 offseason. In giving Daniel Jones a four-year, $160 million contract they brought multi-year stability to their most important position and freed up their franchise tag to then use on their top offensive weapon, Saquon Barkley.
Related: Bold predictions for 2023 NFL free agency: Destinations for over 50 top players
With the anchors of their offense set to return next season, the organization must now shift gears to the other weaknesses on their roster. The most prominent of which is a desperate need to upgrade their wide receiver corps. While players like Darius Slayton, Richie James, and Isaiah Hodgins, gave their best effort they are bottom-of-the-depth chart players on serious contenders.
The New York Giants will have a solid amount of cap space to use in NFL free agency and their top pick in the NFL Draft to use on an elite wideout in this year’s class. With that in mind, let’s look at four players the team could take a hard look at in the first round of the draft and on the free agent market.
New England Patriots receiver Jakobi Meyers is one of the best wide receivers available in NFL free agency starting on March 15. The four-year veteran has gotten better each year and has been a key contributor in the passing game the last two seasons.
There is reason to believe that the undrafted talent from North Carolina State has legitimate WR1 potential. However, as a player that has never surpassed 1,000 yards receiving there could be a ceiling on his talents that falls just below a Pro Bowl level. But that does mean he could be had on a deal that isn’t obscene and leaves the team more wiggle room this offseason while still improving.
Written by experts, for sports fans who want a FREE daily newsletter worth reading. Get Sportsnaut First today!
Tennessee All-American receiver Jalin Hyatt is a talented wideout that could still be on the draft board when the New York Giants are on the clock at No. 25. The junior had a breakout year in 2022 for the Volunteers and put his name on the map with a six catch, five touchdowns and 207-yard destruction of the Alabama secondary this season.
Hyatt has elite breakaway speed and could give the Giants the deep threat to stretch the defense that they badly lacked last season.
Green Bay Packers receiver Allen Lazard has had a very similar career to Meyers. He is an undrafted player who has consistently gotten better each season and peaked in 2022 as he became Aaron Rodgers’ go-to weapon. But just like Meyers, there is a risk because he may not be much better than the player that pulled in 788 yards and six touchdowns in 15 games for Green Bay last season.
Nevertheless, he still would be an improvement on what the team had last season and come at an affordable rate for the New York Giants.
In 2021, Jaxon Smith-Njigba was unbelievable as he destroyed many of the Big Ten’s receiving records during his sophomore season at Ohio State. However, in 2022 he played on all but three games due to a hamstring injury. And that lack of more film to evaluate has hurt his draft stock enough that he could fall to the New York Giants at 25.
See exclusives Sportsnaut videos on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.
While Smith-Njigba may not have game-breaker gifts, he has many of the key requirements NFL talent evaluators are looking for in a receiver. The Buckeyes talent has strong hands, good route running skills, the skills to get separation, and very good agility. Smith-Njigba could be an impact player in 2023 if not forced into a role as a primary receiver and can play out of the slot.