New York Giants Make Great Move Drafting Sterling Shepard In Second Round

By Christopher Gamble

The New York Giants held the ninth pick in the second round, 40th overall, in the 2016 NFL Draft and came away with a potential weapon on offense in Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shepard.

There was some speculation Shepard would be the pick for the Giants in the second round, and for once that turned out to be true. Shepard is on the small side at 5-foot-10 and 194 pounds, but he has some speed to him. His lowest 40-yard dash time was 4.33 seconds and his highest was 4.53 seconds. He projects as a slot guy and he could be a huge addition to the Giants’ offense.

Shepard caught 86 passes for 1288 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He also had 19 punt returns for 148 yards. In 2014, Shepard caught 51 passes for 970 yards and five touchdowns. The production is there and he should get even better.

He has excellent hands and he fights for footballs. He was Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked wide receiver in 2015 due to his route running and ability to make plays down the field. The Giants won’t ask Shepard to do much right away, but he could explode in this offense and force his way onto the field. He is an excellent route-runner who should learn this offense quickly and could easily be a safety for Eli Manning.

The Giants’ offense runs through Odell Beckham, Jr. but Manning will have plenty of weapons to utilize, especially if Victor Cruz comes back even close to his former self. Shepard makes the Giants’ offense even more dangerous and versatile.

Giants’ GM Jerry Reese needed to make a splash. Eli Apple in the first round looks like he could be a very good pick, but Shepard could absolutely change the dynamic of a football game. Picture Victor Cruz early in his career. That is what Shepard could be. This was an excellent pick by the Giants.

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