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It will feel like Christmas today for the Giants, but especially for Daniel Jones.
Happy Golladay. A great, big catch for Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge. A great, big target for Danny’s Dimes.
The signing of Kenny Golladay changes everything now for Jones, and for the Giants. Jones now has more than a fighting chance to enjoy a breakthrough, breakout season for the Fighting Joe Judges … if his youthful offensive line can protect him … if offensive coordinator Jason Garrett can orchestrate a quarterback-friendly offense … and if Golladay, 27, can stay on the field more than he did last season for the Lions, when a hip flexor plagued him.
Big ifs, yes. But Golladay getting the medical green light from the Giants doctors is a hip hip hooray if ever there was one for Jones and the Giants, and it immediately filled those at 1925 Giants Drive and beyond with Golladay cheer.
So Jones doesn’t only welcome Saquon Barkley back.
He welcomes a 6-foot-4 contested catch monster and deep threat.
No Catch-22 here. This was a move that absolutely had to be made once Leonard Williams pulled off his heist and Golladay’s cost came down to fit into the Giants’ cap space.
He is a culture guy because he is quiet and humble, the anti-diva receiver. And he will block in the run game. Jones will have a better chance to be Gettleman’s Eli Manning if Golladay can prove to be Gettleman’s Plaxico Burress.
Think about this: from 2005-08, Eli Manning was throwing to the 6-5 Burress and the 6-3 Amani Toomer.
Jones, last season, was throwing to the 5-10 Sterling Shepard, the 5-10 Golden Tate and the 6-1 Darius Slayton.
Odell Beckham Jr. was an outlier: He could take a slant to the house and make one-handed catches at 5-11. The last time the Giants made the playoffs, Manning was throwing to Beckham, 6-0 Victor Cruz and Shepard.
The quickest way to improve a young quarterback’s completion percentage is getting him a target with a large catch radius.
This was Tom Coughlin on Burress:
“He is a guy who has an imposing physical presence. And because he does have the ability to be a long-ball threat, he is a guy that will force defenses to pay particular attention to where he is. He’s a big target. He can catch the ball with his hands above his head, which puts him well above most corners and most safeties.”
This was former Lions head coach Matt Patricia on Golladay:
“He’s really long, he’s big, he’s definitely — for some of the matchups that he can get into, he creates an advantage from that standpoint. He’s a physical guy, too. He can play the big-man game at the receiving position, which is great. And, again, just from a catch-radius standpoint, it gives the quarterback a big target down in the red area, too.”
Golladay has had separation difficulties, but he has two 1,000-yard seasons on his résumé, and 11 TD catches in 2019. Giants cornerback James Bradberry will be telling you about the time Golladay ripped out a would-be interception from him and ran with the ball for a first down.
This was Bill Belichick in 2018 on Golladay: “He’s a very explosive player, great hands, made some fabulous catches in games that we’ve seen this year and last year on the sideline and down the field. Getting his feet in bounds, running after the catch.”
Bigger is always better for Gettleman, and he has illustrated an affinity for the big receiver. He drafted 6-5, 245-pound Kelvin Benjamin in the first round in 2014 and 6-4, 236-pound Devin Funchess in the second round in 2015 as Panthers GM. Both enjoyed mixed success.
Barkley running the ball and catching it. Shepard operating out of the slot. Golladay, open even when he’s covered. The NFC Least will be up for grabs again. And this time, Daniel Jones will have someone who can reach up and grab it.
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