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Who are the most underrated WRs in the NFL?
July 18, 2023
In a position flooded with elite talents like Justin Jefferson, Cooper Kupp, Tyrek Hill, and Davante Adams, it’s easy to overlook some dark horses that could have a real impact on how NFL Lines can be affected through the season. These might not be the best, but few are in what has become one of the most important positions in an NFL Squad.
The Giants’ offense relies heavily on the running game and not on Daniel Jones’ arm. That always seems to limit the production of New York wide receivers. The 26-year-old Slayton will be even more overlooked with the off-season acquisitions of Darren Waller and Jalen Hyatt.
Even with these limitations, Slayton has crossed the 700-yard mark in three of his last four seasons. Two of them had a 96-passing rating. Slayton’s physical upside is also evident, he weighs 190 lbs and his height reaches 6’1. That goes along with a 4.39 speed which could be a potential great weapon for quarterback Jones if he ever chooses to rely more on his passing skills.
Slayton’s efficiency is the best part of his game. Last season he was the 4th in MLB in yards per target (10.2), just behind A.J Brown, Jaylen Waffle, and Dallas Goedert, and ahead of Tyreek Hill.
If head coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka decide to shake some of their old strategies around, there is an opportunity for Slayton to rise to an elite level of production and surprise fans and foes alike.
The current Super Bowl champions won it all after replacing elite Tyreek Hill’s production with JuJu Smith-Schuster’s solid yet not stellar one. History could repeat itself after Smith-Schuster walked away during free agency and the Chiefs decided to snatch versatile James away from the New York Giants. This could potentially be one of this off-season’s most underrated moves once the season ends.
In 2022 James’ production was solid. He completed 569 yards in 57 catches along with four touchdowns in a Giants offense that ranked 25th in pass attempts. He had 8.1 yards per target and an incredible 119.6 passer rating when he did get targeted by Jones.
Kansas City’s offense was the fifth-ranked offensive in pass attempts last season. Taking everything into consideration and working with Patrick Mahomes, James has a real possibility to complete 1000 yards and make NFL odds favor the Chiefs even more.
It is strange to include in this list a wideout that is a secondary and often overlooked piece in a stellar offense that features Amon-Ra St. Brown, Josh Reynolds, Marvin Jones, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Jameson Williams (after he serves his six-game suspension), but this doesn’t mean he’s not a solid contributor in the role that is given to him by offensive coordinator Ben Johnson.
Raymond played in less than half the Lions’ offensive snaps last season (49%), yet he ranked second on the team in receiving yards with 616 and third on receptions with 47.
Because of Detroit’s stacked roster, it will be hard for Raymond to truly breakout but that is not because of lack of talent, but mostly due to him lacking the opportunity in his current team to do so. As injuries pile during an NFL season his role might be expanded and the qualities are there to flourish into a solid option at the highest level due to his efficiency. Raymond was the 12th-ranked wide receiver in yards per target with 9.6 yards.