With the 63rd overall pick, 31st in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Wide Receiver, Rueben Randle of LSU. The Giants were in need of a WR after Mario Manningham left this offseason via free agency with the San Francisco 49ers. This was not only a value pick for the Giants, who contemplated drafting Randle with their first round pick, but also a pick that filled a need. This is the earliest the Giants have selected a WR since drafting Hakeem Nicks in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
Randle is 6’2” tall and weighs 210 pounds. Randle was able to produce on an LSU team that focused on the running game and defense, with 917 yards and eight touchdowns on 53 receptions. Overall, Randle finished his three season at LSU with 93 receptions for 1,634 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Scouts had only positive things to say about Randle. “Randle is a confident pass catcher with strong hands. Can make tough catches over his head. Consistently shoes ability to snatch on the run. Outstanding body control to adjust.”
Randle should have no problem fitting in with this Giants team. With the loss of Manningham, the Giants have a hole on their offense that Randle can come in and compete to fill. He has experience playing both flanker and split end in college and has good size. The Giants do have other players that will compete with Randle including Ramses Barden, Jerrel Jernigan and Domenik Hixon so a job will not just be handed to him. The Giants were able to add another talented receiver to their depth chart at the very least and someone who can have a big impact later down the road.
The Giants are a team that competes every season, so they are looking to add people who are ready to contribute right away with their top picks. They very well may have found someone to fit that profile in Randle. Marc Ross, director of college scouting, says Randle is NFL-ready.
“I really didn’t think there was a chance we were going to get him,” Ross said. “Actually, we talked about a little about him yesterday with our pick. Reuben is an NFL-ready receiver. What I mean by that is this guy is strong, he can catch the ball, he is a good route runner and has got position-savvy. He knows how to get open. To me those are the successful receivers in the NFL. Our guys that we have now, Hakeem and Victor, you put them on at the combine, you won’t notice them but if you put them on the football field, they just take their game to another level and this is hoe Rueben is in our eyes.”
Ross later added, “The way LSU plays, they run the ball and they play defense … so he didn’t get a lot of chances.”
It was a rough wait for Randle. He was not consoled by the fact that the Giants had considered him with their first round pick, because that meant another full day of sitting around and waiting in the green room. He was the last player remaining in the green room at the draft. “I wasn’t trying to worry myself with the whole situation,” Randle is quoted as saying.
Randle was relieved when he received that call from Tom Coughlin at the end of the 2nd round. “He just asked me if I was ready to come in and compete,” Randle said in reference to his conversation with Coughlin. Randle told the reporters interviewing him that he indeed was. Randle could not have ended up in a much better situation, getting to join the reigning Super Bowl Champs and having a chance to come in and contribute right away. He also gets to play with one of the premier quarterbacks in the NFL in Eli Manning, giving Manning yet another option on offense to go along with first round pick David Wilson.