New York Giants wideout Darius Slayton is entering his second year in the pros after putting together solid numbers as a rookie.
You can point the finger at general manager Dave Gettleman for plenty of the negatives surrounding the New York Giants organization. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to deny that he made a sensational decision in regards to the 2019 draft selection of Darius Slayton.
The former Auburn Tiger’s rookie stats were nothing short of solid. He ultimately caught 48 balls for 740 yards and eight touchdowns, having led the team in the latter two categories. Slayton also developed a productive rapport with fellow rookie Daniel Jones, and ahead of either individual’s sophomore campaign, the pair is certainly looking to improve on the established connection.
“[The chemistry] is growing. Right now we’re working on him consistently answering the phone,” Slayton joked while speaking to Madelyn Burke of Giants.com’s “Giants Huddle” podcast. “That’s kind of the next step in our relationship. He’s gotten better. I know he’s working hard. I’m working hard where I am, and I know we’re both ready to be back together [at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center].”
Slayton caught five of Jones’ 24 rookie-year touchdown passes and additionally notched the other three scores during the pair of games Eli Manning started late in the year.
It wasn’t exactly all “peaches and cream” right away though. Dealing with a hamstring injury, Slayton missed much of the preseason along with the Week 1 and 2 matchups. He finally made his regular-season debut in the Week 3 win over Tampa Bay and didn’t put together his first 100-yard performance until the Week 10 loss to the New York Jets.
Because of this, Slayton is looking to get into that groove much earlier this season.
“My confidence is something that built as the year went on last year,” he said. “Hopefully this year, I’ll be able to hit it Week 1 running. It’s mostly internal. It’s just all in your head to me. Especially for receivers, to get the ball you’ve got to catch it, catch it low, high, behind you. I think it just starts from having unwavering faith in your hands basically.”
Slayton and veteran Sterling Shepard have the potential to form a very productive receiving tandem for Jones, as both are decent complements to one another. Staying out of the medical tent needs to be a significant goal though. Along with Slayton’s pair of missed games, Shepard sat out six contests due to multiple stints in the concussion protocol.