Sterling Shepard eager to improve YAC in Year 2

Sterling Shepard had a productive rookie campaign, swiping Victor Cruz's slot-receiver job and earning 65 catches for 683 yards and eight touchdowns.

The 5-foot-10 New York Giants wideout believes he can make a bigger leap Year 2.

"I look at it the same way as in high school," Shepard said last week, via NJ.com. "You make a big jump from your sophomore year, and then college the same way. Sophomore year, you get a lot more comfortable. I think it is just adjusting to the speed. I feel a lot more comfortable out here running routes. I know the play system now, so it helps me be a little more comfortable."

Shepard enters 2017 seemingly as the third wheel behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall in a dangerous Giants passing offense. The addition of rookie tight end Evan Engram might also take targets away from Shepard.

Shepard said improving his run-after-catch ability could help him continue to make an impact in a crowded pass game.

"What am I looking to work on? Really just after the catch," Shepard said. "I feel like I could have gotten a lot more YAC [yards after catch] yardage last year. That's something that I looked at on film and I want to get better on."

It's easy to look at the loaded Giants pass-catching corps and predict Shepard will take a step back in his second season. But with Marshall aging and tight end a notoriously difficult position to transition to from college to the NFL, Shepard could wind up as the No. 2 target for Eli Manning.

Shepard owns the route-running acumen and sticky hands needed to be an elite slot receiver. If he adds more YAC in Year 2, he'll become a potent weapon for Big Blue.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Purchase single game tickets for the 2022 season