It might not have been a perfect practice, but the Daniel Jones-Kenny Golladay connection is certainly off to a promising start.
Golladay, the Giants $72-million man, took whatever opportunities he could to catch passes from Jones during the first day of the team’s three-day mandatory minicamp.
At one point, Golladay even broke off from where the other receivers were going through drills to catch some soft lobs being thrown by Jones and all the quarterbacks in camp.
“Yeah, it's been great working with Kenny so far, and you can tell he's a true pro,” Jones said after practice.
“He understands offensive football. He's still obviously learning our system but you can tell he's got a good understanding of football and where to be, kind of timing and understanding concepts.
"Obviously his talent and skill level, you can tell as soon as you can get on the field with him he's a good player, smart player and I'm excited to keep working with him.”
No one can blame Jones for being excited at what the 6’4” Golladay has to offer to a Giants offense that last year struggled to move the ball and struggled to score.
The Giants front office made it a personal mission to find a tall, legitimate No. 1 receiver to play the X-receiver, and in Golladay, the former Detroit Lion, they are confident that they have found their man.
“I think the second you stand next to him, you understand he's a long guy, and that showed up on his tape before we got him here,” head coach Joe Judge said before practice.
“There's enough evidence in the experience of the league that we know that about him. In terms of how that can help a team, I think that only helps as well as you can use it to your advantage. There's a lot of tall guys in this league that can't create separation and can't make contested catches.”
Golladay can certainly do both. In 2019, his last fully healthy season, Golladay averaged nearly two yards of separation. While that's not among the league leaders, it was just enough to allow him to use his big body in shielding balls against defenders to finish with a 63.4% contested catch rate that season.
Golladay is still feeling his way around the Giants facility and the playbook while also seeking to become a better receiver.
So far, so good. Golladay caught all but one pass during the first mandatory minicamp practice and seemed to already have that budding chemistry with Jones that makes for all good quarterback-receiver relationships.
Jones, for his part, is appreciative of what Golladay brings to the table, especially his height.
“Yeah, that's pretty easy I think to tell just by his stature, his size and length, his athleticism,” he said. “He's a big target and had a lot of success in this league going up and catching balls over guys and winning those contested catches. So yeah, that's something you could tell as soon as you get on the field.”
“That's my boy,” Golladay said of Jones. “I can't wait to just really work with him deeper in training camp and especially when the season starts.”
That time will come soon enough, but until then, Jones and Golladay are still in the getting-to-know-you phase of their relationship, one that Jones revealed has included trying to get a better feel for what Golladay likes and doesn’t when it comes to things on the field.
“We've had those conversations,” Jones said. “I think right now we are on the field obviously in the spring, we're just now getting to work together and feel all those things out. Get a sense for how he sees it, how I see it, how he wants the ball and where I can put it. I think those conversations come naturally when you get to know each other and working through a lot of things like we are right now.”
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