PFF names Giants’ Kenny Golladay one of NFL’s best deep threats

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The New York Giants are not known for their vertical passing game but things are rapidly changing in East Rutherford these days. The addition of some firepower on offense this offseason has put Big Blue in position to make some splashes this year.

Free-agent wide receivers Kenny Golladay and John Ross will join top draft pick Kadarius Toney in a receiving group that already boasts Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram and Darius Slayton – as well as Saquon Barkley catching passes out of the backfield. Things should be much different this year in the passing game.

One misconception is that quarterback Daniel Jones won’t be able to deliver, even with all of these weapons around him. We told you recently that Jones is the best deep passer in the league. He just didn’t get the opportunity to throw downfield that often in his first two seasons.

One player, in particular, will be targeted: Golladay. Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus recently listed him as the third-best deep threat in the NFL.

3. KENNY GOLLADAY, NEW YORK GIANTS

Despite missing most of the 2020 season, Golladay ranks fourth among NFL wide receivers in deep receiving yards over the past three years, and he was just nine yards behind third place. He’s not racking up these yards by separating multiple steps away from coverage defenders like Tyreek Hill, but rather from bodying cornerbacks with his sheer size. Golladay jumps to No. 1 in deep receiving yards since 2018 on tight coverage targets, and he is tied for first in deep receptions on those same plays (14).

It’ll be interesting to monitor how Golladay impacts the growth of Daniel Jones, who is entering a pivotal third year. The improvement he displayed in his 2020 sophomore campaign is slightly underappreciated, but he still has much to work on. Jones was fantastic when he threw the ball deep, but he was a bit trigger shy and the offense, by design, also limited his opportunities to throw it downfield. He ranked third in passing grade on deep throws but also placed in the bottom half of the NFL in many volume deep passing metrics, such as total deep completions and yards.

Yes, we know. The Giants are going to have to train Jones to look downfield first and then check down. That will all depend on how well the line can protect him. Jones was sacked 45 times in 2020, fourth-most in the NFL, and the Giants will need the O-line to do a better job if they plan on increasing Jones’ downfield attempts.

Getting back to Golladay, not only is he a field-stretcher, he’s a player who can make the contested catches. Jones has not been known for his consistency and accuracy, but Golladay will make him look good on any pass thrown his direction – similar to what Plaxico Burress did for Eli Manning.

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