For the first time in years, the New York Giants will be heading into training camp with absolutely no conception as to who their starting wide receivers will be. With Plaxico Burress’ exodus from New York, the Giants are now left to choose between a fading veteran, unproven backups, and several youthful projects for their starting lineup.
While deciphering over the Giants’ wide receiving core is enough to give even the most creative of fans headaches, I will now attempt to sort out the mess and project the depth chart at wide receiver for the New York Giants:
1) Steve Smith
While he may not be as talented as his namesake, Steve Smith will take over as the No. 1 receiving option for the New York Giants. This diminutive receiver may not have much big play ability, but has earned a reputation of being an incredibly reliable target, especially on third down.
2) Domenik Hixon
Hixon made the most of his seven starts in 2008, accumulating 596 yards during that time. In 2009, I believe this speed demon will continue to build up his production and establish himself as a reliable No. 2 receiving option.
3) Hakeem Nicks
He certainly doesn’t have the size of Plaxico, but Nicks’ possession receiving game is remarkably similar to that of the disgraced receiver. Even in spite of questions about his weight and work ethic, the Giants have a great deal of faith in their first round pick out of North Carolina. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the Giants top receiving option by season’s end.
4) Ramses Barden
He may have only been a 3rd round pick, but this 6’6 receiver out of Cal Poly has all of the tools necessary to become a superstar in the NFL. Not only is he the tallest wide receiver currently in the NFL, but he also has big reliable hands and the speed and leaping ability to become a serious red zone threat.
5) Sinorice Moss
The 5’8 under-achieving receiver still has a long way to go before he becomes even half the player that his brother is. Nonetheless, he is a talented athlete and has shown flashes of brilliance at times. If he can ever find it in him to reach his potential, he will become a very solid slot receiver.
6) Mario Manningham
This highly noted receiver out of Michigan accomplished absolutely nothing last year in his rookie season. While he was a superstar in college, he seems lost at the NFL level, and it will likely take another year or so before he becomes a significant contributor to this football team.