When the New York Giants claimed wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins off of waivers on November 2nd, no one thought much of it. Hodgins had been selected by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft and he wasn’t the first player that general manager Joe Schoen had added from his former team.
In two seasons with the Bills, Isaiah Hodgins appeared in three games, catching four passes for 41 yards. It was a move that flew under the radar at the time but has paid major dividends for the Giants.
New York was hit hard by injuries at the wide receiver position throughout the season. Collin Johnson tore his Achilles during the preseason. Sterling Shepard and rookie Wan’Dale Robinson suffered season-ending injuries. Free agent signing Kenny Golladay was phased out of the lineup and Kadarius Toney was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs.
With the top five players from their depth chart in the preseason no longer a factor, playing time was available and Isaiah Hodgins took full advantage. He worked hard during the team’s bye week, earning a role in his debut in Week 10 against the Houston Texans.
Isaiah Hodgins caught two passes for 41 yards in that game as he quickly endeared himself to the coaching staff and fans. Schoen and Daboll knew what he was capable of from his time with the Bills, but even they are likely surprised by what has ensued the last few weeks.
From waiver claim to a starter, Isaiah Hodgins has become an integral part of their offensive game plan. He has assumed a huge role in the offense, finishing fourth on the team in receptions and third in yardage despite being with the team for only eight games.
During Super Wild Card Weekend against the Minnesota Vikings, Isaiah Hodgins took his game to another level. He caught a team-high eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, helping Big Blue to a 31-24 upset.
That was a standout performance for the Oregon State product and he has been recognized for his work. According to PFF, Isaiah Hodgins finished with the fourth highest receiving grade during the Wild Card games with an 80.7.
That is an elite class of wide receivers that Isaiah Hodgins finds himself with. Playing opposite of star wide receiver Justin Jefferson and outperforming him is not something anyone would have predicted occurring heading into the matchup between the Giants and Vikings.
Isaiah Hodgins will look to keep the good times rolling in the Divisional Round against the Philadelphia Eagles. In the first matchup between the teams this season, he caught four passes for 38 yards and a touchdown.