May 15, 2023 | 7:55 p.m.
Anyone waiting for the Giants to add a first outside receiver in the Stefon Diggs mold was looking to copy the AFC’s poor powerhouse.
The Giants built their offensive armament this offseason, not like the Bills did when Brian Daboll called their plays, but like the Chiefs did when Mike Kafka coached their quarterbacks: start with a tight end game nightmare – trade for Darren Waller – and surround him with sneaky tackle breakers.
“The premise of the offense is that everything goes through Waller as the point person, and all of those plays just have to play their part,” ESPN “NFL Live” analyst Dan Orlovsky told the Post. “It’s obviously a very heavy task, but when you look at Kansas City, Travis Kelce gets so much attention that you can create space for other people.”
Daniel Jones is not Patrick Mahomes.
Tyreek Hill is not the Giants slot machine receiver blocker.
And Waller isn’t Kelce, but he was the second-best thing as recently as consecutive 90-catch, 1,100-yard seasons in 2019-20.
Thus, the Giants are a poor version of the Chiefs in terms of personnel, but the patterns could be similar.
And that’s where the Giants’ Daboll-Kafka duo as offensive head coach-coordinator proved last season that they could “dominate” the Xs and Os.
“You can’t say Waller is going to play tight end,” Orlovsky said. “That’s where he’ll be on the roster, but they’ll use him like the Raiders did two years ago or like Kansas City uses Kelce. They’ll make sure to create the games for him. He’s the all-around pass receiver for the offense.
The Giants ranked far last in the NFL with more than 20 yards completed (28) and Jones ranked last among 40 qualified quarterbacks in average projected passing yards (6.3) on his throws last season, according to NextGenStats. .
Jones’ risk-averse quick releases were designed to hide an interior offensive line weakness, reduce quarterback rotation issues and receiver gaps.
A release from this year’s Arsenal features last year’s top two targets at the end of the season (Darius Slayton and Isaiah Hodgins), with two returning from ACL tears (Sterling Shepherd and Wan’Dale Robinson) and two newcomers (Parris Campbell and rookie Jalin Hyatt).
Others are part of it.
The Giants value inside/outside versatility like the Chiefs had with Hill, Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle around the dominant tight end.
“Waller becomes your ‘Where’s Waldo?'” Orlovsky said. “It’s always like, ‘Can you put the tight end on your own?’ If you can and he can consistently win his match, that changes everything. Waller absolutely can do it. That’s the starting point because then you gather information based on who’s covering it.
Waller (21.75 miles per hour on his best game in 2020 before his two injury-plagued seasons), Campbell (the league’s fastest running back on his best game last season at 22.11 miles per hour ) and Hyatt (sixth-fastest 40-yard dash time at 4.40 seconds at the combine) all improved the Giants’ speed.
“Jalin is equipped to be more than just a ‘Go Deep Guy,'” Orlovsky said. “He’s different than any receiver they have because of his vertical speed, his more efficient route than people expect, and he can cross the middle comfortably like Shep does, but with more speed. . While he’s not the true No. 1 “X” receiver right now, we don’t know if he’s incapable of playing that role at the NFL level. I think he’s the guy who breaks the ending.
As Orlovsky compares Hyatt to two-time retired Pro Bowler Emmanuel Sanders, Robinson could play a role for Jones like Randall Cobb did in his prime for Aaron Rodgers.
“You don’t necessarily want to create a match for Wan’Dale. You want to create space for him,” Orlovsky said. “You do that by marrying him on the same side as Waller or Hyatt. You want to make sure you’ve given him the creative realm to allow his talents to win.
Imagine a Week 1 game when the Cowboys need to move a cornerback from top coverage on Waller with a safety assist on top.
“You can put Jalin or Wan’Dale in the slot in front of him,” Orlovsky said. “Who covers this area? Linebackers, nickels and people less covered. This is why his role matters so much.
“I make my No. 1 receiver go roads against these guys. If the defenses are playing in the zone, a potential linebacker or nickel still has to tackle those guys in space. This is where everything becomes the advantage of chess – and this is one of their strengths.