When referring to Giants WR Sterling Shepard, don't call him a slot receiver.
It is hard not to label the Giants 2016 second-rounder as a slot receiver considering he has spent 75 percent of his snaps in th slot last season, per ESPN's Jordan Raanan. But, with head coach Pat Shurmur in charge this year, Shepard has already been seen taking snaps on the outside during the team's first practices.
The narrative of Shepard, standing at 5-foot-10, being only a slot receiver could change this season, and he is looking forward to making that happen.
"That's been that way since college," Shepard told reporters after the Giants' fourth OTA on Tuesday. "I feel like I've proven that I can play outside and just try to handle my business. I know that I can play outside, and we will soon see."
Shepard showed flashes of what he could do on the outside last season following the injuries to Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall. And with Shurmur's offense spicing things up compared to former head coach Ben McAdoo's predictable sets, Shepard thinks he will see more targets from QB Eli Manning this season.
"Yeah, with the guys going down, I was able to get an opportunity to play outside a little bit more, and, for the most part, I felt like I executed it," he said. "But yeah, I'm looking forward to being out there and maybe getting more looks."
It will be tough to predict who gets how many looks in 2018 with a plethora of options for Manning to work with. It is assumed that, if healthy, Beckham is Manning's top wideout. But, after a great rookie year from TE Evan Engram and adding versatile RB Saquon Barkley to the mix, putting a number to each player is a complete guessing game.
At the end of the day, though, having that much talent is always a good problem.
"Yeah, that's a good question," Engram said. "We definitely have a lot of talent; we're going to utilize all of it, as well. So, it's definitely interesting to think about."
It will be interesting to see how the Giants deploy Shepard as well. He totaled 731 yards and two touchdowns on 59 receptions last season despite playing only 11 games as he battled injuries.
This season, don't just look for No. 87 in the slot. He could be the one making the big play on the outside.