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23 Questions in 23 Days: Darren Waller impact

23-QUESTIONS-DARREN-WALLER is counting down to the start of the team's 2023 training camp with 23 questions in 23 days.

Each day, a member of the crew will answer one question about the roster, coaching staff, schedule, and much more.

9) How does tight end Darren Waller impact the offense?

Of all the veteran wide receivers and tight ends to change teams since the end of last season, none might have a bigger impact on their respective offense than Waller with the Giants. There's no doubt that injuries have limited the 6-foot-6 tight end over the last two seasons, as Waller has played just 20 of 34 games and totaled only 83 receptions for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns during that span. However, one only has to look back to the 2019 and 2020 seasons to see just how much of a weapon he can be. In 2019, Waller caught 90 passes for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. He followed that up with 107 receptions for 1,196 yards, nine touchdowns and his first Pro Bowl selection in 2020. Even as he only suited up for nine games in 2022, Waller's seven catches of 20+ yards downfield led all tight ends.

Waller's potential impact on the offense was evident during spring practices. On one of the first plays of 7-on-7 drills during the first week of OTAs, Daniel Jones found Waller deep down the sideline for a huge gain. Throughout OTAs and minicamp, this became the norm. Jones would hit Waller constantly during these team drills, whether it was deep passes down the field or goal-line looks. Knowing how creative Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka can be, there's no doubt they are going to have Waller line up all over the field in order to create as many mismatches as possible.

Since 2019, Waller has the second-most receptions (65) and receiving yards (789) among tight ends split out wide, trailing only Kansas City's Travis Kelce. Whether Waller is split out wide or lined up on the line of scrimmage, Jones is going to target him early and often. With Daniel Bellinger showing up to spring practices looking noticeably stronger, it wouldn't surprise anyone if the Giants run a lot of two-tight end sets this year, with Waller split out wide and Bellinger on the line of scrimmage. Any way you look at it, it is obvious that Waller is going to have a tremendous impact on the offense.

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