The New York Giants have fielded an underwhelming roster for the better part of a decade with some positions clearly lacking more than others. One of those positions was tight end.
Although they have found moderate success with the likes of Daniel Bellinger, Evan Engram, Larry Donnell and others, the Giants have lacked that true game-changing presence since the days of Jeremy Shockey.
This offseason, general manager Joe Schoen sought to correct that by acquiring Darren Waller in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders. And almost immediately, the athletic discrepancy was evident.
Waller flashed from the moment he arrived in East Rutherford, drawing praise from his coaches and teammates. And now he’s drawing that praise from members of the media, including ESPN who named him one of the NFL’s offseason standouts.
It took all of one play to see the difference Waller can make for this offense. On the first play of OTAs with the media in attendance, Waller blew by the nickel cornerback and caught a deep ball down the right sideline. It was the first of many plays in which Waller stood out because of his size and explosiveness. Most importantly, he looked healthy after two injury-plagued seasons. That’s the key. The Giants acquired Waller for a third-round pick in March.
The concern with Waller is his ability to remain healthy, which is something he specifically focused on improving this offseason. If he can take the field for 17 games, it’s entirely possible that he establishes himself as one of the league’s best.