There were a lot of people who lauded the New York Giants for acquiring tight end Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason. General manager Joe Schoen traded a third-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft in exchange for the dynamic tight end.
Throughout training camp and the preseason, Darren Waller was looking like the version of himself from 2019 and 2020 when he was one of the most dominant tight ends in the league. Not the more recent version in 2021 and 2022 that was hampered by injuries.
In those two seasons, Darren Waller caught 197 passes for 2,341 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was Derek Carr’s go-to target no matter where the team was on the field and the Giants have aspirations of doing the same this season.
They are optimistic that Darren Waller can help reshape their aerial passing game. Daniel Jones didn’t push the ball downfield often in 2022, but with a speed and athleticism infusion on the offense, there is hope that will change.
It didn’t happen in Week 1, as Jones looked like a rookie against the Dallas Cowboys. The Giants were embarrassed in their home opener, losing 40-0 on Sunday Night Football. Darren Waller wasn’t afforded the chance to make much of an impact, catching three passes for 36 yards as the offense never got going.
However, he did receive some praise from announcer Cris Collinsworth. During the telecast, Collinsworth made a wild NBA comparison to Darren Waller, likening him to Los Angeles Lakers star, LeBron James.
That is certainly a bold comparison for Collinsworth to make, but his point does make sense. When his team is struggling, the team puts the ball in James’ hands to make a play and get things going in the right direction.
As the new focal point of the Giants’ passing attack, Collinsworth wanted to see Big Blue do the same with Darren Waller. Of course, there wasn’t much that the Giants could do to survive the Cowboys’ onslaught, but getting their newest pass catcher involved early and often would be a good way to get back on track.