JuJu Smith-Schuster isn’t a good fit for the Giants
With NFL free agency less than a week away, I think the last thing that New York Giants fans would want to see is their team signing Pittsburgh Steelers’ wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Cynthia Frelund of NFL.com has written a piece about analytics-based fits for free agency and she has Smith-Schuster as a fit for the Giants. She projeccts that he would help them win 1.11 more games. Here’s what she wrote:
I really wanted to list two teams here, just to show the impact that a slot receiver can have, especially in the red zone. As for Smith-Schuster’s fit with the Giants, eight of his nine touchdowns in 2020 came from the slot (tied for the most, with Travis Kelce, per NGS). New York QBs had a passer rating when targeting the slot of just 82.3 last season, second-lowest in the NFL. On a roster that also boasts a returning Saquon Barkley, Smith-Schuster could easily fulfill the role of a No. 1 WR.
Now, Smith-Schuster also projects to add a healthy 1.07 wins with the Cardinals, were he to join Arizona (presuming Larry Fitzgerald begins the countdown clock to his Canton induction by retiring). Smith-Schuster aligned in the slot on 75 percent of plays in 2020, a career high for him, and Arizona averaged just 7 yards per target from the slot as a team in 2020 (sixth-lowest). Combining Smith-Schuster with DeAndre Hopkins would drive so much value that the Cardinals could strategically pull off not re-signing running back Kenyan Drake along with not overpaying for O-line help — GASP! (That latter factor is based on the assumption Arizona will be able to take advantage of cap casualties who end up on the market, who are likely to provide high return on investment.)
I’m not sure how JuJu is a good fit when he’s doing his damage in the slot. The Giants already have the slot taken care of with Sterling Shepard. Adding another target for the slot is not what they need. They need someone who can be a number one target for quarterback Daniel Jones.
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