Darius Slayton makes one of his two touchdown catches during...

Darius Slayton makes one of his two touchdown catches during the first half in the Giants' 31-26 loss to the Lions on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Detroit.   Credit: Getty Images/Gregory Shamus

DETROIT — Darius Slayton and Daniel Jones are quickly becoming an item.

The two rookies connected for two touchdown passes in Sunday’s 31-26 loss to the Lions, providing most of the Giants’ few offensive highlights. One of the scores had Slayton coming back for a pass in front of cornerback Rashaan Melvin and the other had him soaring over Melvin to make the catch. The 22- and 28-yard TD passes both came in the second quarter.

“He’s a really good player,” Jones said. “I think he’s come up for us and made a lot of big-time plays. I think we all have a lot of trust in him. Obviously, he’s super-talented and his speed and just athleticism, but he’s shown to make those contested catches, the tough catches with people on him. So he’s done a great job for us.”

Slayton represents a new era for Giants receivers. He likely will be the first receiver drafted by the Giants in about two decades who will not be able to say he has caught a pass from Eli Manning. Slayton missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, and by the time he returned to the field in Week 3, Jones was the starter.

The two players are linked in their draft class, but they also are showing a link on the field. Slayton has three touchdown catches, tied for the team lead, and his 267 receiving yards are tied for third behind Evan Engram and Golden Tate.

“He’s a dog,” Saquon Barkley said. “I think he showed up today. I think he has great potential to be a great player. I like the way he carries himself. He made some big plays for us today. As he continues to get better, the team will continue to get better.”

Not all of the passes from Jones to Slayton worked, though.

Late in the first half, Slayton dropped a perfectly placed ball near the sideline with five seconds left that would have given the Giants a chance to take a shot at the end zone on one final snap. Instead, they took a knee deep in their own territory.

Slayton was the target on the two-point conversion (a low pass) and also the receiver on key third- and fourth-down throws on a touchdown-or-nothing drive late in the fourth. Both of those passes were incomplete.

Overall, though, Slayton is emerging as one of Jones’ go-to guys. He’s certainly one of the few to whom Jones is willing to throw the football up in the air and let the receiver go battle for it.

“As a receiver, you want to keep making plays,” Slayton said. “Quarterbacks build confidence .  .  . The more times he sees [me make plays], that’s why I try to fight for every ball. Even if I don’t come down with it, hey, receivers appreciate good balls and quarterbacks appreciate physical receivers. It goes hand-in- hand.”

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