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Giants’ Isaiah Hodgins named one of NFL’s most unappreciated players

Shortly after being claimed off of waivers by the New York Giants, wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins became a household name in the Northeast.

Hodgins burst onto the scene and quickly became a favorite target of quarterback Daniel Jones. In just eight games (five starts), he hauled in 33 receptions for 351 yards and four touchdowns. Then, on Super Wild Card Weekend, Hodgins dominated the Minnesota Vikings, catching eight receptions for a career-high 105 yards and one touchdown.

Despite impressing, Hodgins is still very much an unknown around the league. And that’s why Cynthia Frelund of NFL Network recently named him one of the NFL’s most unappreciated players.

Full disclosure: I have a soft spot for Hodgins after spending two preseasons with the Bills and watching him work his tail off only to endure a series of injuries and spend the majority of his time with the organization as a member of the practice squad. When he finally landed a spot on the Giants’ active roster — reuniting with coach Brian Daboll — I was thrilled for the kind young man who just wanted a real opportunity. He got one in the Big Apple and ran with it, establishing himself as a go-to target for Daniel Jones in the second half of last season and then catching eight passes for 105 yards and a touchdown in New York’s playoff win at Minnesota.

Per NGS, his 15.3 percent catch rate over expected when aligned wide ranked second-best in the NFL last season, while his 12.5 percent catch rate over expected when targeted down the seam ranked third.

Hodgins faces increased competition for targets this year after the Giants acquired tight end Darren Waller from the Las Vegas Raiders, signed wide receivers Parris Campbell, Jamison Crowder and Jeff Smith in free agency, and later added speedster Jalin Hyatt via the 2023 NFL draft. But his familiarity with the offense and rapport with Jones should go a long way in keeping him involved.


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