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New York Giants Off the Clock: Fifth-Round Pick Wide Receiver Darius Slayton, Auburn

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New York Giants Off the Clock: Fifth-Round Pick Wide Receiver Darius Slayton, Auburn

2019-06-01 14:38:051 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: New York Giants fifth-round pick Auburn wide out Darius Slayton. (Image Source: Michael Chang/Getty Images)

The New York Giants had 10 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, including six Day 3 selections. As we take the Giants “Off the Clock,” we’ll breakdown all 10 of their draft picks, continuing with the second of their two fifth-round choices:

Round 5; Pick 33 (171st Overall): WR Darius Slayton, Auburn

NY Giants Checklist: Offense | Defense | Off The Clock: Daniel Jones | Dexter Lawrence | Deandre Baker | Oshane Ximines | Julian Love | Ryan Connelly |

Measurables: At 190 pounds, Slayton is slight even for a wide out. He does have adequate height at 6’1” with impressive length (79” wingspan, 32 ¾” arms) which allows him to play big. His hand size (10”) is massive, ideal for pass catching. The SEC product excelled at most of the drills at the NFL Scouting Combine. His 135” broad jump and 40 ½” vertical jump were tied for third among all wide outs, with a sub 4.4 40-yard dash (4.39). Very impressive, despite just 11 bench press reps.

Skill Set: Raw but talented, Slayton has a tremendous combination of blazing speed and acceleration with excellent length, with translates to a near ideal catch radius and an elite ability to stretch the field. He is a big-play guy who can take the top off a defense. The potential is there to be a more well-rounded receiver. Scouts love his ability to make the over-the-shoulder catch and he can make plays once he has the ball in his hands.

Value: The Giants got a real find here with a player who was physically talented enough to go on Day 2 of the draft. By all accounts the Auburn offense was a disaster last season which might have hurt Slayton’s stock providing New York with excellent value.

Need: The depth behind starters Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard is either unproven or unproductive. If you’re an opposing defender does covering Bennie Fowler or Corey Coleman strike fear in you? They needed to upgrade the depth at wide out.

Mogollon’s Pick: I like what general manager Dave Gettleman did here. They had 10 selections overall, including six on Day 3 of the draft and needed to swing for the fences a couple of times. This was a swing for the fence with a player whose ceiling exceeds his draft slotting.  

Off the Clock (Rd. 1): 1-4, 5-8, 9-14, 15-20, 21-26, 27-32 | Defensive ROY Odds | NY Jets Draft Checklist: Offense | Defense | Off The Clock: Quinnen Williams | Jachai Polite | Chuma Edoga | Trevon Wesco | Blake Cashman | Blessuan Austin | 2020 Draft: No. 1 Pick Odds

Who Else Did They Pass Up? Fresno State’s KeeSean Johnson (No. 174) would have been a more polished receiver, while Northern Illinois outside linebacker Sutton Smith (No. 175) was among the most productive pass rushers in college football the past couple of seasons. Considering the lack of depth at safety, Rutgers product Saquan Hampton (No. 177) should have also been a consideration.

The Fit: Golden Tate is their No. 1 wide out, while Sterling Shepard will do most of his damage as a slot receiver, which leaves the need for a stretch-the-field pass catcher to keep defenses honest, as well as open up the middle of the field. Enter Slayton, who if he’s ready to contribute, should complement the starters very well.

2019 Outlook & Beyond: Because of the lack of quality depth, Slayton will have a chance to play right away. Of course, while the group he joins has a lot of work to do, they don’t lack talent and are more proven than the rookie. Corey Coleman was once a first-round pick, Cody Latimer went in the second round of his draft, and Bennie Fowler had 29 receptions in 2017 (with Denver) so it’s not a given that Slayton will crack the two deep. If he does he will likely be used as he was at Auburn, as a deep threat. Beyond this season, the Tiger has the upside to develop into a No. 2 wide out if he can improve his route running and show more consistency. The G-Men have a potential out with Tate before the 2021 season and Shepard the following year, at which point Slayton might be ready to compete for a starting job if the organization can develop the SEC product.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: danmogollon@gmail.com.

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