As we gear up for Giants OTA meetings and eventually Training Camp, all the so called "experts" will be picking apart every single team. After scrutinizing the Giants roster, there is no doubt they will question the WR position, saying they are unproven and lack experience, but I am here to ensure you that the WR position will be perfectly okay.
The Giants offense returns nine starters and keeps that great offensive line intact which paves the way for Brandon Jacobs and the soon to be No. 2 running back, Ahmad Bradshaw. The defense returns 10 starters, and the only person not back, James Butler (who is now with Coach Spags in St. Louis) is replaced by Kenny Phillips. Upgrade?
I think so. Actually, I know so. Take my word for it, he will be a probowler this year. The Giants relentless passrush will pressure the quarterbacks, and they won't have the time to get a proper read of the secondary. The ballhawking, hard hitting Phillips will make the play.
Guaranteed, he's a stud. Its tough to find a real glaring weakness with this Giants squad, but instead we can nitpick and hopefully I'll add some real insight to the Giants roster because we already know what the "experts" are going to say about this team.
Everyone questions the Giants receiving corps, and yes they are allowed to. That is their own opinion. My personal opinion is that they are going to be fine, and get their jobs done.
Yes, they might lack the experience right now, but the only way to prove yourself in this league is by getting the opportunity to play. NFL rosters are loaded with talent, and sometimes all you need is that chance to play.
Every backup looks to Tom Brady (6th round pick out of Michigan) or Matt Cassel (undrafted backup QB from USC) but on the New York Giants, all you have to do is look around. Kevin Boss (5th round - Western Oregon) Ahmad Bradshaw (7th round - Marshall) Brandon Jacobs (4th round - Southern Illinois) David Diehl (5th round - Illinois) and the list goes on and on.
Talent runs deep throughout the roster, and I feel like every player belongs in the NFL. They just need their chance to showcase their skills. Domenik Hixon brings a special type of speed and quickness off the line, that enables him to create separation from a corner. Steve Smith is a superior route runner with exceptional hands and always seems to find a way to find a crease on 3rd down and move the chains.
Everyone knows what to expect from those two receivers, but then say everyone else is in question. Sinorice Moss has great speed and quickness, just has trouble staying healthy. The Giants are expecting big things out of Moss this year, and it is his contract year. I'm a firm believer in "contract year players" and if Moss wants to stay in the league, this is his year to do it.
Mario Manningham, last year's 3rd round pick from Michigan (fell because of character concerns, as many people thought he could be a first round pick) has his chance to shine right now. This is his time. The Giants staff believe he has the big play ability that they are looking for, which can spread the field.
Then there is David Tyree, Superbowl hero, who looks to come back from injury and put his stamp on this receiving corps. He's the senior among the group of young wideouts, so now it's his responsibility to share his knowledge.
Everytime Tyree has been given the chance to play Wide Receiver, he has done an outstanding job. Now to my favorite part, the incoming rookies. Hakeem Nicks, the first round pick from North Carolina drafted with the 29th overall pick.
This kid is a stud. He may not have the speed when just wearing a t-shirt and shorts, but last time I checked football is played in pads. He has great game speed, and quickness off of the line. Hes a nice size (6'1" and 212 pounds), but nothing like the "GIANT" they drafted in the 3rd round, Ramses Barden.
But I'll wait to address him. Nicks has freakishly large hands, having to custom order 4XL gloves. Pretty much, if the ball hits his hands, he's coming down with the ball. Everyone talks about how he can make the spectacular play, but he can also make the ordinary plays which is huge for Eli. Butch Davis, Hakeem Nicks' coach at UNC compared him to Michael Irvin.
That is saying alot, but if Nicks is close to that comparison, there is no need for the Giants to worry about the wide receiver position. Then there is Ramses Barden, personally my favorite draft pick out of the nine players. Hes a "true Giant" standing at 6'6'' and weighing in at 230 pounds.
Yes, everyone is going to compare him to Plaxico Burress, but he is his own player. Let him make a name for himself. He has the breakaway speed, it just takes him a little longer for his long strides to get going.
Let Eli just throw the ball up, and nine times out of 10 Ramses is going to come down with the ball. Then there is Travis Beckum, another new toy for Kevin Gilbride. Beckum is going to be used as an "H-Back" type. Think Chris Cooley and Dallas Clark. That should say enough.
Beckum might not be the blocker Kevin Boss is, but he has great hands and speed and will be able to cause mismatches for the defenses. Gilbride just has to find creative ways to use Beckum. As I said, experts might say this is the Giants glaring weakness, but I look at it as a great opportunity for these players.
After Derrick Ward departed for Tampa Bay in the offseason, people began to question if the Giants have a capable replacement. In my opinion, they do.
They didn't even have to draft Andre Brown, but now with Andre Brown in the stable, the Giants have three very capable backups to Sir Brandon Jacobs (I like to call Mr. Jacobs Sir in fear that if I don't respect him he may just have to run me over, too... LaRon Landry, Charles Woodson, and many others). Look at what Ahmad Bradshaw did in our Super Bowl run.
That should be enough said. He is the perfect complement to Jacobs, because Jacobs is able to wear down and punish the defense. Then Bradshaw, with his speed, quickness, and elusiveness is able to make defenders miss, and everytime he touches the ball is capable of taking it to the house.
Danny Ware did a great job last preseason, and he could vie for some carries, the same way Bradshaw did last year. Then there is the rookie, Andre Brown. Once considered a first round draft pick, injuries derailed his career at North Carolina State, but the Giants feel they have found a gem in Andre Brown. So there, that answers that question of a weakness at our No. 2 RB position.
Ok, so if the two biggest "questions" are answered, now what? Okay, lets try the return game. If Hixon is going to be used primarily as a WR this year, thats where the situation becomes sticky. The Giants have more than enough athletes on this roster to fill that void. Sinorice Moss could be the answer. Hakeem Nicks took some kickoffs during the Rookie Minicamp.
Danny Ware returned kicks last year. Just like every other position, competition will bring the best out in the players. I feel that is one of the most important things, because with the competition among players, it will provide the coaching staff the opportunity to see who floats and who sinks when facing adversity.
Now that these players have their foot in the door, it is their turn to shine in the bright lights of New York City and make a name for themselves.