After losing all three of their starting wide receivers within the first two days of training camp, the New York Giants are in need.
The biggest replacement will be for Corey Coleman, who tore his ACL. Sterling Shepard should be good for Week 1 with a broken thumb, and Golden Tate will return to the team in Week 5 after serving a four-game suspension for PEDs.
But even with just Sterling, the Giants have to settle with the combo of Russell Shepard, Cody Latimer, and Bennie Fowler – and neither of the three is No. 2 wideout quality.
With that said, the Giants did pick up wideouts Amba Etta-Tawo and T.J. Jones on Saturday. Etta-Tawo was signed to the Giants practice squad in 2017 and last year and became a fan favorite during the 2018 preseason.
Jones comes from the Detroit Lions, and took the field with them from 2015-18, catching a total of 64 passes for 814 yards with four touchdowns in 42 games. It still feels like they make still make one more move for another, bigger name receiver, pending how this receiving corps performs in the preseason.
Here are five targets the Giants could decide to go after during camp and the preseason.
Michael Crabtree, Free Agent
Crabtree is still one heck of a possession receiver, and despite two down seasons the last two years, he’s proven to be durable at the very least, missing just three games total through the last five seasons. He’d be a solid veteran addition to this receiving corps alongside Golden Tate. The downside here is Crabtree’s non-football related issues; he has a reputation as a bit of a hot-head, and may not be the best veteran to bring to a team looking to develop their younger talent.
Pierre Garcon, Free Agent
Garcon was one of the league’s better wideouts during his time with the Colts and Redskins, but injuries have caught up to him through the last two seasons. He’s a solid possession guy like Crabtree, but the biggest question mark is his health, and the Giants need guys who are available more than anything. Still, Garcon possesses the highest upside out of the players on this list.
Jordy Nelson, Free Agent
Jordy Nelson may be looking for one more good year somewhere in the league and he could find it with the Giants. Even though he hasn’t produced anywhere close to his numbers from his Packers days, especially in 2014 and his comeback year of 2016, he’s still a reliable veteran option. Not to mention his steady veteran mentorship would help a team focused on the youth movement. This is a desperation option, and they might be better off taking a flier on an undrafted free agent or waiver-wire acquisition. But it wouldn’t be worse than rolling into the year with their current crop of wideouts.
Torrey Smith, Carolina Panthers
Smith isn’t a free agent. But if the Panthers were to release him or look to get a small return for the vet, the Giants could get him for cheap. He can easily stretch out a secondary with his speed, opening up space for Sterling Shepard initially to start the year and, eventually, Tate as well, who loves to operate in the middle of the field. He doesn’t seem to have a lot left in the tank in terms of production but his top-line speed and experience is something the Giants should look into.
Taywan Taylor, Tennessee Titans
Similar to the previously mentioned Smith in Carolina, Taylor could also find his way out of the door in Tennessee after an underwhelming start to his career. Should the Titans let him go, he’d bring the same skills that both Tate and Shepard bring to the field. A deep threat like Smith would be more ideal in terms of fit, but it’s not like Eli Manning has the arm strength to consistently stretch the defense anymore. Given their lack of options, the Giants will take whoever they can get.