This is the third installment in the series of posts breaking down the Giants position by position for the upcoming NFL Draft. The next position up is Wide Receiver.
The depth chart for the Giants at WR includes Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Domenik Hixon, Jerrel Jernigan, Ramses Barden, Isiah Stanback and Dan DePalma. The Giants also have Michael Clayton who is currently still an unrestricted free agent.
Going into this season, the Giants will employ one of the best receiving tandems in the NFL in Nicks and Cruz. Cruz could experience a rough path this season, at least at the start, as teams now start to focus game plans on him more than last season when he really came out of nowhere. Another thing on the agenda for the Giants will be to find that third weapon with the departure of Mario Manningham. The front office is hoping that the available in house options of Jernigan and Barden are ready to assume bigger roles and step up much like Cruz last season. Do not put it past the Giants to throw these guys into the fire and let them work. Eli Manning has a knack for developing receivers and turning them into valuable weapons.
This is a huge opportunity for Barden. The Giants selected him in the 3rd round in 2009 out of Cal Poly. The Giants were hoping he would replace the void of size and a red zone threat after Plaxico Burress was sent to jail. Barden has not yet shown his full potential whether it is because of injuries or just not enough of an opportunity. But in limited action he has flashed good hands and obviously has the size.
Jernigan has experience working the slot in college at
. A full training camp and off-season under the
watch of the coaching staff will do him a lot of good. Troy
Hixon will also have his fair share of opportunities to take over the third receiver role, but cannot have much trust put into him. He is coming off his second ACL surgery in as many seasons, so a slow easy process of working him back into the lineup will probably ensue this season to help ensure there are no setbacks. Last season, Hixon had the first crack at securing the third receiver job until the knee injury ended his season and opened the door for Cruz.
The last time the Giants selected a WR was last years draft with Jernigan. Before that it was Barden, both 3rd round picks. The Giants could use another receiver this year even if it is just for depth because both Mario Manningham and Devin Thomas left via free agency and played key roles on the team. Thomas was also the main kick return man for most of the season, something the Giants could look for in the WR they have on their board. The Giants are not going to break their philosophy of taking the best player available, but there is a good chance that player could be a WR.
Two potential targets for the Giants are Kendall Wright out of Baylor and Stephen Hill of
Tech. Currently, both are rated to get
taken before the Giants selection at 32.
It would be a pretty safe bet though that if either of them fall that is
the player the Giants will select. More
realistic options later in the draft include New Jersey
product Mohamed Sanu from Rutgers Keshawn Martin from . Adding a WR definitely would not be a bad thing for the Giants, so I will rate the necessity of adding a WR at a 6 on a scale of 1-10 because of the ability Eli Manning has to develop what they already have. Michigan