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Giants Now: Who is the biggest X-factor in 2023?


The 33rd Team selects Darren Waller as Giants' biggest X-factor in 2023

The buzz surrounding the Giants' acquisition of tight end Darren Waller back in March has been well-documented.

Waller's impact on the field was felt during spring practices, so it should come as no surprise that some in the media believe this will carry over to big things in the regular season.

The 33rd Team's Andy Benoit recently chose the biggest X-factor for every team heading into the 2023 season. For the Giants, the choice was their new tight end.

"If Waller regains the fluidity that made him a top-5 tight end in 2019-20, this will be highlighted for its lopsidedness ā€“ like Randy Moss to New England for a fourth-round pick or Trent Williams to San Francisco for a fifth and future third," Benoit wrote about the trade that sent Waller to the Giants for a third-round pick.

The acquisition of Waller provides Jones with a big, explosive playmaker. The 6-foot-6 tight end put together back-to-back seasons with over 1,100 yards from 2019-20, totaling 197 receptions for 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns during that span. This led to him being named to the Pro Bowl in 2020.

In nine games (six starts) last season, Waller caught 28 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns. His 13.9 yards per reception set a new career-high. Despite missing eight games, Waller's seven catches of 20+ yards downfield led the tight end position.

"Darren's been great," Jones said during the first week of OTA practices. "I think as soon as you walk on the field, you can see he's a big guy. He can run. He can run every route. Catches the ball really well, great body control. He's been really fun to work with. A really smart guy. He's picked up things really quickly too...

"You hear about most guys or you see them in the program and they're listed at 6'6", and they're really like 6'4" or 6'5". He's a true 6'6". He's a true 250, 260, and can fly, can run, can run all the routes. He's just an impressive athlete. He's just been locked in. You can tell it's important to him. He's put a lot of effort into learning the stuff and getting caught up. It's been fun working with him."

Get excited for the 2023 season with photos from Media Day at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.