10 things to know: Sterling Shepard facts & notes

1. Wide receiver Sterling Shepard was originally a second-round (40th pick overall) draft choice by the Giants in 2016.

2. Shepard has increased his yardage total every season. He had 683 as a rookie in 2016, 731 in 2017 despite missing five games, and 872 last year. 

3. Shepard (43) is third on the team in most regular-season games played in a Giants uniform, bridging a wide gap to quarterback Eli Manning (232) and long-snapper Zak DeOssie (188). Shepard has also appeared in one postseason game, catching four passes for 63 yards in a 2016 NFC Wild Card Game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

4. He has played in 43 games with 42 starts, recording 190 receptions for 2,286 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also has 10 rushing attempts for 68 yards. 

5. As a rookie in 2016, Shepard started all 16 regular-season games and the NFC Wild Card Game. He had one of the finest seasons by a rookie pass catcher in Giants history, ranking third all-time in both receptions (65) and touchdown catches (eight). His 683 receiving yards were sixth-most in franchise history among rookies. Shepard was named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie Team.

6. Shepard will have a new teammate in the wide receiver room. Golden Tate, who split last season between Detroit and Philadelphia after starting his career in Seattle, signed with the Giants this offseason as a free agent. While he and Shepard are of the same build and have extensive experience in the slot, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur don’t see it as an issue because of how much the receivers move around in the offense. According to Pro Football Focus, Shepard played 517 snaps in the slot last season, 393 outside and 24 inline. “And he’s a hell of a blocker,” Gettleman has noted. Tate, who played seven games in Detroit and eight with Philadelphia, spent 482 in the slot, 180 wide, six inline, and two in the backfield.

7. Shepard had a career-high 167 yards in the Giants’ 2018 road game against the Atlanta Falcons. He needed just five receptions to accomplish the feat. His 33.4 yards per catch tied Byron Williams (1984) for the fourth-highest average in a single game in franchise history with a minimum of five receptions.

8. Since he came into the league in 2016, Shepard is tied for 12th in the NFL in third-down catches that resulted in a first down. He has 46, the same total as Tate and Demaryius Thomas.

9. In college, his career receptions (233) and receiving yards (3,482) each ranked second in Oklahoma history. He finished third in school history in career touchdown receptions (26) and 100-yard receiving games (12). As a senior in 2015, he was a semifinalist for Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top wide receiver.

10. Shepard is married to supermodel Chanel Iman. They had a daughter, Cali Clay Shepard (same middle name as Sterling), last August. At Oklahoma, Shepard wore the same jersey number (No. 3) as his late father Derrick, who lettered at OU as a wide receiver from 1983-86 and played in the NFL for the Redskins (1987-88), Saints (1989) and Cowboys (1989-91). When Sterling first came to the Giants, he was assigned No. 87, the same number Derrick wore in Dallas.

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