INDIANAPOLIS — Joe Schoen gets it.
But that does not mean he is going to completely buy into it.
In 2022, his first year as the Giants’ general manager, Schoen witnessed the carnage that befell his wide receiver corps.
Veteran slot target Sterling Shepard tore his left ACL in Week 3 and was gone for the remainder of the season.
Rookie Wan’Dale Robinson tore his right ACL in Week 10.
Supposed red-zone threat Kenny Golladay was a bust from the get-go and later an afterthought.
Elusive Kadarius Toney found it elusive to get on and stay on the field, and was shipped out to Kansas City.
What was left behind for quarterback Daniel Jones was a group featuring Darius Slayton, Richie James and then Isaiah Hodgins, after he was claimed off waivers from the Bills in early November.
The Giants made the playoffs even though the passing game lagged enough that Jones often had to resort to getting things done with his legs.
Golladay will be released when the new league year starts March 15.
Toney won a Super Bowl with the Chiefs.
Slayton, James and Shepard are free agents.
Factoring in Golladay’s imminent departure, Hodgins and Robinson are the only two receivers on the roster.
The Giants need additional and upgraded weapons for Jones to find through the air.
“I understand there’s somewhat of an obsession with the receiver position,’’ Schoen said this past week at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We still have to build a team. That’s an important position, I get that, but the value still has to match up and we still have several holes we need to fill.’’
Yes, he understands the obsession.
Schoen will likely sign a young receiver in free agency and also will look to select a receiver fairly high in the draft.
That does not mean the new target will come with the No. 25-overall pick in the first round.
But it also does not eliminate that option.
NFL player evaluators and scouts rate this as a fairly pedestrian wide receiver draft class. There is a chance that none will go in the top 10 picks.
Here are some of the most intriguing receivers for the Giants to explore:
Quentin Johnston, TCU
Size and speed freak who at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds looks like a star, physically.
He might turn into one, but his hands are a bit suspect, and he does not come away with as many contested catches as might be expected given his stature.
Johnston said Friday that he met with the Giants earlier in the week at the combine and was planning on speaking with them again.
“It was a very welcoming staff, had good talks with them,’’ Johnston said. “I for sure see myself in that blue with them, just like I did in high school.”
Johnston wore blue and white at Temple High School in Texas.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
On a Buckeyes team with Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave in 2021, Smith-Njigba set school records with 95 receptions for 1,606 yards.
His timed speed will not overwhelm anyone, but his production will.
Smith-Njigba played in just three games in 2022 because of a lingering hamstring injury.
“I just think my playmaking ability is second to none in this draft,’’ said Smith-Njigba, who will wait for his Ohio State Pro Day to run the 40-yard dash for NFL scouts. “I see myself as a top-five player, not just receiver, in this draft. You throw me the ball seven to nine times, I can win you the game.’’
Jordan Addison, USC
After setting school records at Pittsburgh with 100 receptions for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns, the smooth route-running Addison moved on to USC.
His numbers went down, but he led the Trojans in all pass-catching categories.
Zay Flowers, Boston College
The Eagles won just three games in 2022, but Flowers left as the program’s all-time leader in receptions (200), receiving yards (3,056) and touchdowns (29).
Flowers is just 5-foot-10 and could be seen as a duplication of Robinson.
He might also be seen as possessing Toney’s stop-start ability.
Josh Downs, North Carolina
Another smaller target who led the ACC with 101 receptions and is especially skilled at snatching the ball out of the air.
Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee
A breakout star in 2022 who won the Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top receiver, Hyatt led the SEC with 15 touchdown catches, including an incredible five in an upset victory of Alabama.
He might be raw, but he is talented.
The Giants will consider adding one of those guys as a much-needed weapon for head coach Brian Daboll to incorporate into the offense.
“He wants guys who can separate,’’ Schoen said. “If you can separate, no matter how tall, short, wide, if you can separate, we’ll find a way to use them within the offense whether it’s outside, inside or slot. That’s one of the unique skills that Daboll has is taking the players and the skill set that he has and developing the offense around their skill set.’’
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