Can the Giants find a No. 1 wide receiver at the NFL combine?
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey. The New York Giants’ first priority this offseason has been taking care of some of their exclusive free agents. Among them was Isaiah Hodgins, a former Buffalo Bills wide receiver who was drafted by the Giants in early November and worked his way into the starting lineup almost immediately.
It was an easy move. The 24-year-old Hodgins led the team with four touchdowns and showed enough in over two months to give the team hope he could be part of their future. Exclusive free agents are players with less than three accumulated seasons who can be brought back on a one-year, minimum wage contract.
So Hodgins is back at a bargain price of $870,000 for 2023. Tight end Lawrence Keijer and quarterback Jack Anderson were also re-signed.
“It’s definitely good,” Hodgins said Thursday on the Breaking Big Blue podcast. “I feel like we didn’t end last year quite the way we wanted but we had some momentum and I feel like we can build on it and I’m just excited to be able to show what I can do all season with this team. “.
Hodgins had 33 catches for 351 yards in eight games (five starts) in the regular season. He added eight catches for 105 yards and a touchdown — his fifth most of the season — in a playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings.
It was far from what the Oregon State player expected even from himself this season. At the start of the year, he was the fifth or sixth nominee for the Billy. Hodgins said his goal at the time was 200 yards and two touchdowns.
He crushed it in just a few games with the Giants. Now the expectations have risen.
“I have high hopes for myself. It will always be like this,” Hodgins said. “I always write down my goals in my notes well before the start of the season. Now I’m training, so I’m doing it now. When I’m on the field and I’m given an opportunity and I use it to my advantage, I can again set my career goals in yards, catches, touchdowns, and so on.
“My goal is just to go out and do my part and help the team win matches.”
Hodgins’ place this year will largely depend on how the Giants handle the wide receiver position. Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard and Richie James are on the team’s long list of free agents. Kenny Golladay is likely to be cut, freeing up $6.7 million in the cap.
The only blocks now seem to be last year’s second-round pick Van’Dale Robinson (recovering from an ACL tear in his right knee), and Hodgins will be in the mix. Which brings us to the NFL scouting unit this week.
What to watch
The group of recipients this year is relatively deep and wide open. There may not be Julio Jones or Ja’Marr Chase at the top, but there are plenty of options. The Giants’ first two picks are 25th and 57th overall.
Scouts Inc. there are seven wide receivers that are in the top 50 players: TCU’s Quentin JohnstonUSC Jordan AddisonOhio Jackson Smith-NjigbaBoston College Zai FlowersNorth Carolina Josh Downsand Tennessee Cedric Tillman And Jalyn Hyatt.
All four Sportzshala draft analysts tied a wide receiver to the Giants in the first round, mentioning three different names.
Todd McShay: Flowers
Mel Keeper Jr.: Addison
Jordan Reed: Addison
Matt Miller: Hyatt
On Friday, the receivers will conduct interviews with the media, and on Saturday they will conduct training on the field. The Giants will be watching closely.
Free agent WRs
The unification is also essentially the beginning of a free hand, even if the window for negotiations does not officially open until March 13. But when agents and team officials meet face to face, general discussions begin in Indianapolis.
Let’s put Daniel Jones and Sakwon Barkley, two of the Giants’ biggest free agents, for a second, and stick with the wide receiver. This week Slayton and James will have the opportunity to see what the market is like. Shepard may have to wait until late spring or summer to recover from an ACL tear in his left knee.
But the Giants will also be checking out what’s available in free agency to improve their position, even though it’s not the best year for free agency wide receivers. Jacobi Meyers of the New England Patriots, former Giant Odell Beckham Jr., Juju Smith-Shuster of the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions. DJ Chark are four underdogs featured on Sportzshala’s Top 50 Free Agents list.
General Manager Joe Sean also needs to get an idea of whether there is a true No. 1 recipient option available through the trade. There were rumors about DeAndre Hopkins of the Arizona Cardinals, as well as Ty Higgins of the Cincinnati Bengals. This week will go a long way in finding out how things are.
The Giants are expected to add wide receivers and free agents in the draft, given their current depth chart in position. Shauna might have to get creative to get a real #1 receiver. Or he might have to wait a year due to a lack of an offer.
“Receiver number one does not guarantee you anything. I think it’s important that we continue to build the team, and there are several positions that we want to improve in the off-season,” Sean said after the end of the season. “So, yes, I would like to have a number one wide receiver. But we must appreciate everything we do, and if it makes sense, we will try to do it.”