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Cover 3: How Kenny Golladay fits Giants offense

COVER-3-GOLLADAY

In this edition of Cover 3, the Giants.com crew discusses how new wide receiver Kenny Golladay fits into the offense after signing with the team on Saturday.

John Schmeelk: Kenny Golladay fits almost perfectly. It would be near impossible find a receiver that better complements the skill set of their current group. Darius Slayton brings pure speed and can win over the top. Sterling Shepard is elusive in the slot and can create separation.

Golladay (6-4, 214) excels at everything else. He is a big-bodied wide receiver, whose size allows him to win in the middle of the field, and run those routes in the intermediate levels of the defense layered between the linebackers and safeties. His height and reach will give Jones a steady target.

He also doesn't have to be open in order to make a play. Golladay makes difficult contested catches look routine due to his size and soft hands. From 2018-2019 (He only played five games I 2020), Pro Football Focus credited Golladay with 43 contested catches, second to Julio Jones in the NFL. The three receivers right right behind Golladay were Allen Robinson, DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas. It is good company to be in.

Golladay was also efficient in those catches. He had those 43 catches on just 79 targets (Jones had 44 catches on 91). An above 50% contested target rate for a receiver with such a high volume of targets is impressive. This ability will make a real difference for Daniel Jones. Jones has shown the ability to make back-shoulder throws to the sideline, but he hasn't had a receiver with who could make those plays at the highest level. Golladay will give Jones an ideal target when defenders line up in press or bump-and-run coverage. The Giants have lacked those answers in past seasons.

Dan Salomone: When you play fantasy football, you don't need to worry about fit. In reality, it is just as important as the bottom-line stats. That is why the Giants and Kenny Golladay had to court each other. They had to make sure he lined up with their vision, and he had to find out if he could buy in. Everyone got the answer late Saturday afternoon.

Coach Joe Judge recently spoke about the importance of finding the proper match in free agency.

"You can't just grab a player, put him on your team and think everything's going to work out," he said. "It has to be the right fit for your team going forward and that's a fit culturally and a fit schematically, and it's got to go both ways. There's things that we do here that, look, we don't make it easy on our players and coaches, that's by design. The guys we have in this locker room have bought in, we have a lot of fun here through doing that, but we have a way of doing things. That's not for everyone, to be honest with you."

After checking around, Golladay said it is for him.

"I'm very excited to have Kenny," quarterback Daniel Jones said via text. "He's been a big time playmaker in this league. When we spoke, he was interested in the culture we have in the building and the mindset of the team. I think he had heard it from coaches but wanted to hear how we saw it as players and how much we believed in it. I think finding the right fit in that sense was important to him. I can't wait to get out on the field and get to work with him."

Lance Medow: One of the big priorities this off-season was improving an offense that averaged just 17.5 points per game and produced 25 offensive touchdowns in 2020. The addition of former Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay should help accomplish that goal. Golladay adds more size to the receiving corps and a player who has a knack for making contested catches. Although he was limited to five games due to a hip injury last season, Golladay posted a career-high 11 touchdowns in 16 games and averaged a career-best 18.3 yards per reception on his way to the Pro Bowl after the 2019 season. In fact, he averaged nearly 17 yards per catch over his career.

The Giants needed a player who can make explosive plays and consistently move the chains - Golladay certainly has the skill set to add these dimensions. It's just a matter of he and Daniel Jones getting on the same page and building the chemistry that Golladay developed with Matt Stafford during his tenure in Detroit. With Darius Slayton listed at 6-1 and Sterling Shepard at 5-10, Golladay brings a different body type to the table and a big target who should open up the field for his teammates.

When Jason Garrett served as the offensive coordinator and then head coach in Dallas, he first worked with Terrell Owens (6-3) and then Dez Bryant (6-2). Owens collected 25 touchdowns in his two seasons with Garrett (2007-08) and Bryant piled up 50 touchdowns from 2011-14. A big part of having success in the NFL is keeping the opposition thinking or guessing by using a variety of weapons, specifically explosive ones such as Saquon Barkley and Golladay.

View photos of new Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay, who recently signed with the team.

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